Rocks and bottles thrown at cruise ship over fears of coronavirus

The protestors had to be dispersed with tear gas

Cathy Adams
Monday 02 March 2020 12:35 GMT
Matt Hancock reveals coronavirus going endemic 'inevitable'

People threw rocks and bottles when a cruise ship carrying 2,000 passengers tried to dock in La Reunion over fears passengers onboard had coronavirus.

Protests broke out when holidaymakers tried to disembark the ship at the island's Saint-Denis port, with rocks thrown at security who tried to let travellers past.

Local authorities on the island, a French territory near Madagascar, dispersed protestors using tear gas.

Coronavirus, officially Covid-19, has killed more than 3,000 people around the world and infected tens of thousands more.

Most of the passengers onboard the Sun Princess liner were from Australia and New Zealand. The ship left Adelaide on 20 January on an almost two-month itinerary around Australia, various countries in Asia and southern Africa.

She is due to dock in Perth later this month.

There are no infected cases of the flu-like virus onboard the liner, Princess Cruises confirmed.

Rod Pascoe, from New Zealand, told Mail Online: “Some passengers were very distressed and others absolutely steaming, fuming when they got back.

“People feared for their safety.”

Protestors throw rocks (Richard BOUHET / AFP)

A spokesperson for Sun Princess told The Independent: “A disruption on Reunion Island was quickly contained by the local authorities and we would like to thank them for their assistance.

“There was overall limited impact for Sun Princess guests. There are no health concerns on the ship and it will head to Perth, its final port of call, after departing Reunion Island."

Thousands of passengers were quarantined for more than two weeks onboard Diamond Princess in Yokohama, Tokyo, last month.

More than 600 cases were detected onboard the ship. British and European passengers were evacuated last week and are currently in quarantine in Wirral.

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