Hong Kong conducts health checks on cruise ship denied Taiwan docking

Hong Kong conducts health checks on cruise ship denied Taiwan docking

Hong Kong conducts health checks on cruise ship denied Taiwan docking (1)
A worker wearing a face mask looks out at the World Dream cruise ship docked at the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong on Feb 5, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Philip Fong)

HONG KONG: A cruise ship which has been denied entry to the southern Taiwan port of Kaohsiung docked on Wednesday (Feb 5) in Hong Kong, with all passengers and crew undergoing health checks, Cable TV reported.

Tests for novel coronavirus are being conducted onboard the ship, as 30 crew members on the ship said they had symptoms of the virus, including a fever.

Hong Kong conducts health checks on cruise ship denied Taiwan docking
Members of the Hong Kong Department of Health wearing protective gear queue up to clean their hands on the deck of the World Dream cruise ship, docked at the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong on Feb 5, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Philip Fong)

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It is unclear how long passengers and crew will be kept on the ship, and passengers onboard need approval from authorities in order to leave the vessel.

Previously, three mainland Chinese who had been on the ship between Jan 19 and 24 were found to have contracted the virus. No passenger has had contact with them, said Hong Kong's health department.

According to authorities, 90 per cent of the passengers are Hong Kongers, with no mainland Chinese were on board.

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The cruise ship is reported to be carrying 1,800 passengers. 

The World Dream ship, operated by Dream Cruises, was denied entry in Kaohsiung on Tuesday.

Hong Kong conducts health checks on cruise ship denied Taiwan docking (1)
A general view shows the World Dream cruise ship docked at Kai Tak cruise terminal Hong Kong on Feb 5, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Anthony WALLACE)

On Monday, the ship visited Taiwan's northern Keelung port and some passengers were allowed to leave the boat, Taiwan's health authorities said, adding they were not aware the boat had previously carried confirmed cases, according to Taiwan media reports.

Hong Kong conducts health checks on cruise ship denied Taiwan docking
Members of Hong Kong Department of Health wearing protective gear are pictured on the deck of the World Dream cruise ship, docked at the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong on Feb 5, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Philip FONG)

This comes after a Japanese cruise ship carrying 3,711 people was quarantined off the port of Yokohama, with at least 10 people testing positive for novel coronavirus.

Japan quarantined the vessel after a former passenger was diagnosed with the illness in Hong Kong. Health screening began on Tuesday for the passengers and crew.

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The number of confirmed deaths from China's coronavirus outbreak jumped on Wednesday to nearly 500, after Hong Kong reported its first death from the disease and millions more in China were ordered to stay indoors.

The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 24,324 nationwide with 3,887 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said.

More than 20 countries have confirmed cases of the virus, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global health emergency, several governments to institute travel restrictions, and airlines to suspend flights to and from China.

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Source: Reuters/ic

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