The 6,000 passengers and crew aboard Costa Smeralda finally disembarked after a sick passenger of Chinese nationality was diagnosed with the flu – not the new coronavirus.
The cruise company confirmed that Italian health authorities had diagnosed the 54-year-old woman, with the common flu. The entire cruise ship had been in lockdown in Civitavecchia, Italy for most of the day on Thursday, January 31, as passengers waited for the results of tests carried out by a medical team from Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome.
News of the quarantined ship came on the same day that the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global emergency.
Costa Cruises amended the itinerary of Smeralda as a result of the day lost to the quarantine. The liner will skip Friday's scheduled port call in La Spezia and will remain docked in Civitavecchia until Friday evening before heading back to Savona for disembarkation. The woman and her husband boarded Costa Smeralda on January 25 in Savona arriving via flight from Hong Kong.
For other Costa Smeralda accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.