WHO Appreciates Cambodia’s Act of Solidarity
AKP Phnom Penh, February 13, 2020 —
H.E. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has spoken highly of Cambodia’s authorisation to Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.
“My sincere thanks to the government and Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia for clearing the way for Westerdam Cruise ship to dock at Sihanoukville soon,” he said in a message on Twitter.
“This is a welcome act of solidarity at a time when the world has a window of opportunity to stop COVID-19 and avoid stigma and fear,” H.E. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed.
The giant Westerdam cruise ship arrived in Sihanoukville of Preah Sihanouk province this morning after receiving authorisation from the Royal Government of Cambodia.
The 285-metre-long and 32-metre-wide ship, with 1,455 multinational tourists and 802 multinational crewmembers on board, has been turned away by five countries amid fears of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) even though the ship claimed no infected passengers.
In an interview with a local media last night, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, explained the government’s decision to allow entry to Westerdam by humanitarian cause.
“This is a humanitarian act. It demonstrates Cambodia’s commitment for people of the world without racial discrimination,” underlined the Premier.
The authorisation is also to eliminate current global coronavirus fears, said Samdech Techo Hun Sen, reaffirming that “the real disease is fear, not coronavirus.”
The Westerdam’s operator Holland America Line said in yesterday’s statement, “We will arrive at 7:00 a.m. local time on Thursday, Feb. 13 and will remain in port for several days for disembarkation. Guests will be able to go ashore. All approvals have been received and we are extremely grateful to the Cambodian authorities for their support.”
In a message on Twitter, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. W. Patrick Murphy expressed his high appreciation to Cambodia’s humanitarian act.
“Cambodian authorities have authorised cruise ship Westerdam, with U.S. citizens among pax, to dock at Sihanoukville on Feb. 13. The ship reports no pax tested positive with coronavirus; medical personal on board are monitoring. We greatly appreciated Cambodian assistance,” he wrote.
By C. Nika