Passengers with symptoms of the infectious stomach bug
norovirus left cruise ship Dawn Princess while it was berthed
at Port Chalmers on Monday to take their scheduled tours.
The situation was raised yesterday at a debriefing for the
cruise ship industry in the context of a concern about a lack
of toilet facilities at Baldwin St, Northeast Valley.
The operator said a passenger with norovirus symptoms was
directed to the nearby Otago Community Hospice in North Rd.
Hospice chief executive Ginny Green said when contacted the
hospice had ongoing issues with tourists wanting to use its
toilets and ordinarily did not allow them to do so.
''But this man was in serious distress.''
Staff did not find out until after he had visited that he had
He had been limited to the front of the building, so patients
and their families were not at risk, she said.
Once staff knew what they were dealing with, they took the
containment precautions recommended.
Ms Green had been assured the council was considering the
situation, but there was no land available for public
''I really encourage tourism operators to tell their
passengers there are no toilet facilities down here and they
need to stop at the Gardens.''
Port Otago commercial manager Peter Brown said the incident
would be taken up with the cruise ship company, Princess
''[The company] will get a rocket about that,'' he said at
Last night, Mr Brown said Port Otago had not received
confirmation of a norovirus outbreak.
''We haven't been advised about anything by the boat or
Public Health South. If there had been an outbreak and we
weren't advised of it, that would be of some concern to us,
both to the port and tourism operators,'' he said.