News 5 Live has confirmed with representatives of the Ministry of Health that they have indeed received a report that there is at least one passenger on board the cruise ship, Carnival Magic, showing symptoms similar to that of the Ebola virus. According to the report made to MOH, the person exhibiting the symptoms did not come ashore today. The ship is reportedly carrying 3652 passengers and a total population of 4633 persons.
The Carnival Magic departed from Galveston Texas on Sunday, October 12 arrived in Mahogany Bay, Honduras on Wednesday October 15 and arrived in Belize this morning, Thursday October 16. The ship was scheduled to leave Belize en route to Cozumel this evening at 5pm. However, it is still anchored in Belizean waters near State Bank Caye.
We have also have confirmed that the Coast Guard has been deployed to prevent anyone from leaving the ship; including the Belizean pilot on board.https://www.facebook.com/JAandBZ/posts/649486895172108
Reliable sources are indicsting that two passengers who visited Belize today are suspected of having the Ebola virus. Health officials were at the Tourism village this evening conducting investigations and have told Love news that a release will be issued tomorrow. It is to be noted that our country has no testing facilities to confirm if the virus is present. We underdtand that two persons have been quarantined but no further details are forth coming........we will keep u posted.https://www.facebook.com/114262182112994...elevant_count=1
(UPDATE: 9:30 P.M.THE SHIP AND ALL PASSENGERS ARE RETURNING TO THE USA)
The facts are that two persons aboard the Carnival Magic are sick with symptoms that could be any numerous illnesses. But the Carnival Magic wants these two passengers off its ship. I can confirm that at the highest levels of the Belize government, requests have been made by the US to have the passengers flown out from Belize via the PGIA.
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, the Interim head of Epidemiology Unit at Ministry of Health and Valdemar Andraede , Belize Tourism Boardís Cruise and Regional Initiatives Director are both aware of the situation. They are gathering the facts as we speak. An official update will be provided by the Ministry of Health on Friday morning.
Since the Carnival Magic left in the evening, it could have gone onto Roatan, Honduras and disembark the sick passengers at the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center or even north of Belize to the port in Majahual, Mexico. It is clear that Belize is currently unequipped to handle the ebola virus. We donít have the hazmat suits nor the proper isolation units to deal with this virulent virus.
There is an easy way to assess the threat. The Center for Disease Control in the USA has a short checklist for travelers who are sick. Have you been to any of the infected territories in the last 21 days? Do you have a fever over 100.4? DO you have symptoms such as
Severe headache, Muscle pain, Weakness, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Abdominal (stomach) pain, Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)? Then you become a high priority case.
The travel history of these two passengers are critical and they are not yet known. Where these passengers will disembark and how the people who come in contact with them are monitored are critical to Belize's national security. Do we take the patients/passengers or do we let them go on to another port? Whatever the case, the situation will change by the morning. Did we do the proper screening or was it the ship that detected the sick passengers? Are there screening done on the ships? Or is the BTB or Belize demanding screening of passengers before the passengers come off the ships with fevers?https://www.facebook.com/JAandBZ/posts/649491058505025