Mauritius allows Norwegian Dawn cruise ship to dock after no trace of cholera found

FILE PHOTO: Cruise ship Norwegian Dawn departs port near Hamilton Bermuda

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Mauritius will allow a ship belonging to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to dock after no trace of cholera was found in samples taken from passengers on board, a senior health official said on Monday.

Authorities on the island nation off the coast of east Africa prevented the Norwegian Dawn from docking over the weekend over what they said were "health risks," without elaborating.

Samples were taken from around 15 passengers who were experiencing a mild stomach illness.

Bhooshun Ori, director general of health services at the health ministry, told reporters that the samples had been analysed at a local laboratory and did not contain cholera.

The ship has more than 2,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members on board.

Mauritius' tourism authorities and port authority are working on a plan for passengers to disembark and new cruise passengers to board. Those disembarking will be screened by sanitary officers and provided with medical help if necessary.

Tourism is a key driver of Mauritius' economy.

(Reporting by Villen Anganan; Editing by Alexander Winning and Mark Potter)