WORLD

1,000 Passengers, Crew Members Disembark From Westerdam Cruise Ship

Health authorities have been thoroughly providing health checks to the remaining Westerdam passengers both on the ship and in Phnom Penh.
18 Feb 2020 15:39
1,000 Passengers, Crew Members Disembark From Westerdam Cruise Ship
The Westerdam cruise ship docks at southwest Cambodia's seaport of Sihanoukville on Feb. 14, 2020. The cruise ship, which had been turned away over fears of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, docked at Sihanoukville port on Thursday. (Photo by Li Lay/Xinhua)

The Cambodian Ministry of Health said in a statement late on Monday that 1,010 out of the 2,257 people onboard the Westerdam cruise ship had been allowed to disembark from the ship in the last three days.

The statement said the first batch of 409 people left the ship on Friday, flying from the Sihanoukville International Airport, the third largest airport of the country, to the Phnom Penh International Airport in the capital before taking flights to their home countries.

Another 601 people disembarked from the ship on Saturday and Sunday, and had flown to the capital to wait for flights to their homeland, it said, adding that the health authorities have been thoroughly providing health checks to the remaining Westerdam passengers both on the ship and in Phnom Penh.

Thailand’s Ministry of Transport on Monday announced that all the 27 Westerdam passengers who arrived in Thailand have tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

According to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, these passengers have been allowed to continue to go to their destinations. Two Thai passengers onboard the luxury cruise also showed no symptom of the coronavirus disease, now known as COVID-19.

Passengers leave the Westerdam cruise ship at southwest Cambodia's seaport of Sihanoukville on Feb. 14, 2020. (Photo by Li Lay/Xinhua)

Passengers leave the Westerdam cruise ship at southwest Cambodia’s seaport of Sihanoukville on Feb. 14, 2020. (Photo by Li Lay/Xinhua)

Holland America Line, the operator of the Westerdam, said in a press release on Monday evening that Westerdam guests at a hotel in Phnom Penh have all completed the COVID-19 screening.

“Results are being returned when completed, with the first batch of 406 all being negative,” the press release said. “Cleared guests may travel home, and arrangements are being made for those guests.”

Double-checks on the remaining passengers came after one Westerdam passenger tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease while transiting in Malaysia.

The 83-year-old American is currently in stable condition, and her husband tested negative for the virus.

The Cambodian Ministry of Health said that so far no Cambodian has tested positive for the virus.

Cambodia allowed the Westerdam cruise ship, which had been denied entry to port by Thailand, Japan, China’s Taiwan, Guam and the Philippines due to fears over the COVID-19, to dock at its seaport of Sihanoukville on Thursday. Passengers have been allowed to disembark since Friday after 20 sick passengers had tested negative for the virus.  ■

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