SINGAPORE: All passengers aboard the Costa Fortuna cruise ship will undergo health checks when they disembark in Singapore on Tuesday (Mar 10),  the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Monday.

The cruise ship will dock in Singapore as part of a scheduled call, MPA and STB added. It departed Singapore on Mar 3 and was turned away from other ports on its itinerary in Thailand and Malaysia before heading back to Singapore.

READ: Malaysia, Thailand bar cruise ship over COVID-19 fears

Costa Fortuna, which has a home port in Singapore, has declared that none of its passengers currently aboard the ship have a fever or other symptoms of respiratory illness, said MPA and STB in their joint media release on Monday.

All passengers had embarked from Singapore and completed pre-embarkation checks “based on prevailing policies for travel history and temperature screening” as required by the cruise line and the terminal operator before boarding, said the authorities.

Before disembarking, passengers and crew members will be checked by the doctor on board the ship to ensure they are healthy, said MPA and STB.

“All passengers entering Singapore are required to undergo temperature screening as a precautionary measure,” the media release added. 

“Additionally, passengers entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness but who do not meet the Ministry of Health’s clinical definition may be required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test.”

READ: New COVID-19 test kits used to screen swab samples collected at Singapore checkpoints

Passengers who are identified for COVID-19 swab testing but refuse to do so will not be allowed entry into Singapore, said the authorities.

Singapore’s cruise terminals remain open to scheduled cruise calls out of Singapore, said MPA and STB, adding that unscheduled calls have not been allowed since Feb 24.

The cruise ship’s operator Costa Crociere said on Monday there are no suspected coronavirus cases among its guests, which includes Italians.

Italy has registered the highest COVID-19 death toll outside of China, with the number of deaths in the country soaring to 366 on Sunday.

READ: Italy has highest COVID-19 fatalities after China as death toll triples

The cruise ship was turned away from the popular Thai holiday island of Phuket on Friday, and was also barred from docking in Malaysia.

On Saturday, it tried to dock in Penang but was refused entry, local politician Phee Boon Poh told AFP. The ship is carrying 64 Italians, according to Malaysian officials.

Costa Crociere said it would cancel a cruise due to depart on Mar 10 from Singapore.

The novel coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan but has since spread to more than 100 countries around the world.

Singapore has confirmed 150 cases of the disease as of Sunday. A total of 90 patients have fully recovered.

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