Cruise ship MSC LIRICA was scheduled to arrive at Mangaluru port on Saturday
As of Saturday, over 100,000 people were affected globally, with death toll at 3,491
BENGALURU: The New Managalore Port (NMPT), one of the two major sea ports in Karnataka, has denied entry to cruise vessel, MSC LIRICA, as a precautionary measure amid the growing scare of the spread of COVID-19, more commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus.
The MSC LIRICA was scheduled to arrive at the port on Saturday, according to a statement by NMPT.
"In view of coronavirus threat, the central government has decided that no cruise ship from any foreign destination will be allowed to call on Indian ports with immediate effect till 31 March, 2020," the port authority said in a statement late on Friday.
"Hence NMPT will now allow cruise vessel MSC LIRICA to enter port tomorrow (Saturday)."
The move follows the alarming rise of novel coronavirus cases worldwide since it was first discovered in China's Wuhan in December. As of Saturday, over 100,000 people were affected globally, with death toll at 3,491, according to the Johns Hopkins University's live tracker of the disease.
India has so far reported 31 cases, of which three in Kerala have recovered.
The outbreak is estimated to cost the Indian economy between $357 million and $29 billion in personal consumption losses, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday.
Karnataka has not reported any positive cases of Covid-19 so far, but has been maintaining a strict vigil.
As of Friday, 717 people had been identified for observation and while 236 have completed the 28-day observation, 469 remain quarantined in their respective homes, according to the Karnataka state health department.
A total of eight have been admitted to hospitals. About 343 samples have been sent for tests, of which 296 have tested negative.
Karnataka has been screening all passengers at the two international airports and two sea ports.
Around 72,542 passengers have been screened in Karnataka - 49,595 at Bengaluru airport, and 22,948 in Mangaluru airport. Another 5,147 passengers were screened in Mangaluru and Karwar sea ports, the health department said.