Mauritius blocks cruise ship over cholera fears

Mauritius has denied a Norwegian cruise ship permission to dock at the capital Port Louis over fears of a potential cholera outbreak on board.

At least 15 people on the Norwegian Dawn have been in isolation over suspected illness.

Mauritian authorities said the decision to block the ship was “taken in order to avoid any health risks”.

Samples were taken for testing on Sunday, with results expected to be known on Tuesday.

The passengers developed mild symptoms of a stomach illness during a trip to South Africa, a representative of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said.

Mary Francovilla Dees, 69, a passenger on the Norwegian Dawn told the BBC that despite the delay the atmosphere on the ship has been “fairly calm”.

“The passengers on this ship have appeared to take this in their stride,” she said.

Ms Francovilla says passengers have entertained themselves by sitting by the pool, attending shows and going to the bar.

A Dutch passenger on board told BN DeStem they were told there could be a cholera outbreak on board by the captain.

There is an outbreak of cholera in South Africa but it’s not nearly as bad as some of its neighbours, with Zambia being hardest hit.

Since January 2023, at least 188,000 people have been infected with cholera across seven countries in southern Africa, according to the UN. More than 3,000 people have died.

While South Africa has reported 1,076 cholera cases and at least 47 deaths over the past two years, according to Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention.

“The health and safety of passengers as well as that of the country as a whole are of the utmost to the authorities,” the Mauritius Ports Authority said.

The ship arrived in Mauritius on Saturday evening after arriving a day early because it did not stop in RĂ©union Island.

There are 2,184 passengers and 1,026 crew members on the ship. About 2,000 planned to disembark in Port Louis, with another 2,000 expected to board at the same time.

Those who were disembarking or joining the cruise will now do so on 27 February, the Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said.

Leave a Comment