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Coronavirus: stranded Dutch cruise ship allowed to moor

A dream cruise that turned into a morose accumulation of miles at sea," Credit: © Belga

A Dutch cruise ship, the MS Westerdam, which has been stuck in the South China Sea for 10 days arrived in the port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia on Thursday around 7:00 AM local time.

This information comes from Holland-America Line (HAL), based on navigation data from the ship, which had been rejected from several Asian ports in recent days due to coronavirus fears.

Passengers can disembark within a few days and do not have to go into quarantine, Belga reports. According to the Ministry of Health there is no reason to assume that the guests and crew are carrying the virus, however, a brief medical check-up may still be required by the Cambodian authorities.

A Belgian couple is among the passengers, alongside some 90 Dutch people. “It was to be a dream cruise with five stopovers, including Mount Fuji in Japan. A dream cruise that turned into a morose accumulation of miles at sea,” the couple told the Gazet van Antwerpen newspaper on Tuesday.

The Netherlands and the United States announced on Tuesday that they were working together to find a solution to get the 1,455 holidaymakers and 802 crew members out of the uncomfortable situation.

Another ship

Fears continue to mount for the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship carrying dozens of passengers infected with the coronavirus. The 3,700 passengers of the ‘corona cruise’, including five Dutch and four French, have to remain in quarantine in their rooms.

On Thursday, the Japanese Minister of Health Katsunobu Kato announced 44 new positive cases of Covid-19 onboard the cruise ship, after new tests on 221 people. This brings the total number of infections on the ship to 218.

The ship has been docked for days in the port of Yokohama in Japan.

The Brussels Times