World Health Organization thanks Cambodia for allowing stranded cruise ship to dock

Elias Hubbard
February 14, 2020

Twenty US passengers on board a cruise liner that has been stranded at sea for two weeks due to a coronavirus scare sparked health concerns on the MS Westerdam after suffering "abnormal health" and stomach pains.

The cruise ship which does not have any Coronavirus infections onboard has not been allowed to enter ports in five different countries during its 14-day cruise which departed Hong Kong on February 1.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen handed flowers to the departing passengers, who were put on buses to take them to an airport where they will continue their journey home.

But the vessel was barred by Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand over fears it was carrying someone with a new virus that has now killed around 1,400 people and sickened 64,000, mostly in China.

The ship in Japan, quarantined in the port of Yokohama, now has more than 200 confirmed cases - making the Diamond Princess the largest coronavirus cluster outside China.

Almost 220 people aboard the ship carrying 3,700 passengers and crew have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection. However, health experts said ships are actually safer than aircraft.

"We really can't complain, we are after all on a luxury cruise ship", she says. "This is because ships are usually at sea for several days, so this gives time for symptoms to show in people incubating the disease".

"We must help them when they asked us for help", he added.

Genting Cruise Lines, operator of three distinct ship-based holiday brands - Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises - has confirmed to GGRAsia it is cutting salaries for its senior staff because of the negative impact on business of a novel coronavirus.

World Health Organization thanks Cambodia for allowing stranded cruise ship to dock
World Health Organization thanks Cambodia for allowing stranded cruise ship to dock

Holland America Line updated their public statement Tuesday after Thailand became the latest country to reject the ship, saying they're aware of reports regarding the status of the ship's call to Bangkok and are "actively working this matter".

"We want to eliminate the fear of disease", he said in an interview with Fresh News, an online news service close to his government. Thailand and four other nations and territories had turned the ship away because of concerns over the coronavirus. "No idea when we will get off but it is warm and sunny and the spa is hot", Mr Holst posted on social media late last night. But Hanson was satisfied by the operator's handling of the marine mishap and the promise of full refund.

Unlike Hansen, passengers of another cruise were less lucky with getting their money back.

The operator Norwegian Cruise Line refused to offer any refund to customers who cancelled, according to USA media reports.

But passengers remained hopeful of making landfall and escaping the ship.

In response to the outbreak, Cruise Lines International Association whose member lines make up more than 90 percent of ocean-going cruise capacity worldwide, has issued new policies requiring pre-boarding screening.

But even long after disembarking, cruise passengers may still cause a health scare.

The daily death toll in the Chinese province at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak halved on Friday, officials said, while passengers on a cruise ship blocked from five countries due to virus fears finally disembarked in Cambodia. The club has voluntarily closed its doors to disinfect its facilities.

Cambodia allowed the cruise liner to dock on Thursday and for passengers and crew to later disembark. "There will be a brief health inspection on board by the Cambodian authorities which will take place at anchor just before we arrive".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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