Costa Fortuna, the cruise turned away by Malaysia and Thailand due to Covid-19 fears docked in Singapore on Tuesday (10 Mar) morning.
Passengers from the ship were, however, subjected to some pretty rigorous checks.
They were also swiftly ushered to coaches and reportedly prevented from speaking to the media.
According to The Straits Times, Costa Fortuna docked at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre at around 7.35am as part of a scheduled call.
The first batch of passengers apparently left the cruise centre at around 9am. They were hurried to a waiting coach which had a label suggesting it was carrying passengers meant for a Singapore Airlines flight leaving for Bangkok this evening.
Batches of 30-40 passengers were subsequently escorted to other waiting coaches, with some allegedly heading to Carlton Hotel and Crown Plaza Changi Airport.
When interviewed by Channel NewsAsia (CNA), passengers said the mood on the cruise was largely normal.
Nobody (on board) had fear. There’s no pain for us.
Some expressed annoyance that their holidays were “cut short”, but accepted the fact that the new coronavirus is now a worldwide issue.
All passengers entering Singapore were allegedly subjected to temperature checks.
Those with fever or respiratory symptoms were tested for Covid-19 and brought to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). Others with no symptoms were ferried directly to the airport for their onward flights.
It was previously mentioned that those who refuse the mandatory swab test wouldn’t be allowed in Singapore.
According to TODAY Online, 64 Italian passengers were onboard the vessel. However, the cruise operator stated that there were no suspected Covid-19 patients onboard.
Those with recent travel history to northern Italy in the last 14 days were checked by a MOH-licensed doctor on a 1-to-1 basis.
The ship wasn’t allowed to stop in previous stops in Penang and Phuket, due to Covid-19 fears.
Singapore is one of the Costa Fortuna’s home port, where the ship is docked.
The cruise departed from Singapore and sailed westwards 2 weeks ago, before returning last Tuesday and subsequently sailing eastwards.
It was during the 2nd part of the itinerary where they were scheduled to make stops at Phuket, Penang, and Port Klang.
It was, however, denied entry to those stops by Thailand and Malaysia.
We are heartened that the authorities are doing all they can to identify potential Covid-19 patients and mitigating the chance of any Covid-19 spread.
That said, we hope nobody on the ship tests positive for the virus, which would surely add additional pressure on our healthcare system as well as those in other parts of the world.
Featured image adapted from AFP.
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There will also be plenty of fun activities for the whole family.