229 passengers and crew ill on cruise ship that docked in Singapore
UPDATE: The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) told The New Paper on Friday (Nov 15) that 229 passengers and crew on board the cruise ship, MV Sun Princess, had come down with gastrointestinal illness.
TNP had reported earlier the cruise ship from Australia had decided to disembark all 2,000 passengers when those affected fell ill.
MPA said they had been informed on Monday (Nov 11) at 11am.
Those affected showed symptoms such as vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
MPA said of those affected, 189 have recovered.
For the remaining affected passengers and crew, 16 passengers had disembarked and terminated their cruise at Singapore.
MPA said the cruise ship had arrived in Singapore on Wednesday (Nov 13) at around 5.30am from Phuket, Thailand, and was in-transit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
There were no Singaporeans among the affected passengers and crew when the vessel arrived here.
MPA added there was no mass evacuation of the MV Sun Princess in Singapore and most of the passengers had disembarked for a short day tour in Singapore.
The MPA, Ministry of Health (MOH), and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) conducted a joint inspection of the cruise ship on Wednesday.
MOH has also worked with the cruise operator to ensure that proper infection prevention and control actions have been implemented, and has provided a health advisory to all passengers to look out for symptoms of disease, how to protect oneself and prevent further transmission prior to disembarkation.
Disembarking passengers have also been advised to seek medical care if unwell.
The port agent has also arranged for the affected passengers to be assessed by a medical practitioner upon disembarkation to ensure that they were fit for onward travel.
MPA said the ship departed Singapore on Wednesday at about 5.25pm for Ho Chi Minh City with 906 transit passengers, 1,092 new passengers, and 864 crew members.
A spokesman for Princess Cruises, which operates the ship, had told TNP on Thursday that guests started reporting gastrointestinal symptoms en route to Singapore.
It was confirmed as being caused by the norovirus. A norovirus outbreak typically involves diarrhoea and vomiting.
"The vast majority of the 2,000 guests on Sun Princess were unaffected, but it takes relatively few cases of illness to be reported for onboard sanitation measures to be increased," said the spokesman.
"Out of an abundance of care and in line with best practice, extra cleaning... was also carried out. Guests remain isolated while they have symptoms."
Australian news outlet Perth Now reported that crew members made the decision to disembark all passengers while docked at Singapore so the ship could be fumigated.