A cruise ship in Kingstown earlier in the cruise season. (iWN photo)

Some 75% of cruise lines have indicated that they are suspending cruises for the balance of the season as a result of the coronavirus — COVID-19, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on Saturday.

“That’s hardship. We have to bear in mind we have 2,000-2,500 Vincentians working on those ships. Are they coming home right now?” he said in his National Heroes’ Day address at the Obelisk on Dorsetshire Hill.

“That’s an issue which has to be monitored from a health standpoint and also that has certain economic consequences for the families involved and for the economy, as a whole, because your earnings for this season have been cut short. And all the local support services for the cruise ships,” he said.

He made the announcement as he spoke about the economic impact of the virus.

“There’s no doubt that the economies in the world, the region and St. Vincent the Grenadines, the economies, have been adversely affected,” Gonsalves said.