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UPDATE 1-Carnival's Costa Cruises halts operations through April 3

(Adds S&P downgrade, statement from Carnival on screening)

March 13 (Reuters) - Carnival Corp unit Costa Cruises said on Friday it had halted all its voyages through April 3, a day after a similar move by the company's Princess Cruises subsidiary.

Genoa, Italy-based Costa had earlier suspended trips departing from Italian ports.

Costa Cruises accounted for 15% of Carnival's overall capacity as of Nov. 30, offering voyages in Asia and Europe, including the Mediterranean.

The Princess Cruises unit has been in the spotlight after its Diamond Princess and Grand Princess ships were quarantined after they became hotbeds for coronavirus infections.

Separately, credit rating agency S&P Global said it lowered the credit ratings on Carnival and its unsecured debt to 'BBB' from 'A-', on expectations of a significant loss in revenue and cash flow in 2020.

Walt Disney's Disney Cruise Line and Finland's Viking Line have also temporarily paused operations as the global cruise industry battles cancellations in the wake of the fast-spreading virus.

The outbreak, described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic, has infected thousands in the Mediterranean countries such as Italy, where it has claimed more than 1,000 lives.

Carnival said it was checking if their guests are aged over 70 years and would deny entry to people with chronic or severe medical conditions. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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