1,000 passengers, crew members disembark from Westerdam cruise ship: Cambodian authorities

2020-02-18 03:07:16 GMT2020-02-18 11:07:16(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian Ministry of Health said in a statement late on Monday that 1,010 out of the 2,257 people onboard the Westerdam cruise ship had been allowed to disembark from the ship in the last three days.

The statement said the first batch of 409 people left the ship on Friday, flying from the Sihanoukville International Airport, the third largest airport of the country, to the Phnom Penh International Airport in the capital before taking flights to their home countries.

Another 601 people disembarked from the ship on Saturday and Sunday, and had flown to the capital to wait for flights to their homeland, it said, adding that the health authorities have been thoroughly providing health checks to the remaining Westerdam passengers both on the ship and in Phnom Penh.

Holland America Line, the operator of the Westerdam, said in a press release on Monday evening that Westerdam guests at a hotel in Phnom Penh have all completed the COVID-19 screening.

"Results are being returned when completed, with the first batch of 406 all being negative," the press release said. "Cleared guests may travel home, and arrangements are being made for those guests."

Double-checks on the remaining passengers came after one Westerdam passenger tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease while transiting in Malaysia.

The 83-year-old American is currently in stable condition, and her husband tested negative for the virus.

The Cambodian Ministry of Health said that so far no Cambodian has tested positive for the virus.

Cambodia allowed the Westerdam cruise ship, which had been denied entry to port by Thailand, Japan, China's Taiwan, Guam and the Philippines due to fears over the COVID-19, to dock at its sea port of Sihanoukville on Thursday. Passengers have been allowed to disembark since Friday after 20 sick passengers had tested negative for the virus.