'Westerdam' passengers enter Cambodia

SIHANOUKVILLE: Passengers on a cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over coronavirus fears started disembarking in Cambodia on Friday.

The Westerdam, carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew, docked in the Cambodian port town of Sihanoukville on Thursday. It had anchored offshore early in the morning to allow Cambodian officials to board and collect samples from passengers with any signs of ill health or flu-like symptoms.

After tests, no one on board was found to be carrying the virus, Cambodia's health ministry said.

Flights were being organised to help passengers return home.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen personally greeted the passengers with handshakes and bouquets of roses as they stepped off the ship and boarded a waiting bus.

On Tuesday, the Westerdam tried to dock in Bangkok, but Thai authorities denied permission.

Related search: passengers, coronavirus fears, cruise ship, health ministry

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Writer: Gary Boyle
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