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Scramble to track Cambodia cruise ship passengers after coronavirus case reported

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SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (Reuters) - Holland America Line said it is working with governments and health experts to track passengers who disembarked from its Westerdam cruise ship docked in Cambodia after an American woman tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia.

 

The cruise line, which is owned by cruise giant Carnival Corp, said none of the other 1,454 passengers and 802 crew have reported any symptoms.

“Guests who have already returned home will be contacted by their local health department and be provided further information,” a statement from the company said.

 

Passengers had been cleared to travel by Cambodian authorities after health checks when the cruise ship docked on Thursday. It had spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand.

 

But on Saturday, Malaysia said an American woman who arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Friday on a chartered flight had tested positive for the new coronavirus that has killed more than 1,700 people, the vast majority in China.

The woman’s husband tested negative for the coronavirus.

 

About 137 of the 145 passengers on the chartered flight had already left for other countries as of Sunday after showing no signs of illness, Malaysian authorities said.

 

Dozens more of the Westerdam passengers had flown through Thailand and onward to other countries, Thai officials said.

At least 236 passengers and 747 crew remain aboard the vessel off the Cambodian port city of Sihanoukville, Holland America said. Others were in hotels in Phnom Penh, the capital.

 

Holland America said it is working with health officials in Malaysia and Cambodia and experts in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

“These experts are working with the appropriate national health authorities to investigate and follow-up with individuals who may have come in contact with the guest,” said Dr. Grant Tarling, Chief Medical Officer for Holland America Line.

 

Several hundred other passengers who left the ship are still in Cambodia, according to passenger Holley Rauen, a public health nurse and midwife from Fort Myers, Florida.

 

“I believe there’s 300 Americans here at this hotel plus a few hundred from other countries. We will all be tested for the coronavirus today and tomorrow by the Cambodian Ministry of Health,” Rauen told Reuters on Sunday.

 

“We have no idea when we get to get home but Holland America is working on all of our flight reservations. We have ambassadors from the U.S. Embassy here in Phnom Penh as well as from Australia and other countries to help people figure out what to do,” she said.

 

Additional reporting by Ebrahim Harris in Kuala Lumpur and Orathai Sriring and Chayut Setboonsarng in Bangkok; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Lincoln Feast

 

--  REUTERS

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Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time !

 

Oh sh*t, Anutin can now say, "see, I made the right decision".

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Where's the "super car" of Immigration that can find all foreigners, anywhere?

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5 hours ago, neeray said:

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time !

 

Oh sh*t, Anutin can now say, "see, I made the right decision".

Not when many of the Passengers that were aboard the "Westerdam " transited through the Thai Airports for there flights back to their home Countries.

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This was doomed to happen. I think there will be more on this in coming days.

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7 hours ago, geovalin said:

American woman tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia.

Didn't they say that every one was Cleared and tested Negative? Just shows How wrong they can be . Thailand was right to not let the ship dock in Thailand .   

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But they let shedloads of them pass through the airport and there's still no ban on Chinese tourists as far as I know. Four loud Chinese were in front of me on the escalator in a well known supermarket on Pattaya Klang and none were wearing masks.

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47 minutes ago, digger70 said:

Didn't they say that every one was Cleared and tested Negative? Just shows How wrong they can be . Thailand was right to not let the ship dock in Thailand .   

The Cambodians only tested 20 out of the over 2,000 passengers and crew. These were having some kind of stomach ailment.      

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The current testing regime at border posts seems to be mostly farcical. Probably catches no more than, say, 10% of possibles?

 

Having a high temperature is likely to be a sign of something not right, so bears followup. And that's fine.

 

But NOT having a high temperature tells you nothing about possible viral infections that may manifest themselves tomorrow or in 2 weeks' time.

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14 hours ago, dabhand said:

The Cambodians only tested 20 out of the over 2,000 passengers and crew. These were having some kind of stomach ailment.      

Well that's not good enough they should've tested the lot.

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15 hours ago, dabhand said:

The Cambodians only tested 20 out of the over 2,000 passengers and crew

Maybe they were showing humanity did not want to harass everyone and feel 2% is a sufficient test base. 🙂

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And the hits just keep on common!

let people loose home hive been in confined spaces with infected people then wonder why there are more clusters of this dangerous influenza strain popping up. What the he.l are these so called responsible health officers and governments across the globe thinking!!!!

isolate anyone and everyone who’s had the slightest possibility of contact and transmission and quarantine them. Stop this insane repatriation. Have we all gone completely mad! 

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