Passengers on ship turned away over virus fears disembark in Cambodia


MS Westerdam cruise ship is moored at port in Sihanoukville, where it has been granted permission to dock following nearly two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over coronavirus fears, Cambodia February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES NO ARCHIVES

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (Reuters) – Passengers on a cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over coronavirus fears started disembarking in Cambodia on Friday.

The MS Westerdam, carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew, docked in the Cambodian port town of Sihanoukville on Thursday. It had anchored offshore early in the morning to allow Cambodian officials to board and collect samples from passengers with any signs of ill health or flu-like symptoms.

After tests, no one on board was found to be carrying the virus, Cambodia’s health ministry said.

Cambodian authorities granted permission for passengers to disembark on Friday morning, the ship’s operator, Holland America Line, a unit of Miami-based Carnival Corp (CCL.N), said in an emailed statement.

Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Writing by James Pearson; Editing by Tom Hogue

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