Asia

Cruise ship shunned over coronavirus fears arrives in Cambodia

HANOI: A cruise ship that had spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard may have the coronavirus arrived in Cambodia on Thursday (Feb 13), according to passengers and ship tracking data.

The MS Westerdam arrived at an anchoring point in the Cambodian port town of Sihanoukville early on Thursday morning, according to data published by the Marine Traffic website.

READ: Thailand refuses entry to cruise ship amid coronavirus concerns

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READ: Chess, squabbles aboard cruise ship cast away by coronavirus fears

"We've had so many near moments we thought we were going home only to be turned away," Angela Jones, an American tourist on board the ship, told Reuters.

Jones and her fellow passengers had spent almost two weeks at sea as the ship failed to find a country that would allow it to dock.

"This morning, just seeing land was such a breathtaking moment," said Jones.

"I thought: Is this real?"

Passengers onboard the ship have been subjected to regular health checks throughout the troubled journey, according to Holland America, the ship operator and a unit of Miami-based Carnival Corp.

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Although no-one onboard has fallen ill on board, the ship had been turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand over fears that someone on the cruise could have the new flu-like virus that has killed more than 1,300 people, almost all of them in China.

Stoking fears of authorities in those countries has been the ongoing quarantine in Japan of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, also managed by a unit of Carnival Corp. A total of 175 out of the 3,700 people on board the Diamond Princess have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Passengers relax on board the Holland America-operated Westerdam cruise ship, which has been denied permission to dock in Thailand over coronavirus fears, Feb 12, 2020. (Photo: Maria ARead More – Source