Cruise ship denied entry by four governments to finally dock in Cambodia

Cruise ship denied entry by four governments to finally dock in Cambodia
© getty

A cruise ship will be allowed to dock in Cambodia after four other countries’ governments turned it away over concerns about coronavirus being spread by passengers.

Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines had previously turned away the MS Westerdam despite assurances from its operator, Holland America Line, that there were no confirmed cases of the virus among the 2,200 passengers and crew on the ship, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick MurphyPatrick Erin MurphyOvernight Health Care: Rival surprise billing fix sails through House panel | Powerful Nevada union warns against Sanders health plan | Cruise ship denied entry over coronavirus fears to dock in Cambodia Cruise ship denied entry by four governments to finally dock in Cambodia Lawmakers close to finalizing federal strategy to defend against cyberattacks MORE said Wednesday that Cambodian authorities would allow the ship, whose passengers include U.S. citizens, to dock at the port of Sihanoukville. “We have also coordinated with foreign embassies of other nationalities,” Murphy added.

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The Westerdam is projected to arrive in the port Thursday morning, after which passengers will be able to transfer to charter flights to Phnom Penh and catch flights home, according to a statement from Holland America.

“All approvals have been received and we are extremely grateful to the Cambodian authorities for their support,” Holland America said in a statement.

The ship began its cruise in Singapore in January and has not successfully stopped since Hong Kong, where 50 coronavirus cases have been reported thus far.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has distinguished himself from other nations in the region with his response to the virus, refusing to bar direct flights to China, where it originated, for fear of hurting the national economy and Beijing-Phnom Penh relations. A single case has been record in Cambodia, a visitor from China.

The news comes as another cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, has been quarantined in Japan’s port of Yokohama with 174 confirmed cases of the virus among the passengers and crew.