Hong Kong checks quarantined ship for virus

Cruise ships in the Far East are facing increasing difficulties as countries outside China take as many precautions as they can against novel coronavirus spreading overseas from China.

Hong Kong authorities quarantined cruise ship World Dream (IMO 9733117) for a second day on Thursday February 6th, check the 1,800 passengers and a similar number of crew for possible nCoV infection. No-one is being allowed to disembark; neither are friends or family of crew or passengers being allowed  to visit the vessel from land.

There were 33 crew members on the World Dream reported to have developed respiratory tract infection symptoms, of whom three had been sent to a hospital for isolation and management after developing fevers.

It was confirmed late Wednesday that all but one of the 33 had tested negative for the disease, with the remaining test pending

Authorities did not say how long the passengers and crew would have to remain on board.

The cruise ship docked in Hong Kong after it was denied entry to the Taiwan port of Kaohsiung on Tuesday. The two Hong Kong cruise terminals are now suspended from operations.

Three previous passengers who had been aboard World Dream between January 19th and January 24th had been diagnosed with the illness after they left the ship, operator Genting Cruise Lines said.

Local officials are also attempting to locate 200 Hong Kong residents who were on board during the World Dream’s previous voyage and have since returned home.

The quarantining of World Dream follows the holding of cruise ship Diamond Princess (IMO 9228198) at an anchorage off Yokohama, Japan, after a former passenger tested positive for nCoV. As of Thursday a total of 20 individuals had  tested positive. They are being transferred to a medical facility in Kanagawa prefecture for treatment. The 10 new cases included four Japanese, two Americans, two Canadians, one person from New Zealand and one from Taiwan.

All of The Diamond Princess’s 2,666 passengers are being quarantined in their cabins in circumstances that are being described as less than ideal, particularly for those in inside cabins.

Another reported problem was that many tourists aboard the Diamond Princess had entered Taiwan for a day-trip when the boat anchored at its northern port of Keelung on January 31st, according to immigration authority, with local media saying they probably visited several popular tourist sites in Taipei.

Taiwan’s health authority has now banned all international cruise ships from docking at the island

Test results on more than 170 people on the vessel are pending.

2017-built, Bahamas-flagged, 150,695 gt World Dream is owned by Chinese Percept Ltd of Hamilton, Bermuda. It is managed by Genting Cruise Lines of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is entered with Swedish Club (Asia Team) on behalf of World Dream Ltd.

2004-built, UK-flagged, 115,906 gt Diamond Princess is owned by Fairline Shipping International Corp care of manager Princess Cruise Lines of Valencia, California, USA. It is entered with UK Club and with Steamship Mutual.