• More than 6,000 people are trapped on a cruise ship at a port in Italy after a 54-year-old Chinese woman was suspected to have the highly contagious coronavirus.
  • The woman, from Macau, and her traveling companion, were placed in isolation in the Costa Smeralda’s shipboard hospital.
  • The ship has a capacity for more than 6,544 guests.
  • This was the last day of a seven-day roundtrip cruise from Rome.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More than 6,000 cruise ship passengers are trapped on the Costa Smeralda cruise ship at Civitavecchia port near Rome while doctors determine whether two passengers have the coronavirus.

“A 54-year-old female Chinese national from Macau was placed in isolation in Costa Smeralda’s shipboard hospital last night along with her traveling companion, in accordance with health protocols,” a statement from the cruise company said. “As soon as the suspected case was detected, the medical team on board immediately activated all the relevant health procedures to promptly isolate and manage clinical conditions.”

Costa Smeralda arrived in Civitavecchia on Jan. 30. It was the last day of a seven-day cruise that departed Civitavecchia Jan. 23, according to the company.

One passanger on the cruise posted photos of people sitting on the floors with their suitcases with the caption, written in Italian, “judge this yourself.” When he first posted photos, around noon local time, he said he didn’t know why they were trapped on the vessel.

The cruise ship’s itinerary included La Spezia, and Savona, Italy; Marseilles, France; and Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises’ first LNG-powered cruise ship, entered service in December 2019. The ship has a guest capacity of 6,554 and 1,678 crew members.

As soon as the suspected case was detected, the medical team on board immediately activated all the relevant health procedures to promptly isolate and manage clinical conditions, the company said.

A local news outlet reported that Costa Cruises has canceled nine cruises from China as a precautionary measure.

“It is our utmost priority to ensure the health and safety of passengers and crew. The company is at complete disposal of the health authority and their indication will be strictly applied,” the statement said. “Costa Cruises continues to apply relevant national policies and epidemic protocols, as per World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indications.”