February 20 ------ The Cambodian Ministry of Health has announced that 781 passengers on board the cruise ship Westerdam have tested negative for coronavirus. As explained, health screening indicated no signs of the passengers’ health-related concerns, with all of them being in a normal health condition without fever. “These results provide the required clearance for remaining guests in Cambodia to begin their onward journey home,” Holland America Line, the owner of the vessel, said in a separate statement. The company added it is working to finalize arrangements for everyone.
“Westerdam will remain alongside in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, for at least a few more days until testing is complete on the 747 crewmembers on board,” the cruise line informed. Westerdam was allowed to dock in Cambodia on February 13 after it had been banned from several other ports due to the coronavirus threat. Prior to arrival in Sihanoukville, all 2,257 passengers and crew were screened for illness including the taking of individual temperatures. No individual at that time was identified with an elevated temperature. On February 14, Westerdam received clearance to begin disembarkation.
However, an American woman, who disembarked the cruise ship and reached Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, tested positive for COVID-19. This resulted in extensive health checks of the remaining people on board the Westerdam as well as those who left the ship and spread around the globe. Carrying 2,257 persons on board, the 82,862 GT Westerdam departed Hong Kong exactly nineteen days ago.