Minister for Home Affairs Hon. Otis Morris is vehemently denying that a cruise ship – the Carnival Freedom – arrived Wednesday in Grand Turk with COVID-19 infected passengers, who were then allowed to disembark and mingle with the community.
Labelling the rumour as ‘untruth’, Morris indicated that he was befuddled as to why someone would ignite and spread such unfounded gossip.
“Just to clear the air on the speculation on the ship that supposedly had docked in Grand Turk. It is untruth…the rumour came about because the same ship was turned off, I think, from going into Aruba because of their restrictions,” Minister Morris stated.
A seemingly frustrated Morris pointed out that the ship did not come to Grand Turk on the day it was turned away from Aruba, even though there were no recorded COVID-19 positive passengers on board.
He further stated that the Carnival Freedom, after being turned away from Aruba, was allowed to dock in the Dominican Republic that same day before returning to the United States. He pointed out that the ship came to Grand Turk after it had returned from the United States.
“The same ship was then allowed into the Carnival Port in DR (Dominican Republic), and after that, it went to the States, and then reloaded and came back (Grand Turk),” he stated.
He added: “There was no positive (COVID-19 case) that was on that ship. There were some problems that they had with the authorities in Aruba, that they did not allow them in, but they did allow them into the DR, but there were no passengers on there which was positive.”
Declaring that the seemingly false information caused jitters among the Grand Turk populace, Morris urged those who always seek to manufacture such rumours to cease such practice because it could have a telling effect on the country’s economy in general.
“Yesterday, it did cause a stir in Grand Turk with the two ships that were there, because people were saying this thing was happening, and it wasn’t so,” Morris said, revealing that he was forced to meet with the people at the craft village, to clear the air on the rumour.
“I was at the cruise port and at the village, and explained (to the people) that it (rumour) wasn’t so. These are the kinds of things that cause a lot of fear in our communities. I don’t like to see these kinds of things happening and then causing fear in our people,” he asserted.
Morris also pointed out that there were rumours of passengers from the ship being taken to the Cockburn Town Medical Center in Grand Turk for COVID-19 treatment.
“There was even a rumour that said that the hospital (in Grand Turk) was loaded with 20 people, who were on the ship…it is untruth. Nobody was taken to the hospital off the ship in Grand Turk,” he contended.