Carnival Reports Suspected Coronavirus on One of Its Ships

Carnival drops after a report says one of its cruise ships in Italy is being investigated for potential cases of coronavirus on board.
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Shares of Carnival (CCL) - Get Report dropped Thursday after reports that one of its cruise ships in Italy was being investigated for at least one potential case of coronavirus on board.

Carnival shares fell after Italian newswire service ANSA reported that a potential case of coronavirus on board a Costa Crociere ship docked at the Italian port of Civitavecchia. Costa Crociere is a unit of Carnival.

Carnival’s Italian unit said that a 54-year-old woman from Macau is currently in isolation on board its Costa Smeralda cruise ship in the port of Civitavecchia, near Rome, according to Bloomberg News. 

Preliminary medical reports indicated that the virus was not present, an Italian official said.

A medical team from a Rome hospital examined the patient, who demonstrated fever and respiratory symptoms Thursday morning, according to the Italian Coast Guard. Further operations on the ship “will be decided later,” a Coast Guard spokesman told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the remaining 7,000 people are being held on board the ship and cannot disembark. The ship was bound for La Spezia in the Liguria region, with 1,000 crew and 6,000 passengers.

Shares of Royal Caribbean  (RCL) - Get Report were also under pressure on Thursday after the cruise line announced that three of its Spectrum of the Seas sailings departing from Shanghai were being canceled through Feb. 8, and that the company was stepping up testing measures for the virus.

The coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has begun to wreak havoc on the global travel industry, with tour operators and cruise lines both in and outside China canceling trips to and from various Asian cities.

As of Thursday, there were 170 deaths and 8,200 confirmed cases of the virus.

Cruise lines have swiftly reacted to the outbreak and have begun implementing their own precautions by canceling sailings and boosting screening procedures for passengers boarding from Chinese ports.

On Monday, the U.S. State Department raised its travel warning to Level 3, urging all Americans to avoid traveling to China unless their trip is essential. The move came days after it raised the travel warning for Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, to Level 4 (do not travel), its most severe advisory level.

Shares of Carnival were down 3.63% at $44.79 in trading on Thursday. Shares of Royal Caribbean were down 3.27% at $117.63.