Hong Kong – The fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak has upended the dream vacations at sea for thousands of passengers.
The 2,257 passengers and crew abroad MS Westerdam heaved a sigh of relief when they finally saw land from their cabin windows and set afoot in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Their cruise liner had been marooned for days after five countries denied it entry fearing that somebody in the ship was infected.
On Friday, the passengers were welcomed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who handed out flowers to welcome them.
Though no one has shown any symptoms of the coronavirus, the Westerdam’s crew and passengers went through a health screening at the port. Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen welcomes the passengers and crew of MS Westerdam on Friday in Sihanoukville [Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters] Following the Philippines , Taiwan and Hong Kong , Japan became the latest country to deny entry to all international cruise ships.
The scramble in Tokyo to close its ports came on the heels of a surge in confirmed cases in the cruise ship, Diamond Princess, which is currently under quarantine and docked in Yokohama.
On Thursday, Japan’s health officials confirmed 218 passengers and crew , as well as one quarantine officer, have been infected making it the largest cluster of infections outside China, the source of the COVID19 outbreak . Floating petri dish
Much like the virus, fear that any cruise ship can be a floating petri dish has also been spreading. However, health experts said ships are actually safer than aircraft."Cruise ships […]