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Cruise attempting to dock in WA denied having sick passengers on board

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Cruise ship officials have denied any passengers are sick as they try to dock the vessel in Western Australia.

Cruise ship officials have denied any passengers are sick as they try to dock the vessel in Western Australia.

The MSC Magnifica, carrying more than 1700 passengers, intends to arrive at Fremantle Port in the next 24 hours, possibly as early as this evening.

Earlier today, WA Premier Mark McGowan said 250 passengers were experiencing an upper respiratory illness.

READ MORE: Live updates on the coronavirus pandemic

More than 2000 passengers and crew are temporarily locked down on a ship while they undergo coronavirus screenings.

Mr McGowan said he was in contact with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton over how to resolve the situation.

"I will not allow what happened in Sydney to happen here," the WA premier said, referencing last week's docking of the Ruby Princess in Sydney where passengers with coronavirus were allowed to enter the city.

The latest statement from the cruise officials said the ship planned to head to Freemantle to refuel, on its way to Dubai, and no passengers would be getting off.

Passengers aboard the MSC Magnifica cruise ship are seen while docked alongside the Golden Princess cruise ship (left) at Station Pier in Melbourne, Thursday, March 19, 2020.

A statement to said: "Along her scheduled itinerary, the ship plans to call Fremantle in Western Australia for a technical call only. While there, neither passengers or crew will disembark as the ship only plans to bunker before she continues along her scheduled itinerary.  

"The ship had done the same at other technical calls along her itinerary, including in Sydney where passengers and crew remained on board during the technical-only call there.   

 "All passengers and crew on board are well.

"No passengers or crew on board suffer from any respiratory diseases or present any flu-like symptoms. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone on board may be infected with COVID-19."

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The company earlier said it would be completing its current cruises amid the global halting of cruise ship operations.

Many other cruises have also struggled to find places to port, even with no cases of coronavirus on board.

Others have offloaded passengers in Sydney who were later found to have the virus.

Source: 9News

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