POLINTE BLANCHE:— On Friday, March 18, a number of passengers on-board Norwegian Gem Cruise Ship was infected with an infectious virus. The vessel was boarded outside Port St. Maarten and was boarded by a PoRt Control Team that also included officials from the Ministry of Public Health and the Shipping & Maritime Authority, to gather further information with respect to the on-board virus.
While onboard, the Port Control Team were informed of additional cases, and based on this information and after further evaluation, it was decided in the interests of public health that the passengers and crew should not disembark. The causative agent at the time of inspection was unknown and the Captain was advised to return to homeport for vessel sanitation procedures.
The cruise ship industry from time to time suffers from the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses, and the Norovirus is a very contagious virus and the one that is most prominent. You can get the virus from an infected person, from contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.
The Norwegian Gem which was outside Port St. Maarten left after the decision of the Port Control Team was made.
Norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships are common, and according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), outbreaks are found and reported more quickly on a cruise ship than on land.
The Norwegian Gem was the newest cruise ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet until the debut of Norwegian Epic. The vessel came into service in 2007 and has a gross tonnage of 93,530; is 965 feet in length; has 15 decks; carries 2384 passengers and 1154 crew.
The Norwegian Gem is the fourth of Norwegian’s Jewel class.
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About Port St. Maarten
Port St. Maarten comprises of 13 companies responsible for most of the country’s maritime activities. The operations at Port St. Maarten can be summarized into four pillars of Cruise, Cargo, Yachting and Real Estate. The Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities catered to over 2 million cruise passengers in 2014, and has since 2010 been receiving more than 1.5 million annually. The cargo facilities have led to a steady growth in containerized business making the island a hub for the North Eastern Caribbean where it concerns transshipment services. The port caters to the Giga yachts and vessels providing berthing and fueling services to this sector. Port St. Maarten also owns and manages a wide range of commercial real estate across the country.
Port St. Maarten is a modern, well equipped and secure port facility that is operated and managed by a dedicated professional staff. Visit our website for further information www.portstmaarten.com or call +1 721 542-8503 or 8504, email: [email protected]
Source: St. Martin News Network Infectious Illness reported on Norwegian Gem. Passengers and Crew not allowed to Disembark in the interests of Public Health.