KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — A Church of Scientology cruise ship is currently under quarantine in Curacao after first being held in St. Lucia.
More than 300 people on the 134 metre ship have been under strict quarantine ever since a crew member had been diagnosed with measles, exposing them to possible contagion.
The cruise ship Freewinds had not been permitted to disembark any of its passengers in St. Lucia and was forced to return to its home port in the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curacao.
The Church of Scientology operates the cruise ship based in the Caribbean, where it holds religious retreats “ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counseling in the Scientology religion.” Religious conventions and seminars are held aboard.
Health officials expressed worry of the highly contagious disease spreading via the ship to locations where people would have lower resistance levels and having higher risk of severe complications, particularly in poor countries.
Those who have already been previously vaccinated or have had the measles would be free to leave the cruise ship. The rest remain confined while a team continues to conduct assessments.
Several high-profile Scientologists have spoken out against vaccines, including US actresses Kirstie Alley and Juliette Lewis .