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HomeWorld newsNorwegian Dawn passengers start to exit cholera-suspected cruise ship near Mauritius, but...

Norwegian Dawn passengers start to exit cholera-suspected cruise ship near Mauritius, but many remain on board

The first passengers on a cruise ship which has been stranded off the East African island of Mauritius due to a suspected cholera outbreak have left the ship after the authorities gave the all-clear.

They were originally expected to leave the ship on Sunday.

“The immigration authorities came on board on Monday evening so that the first people could disembark if they wanted to,” Clyde Bastienne, 49, from Mauritius, told dpa. He had travelled with his daughter from South Africa via Madagascar to Mauritius.

“But many are still on board.” The shipping company has so far not commented.

Following a series of gastrointestinal illnesses on board the Norwegian Dawn, the authorities in Mauritius refused to allow the ship to dock in the harbour of the capital Port Louis on Sunday, after the French island of La Réunion had already turned the ship away.

Southern Africa is currently experiencing one of the worst cholera outbreaks in years.

Photo: Reuters

A German passenger criticised the crisis management.

“It could have gone better,” he said. “We were informed too late and inadequately.” It only became clear that something was wrong when the ship did not dock in La Réunion as planned, he added.

Most of the 2,184 passengers were supposed to start their journey home on Sunday. At the same time, 2,279 new travellers were originally due to board in Port Louis, the port authority said. There are also 1,026 crew members on the ship.

Employees of the Ministry of Health took samples from around 15 people on board on Sunday morning. The results, which came in on Monday afternoon, showed that no one was infected with cholera.

According to the authorities, at least 14 passengers and one crew member are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting. They have been isolated in their rooms.

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