Cruise ship refused entry by fifth port due to coronavirus fears
A Holland America Line cruise ship on Tuesday was refused entry to Thailand over fears of coronavirus. This is the fifth port to deny the ship to dock despite no cases of the virus having been confirmed on board the ship.
Holland America Line tweeted Monday that its MS Westerdam ship would be disembarking in Bangkok for travelers to head home, but on Tuesday the Thai health minister refused the ship’s entry.
“I have issued orders. Permission to dock refused,” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reportedly said in a Facebook post.
“We are aware of the reports regarding the status of Westerdam’s call to Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand,” Holland America Line tweeted Tuesday. “We are actively working this matter & will provide an update when able. We know this is confusing for our guests and their families & we greatly appreciate their patience.”
We are aware of the reports regarding the status of Westerdam’s call to Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand. We are actively working this matter & will provide an update when able. We know this is confusing for our guests and their families & we greatly appreciate their patience.
— Holland America Line (@HALcruises) February 11, 2020
Four other countries or territories have denied entry to the ship, including ports in Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and Guam, Bloomberg News reports, citing the World Health Organization.
Thai Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate said in a Facebook post the country would “gladly help providing fuel, medicine and food,” although the ship is not allowed to dock in the country’s port, Reuters reports.
A separate cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, is quarantined in Japan and has a total of 130 confirmed cases on board as of Monday.
Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and has spread globally to more than a dozen countries.
More than 1,000 people in mainland China have died from the virus.
Updated at 11:30 a.m. to clarify the cruise line.
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