Westerdam’s Passengers Tested Negative for COVID-19
AKP Phnom Penh, February 13, 2020 —
The 20 passengers of Westerdam’s cruise ship, who had some health problems, were tested negative for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia.
The laboratory test result was communicated this evening by H.E. Dr. Ly Sovann, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health.
The 20 passengers are among the more than 2,200 tourists and crewmembers on board of Westerdam which docked at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port today after getting the authorisation from the Cambodian authorities.
Westerdam cruise ship has been turned away by some countries amid fears of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) even though the ship claimed no infected passengers.
Tomorrow morning, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, will extend warm welcome to the passengers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, as a host with solidarity and responsibility.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen yesterday 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.”
Cambodia’s humanitarian act has been welcomed by different milieus. H.E. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed sincere thanks to the Royal Government of Cambodia and Samdech Techo Hun Sen for clearing the way for Westerdam Cruise ship, stressing that it 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.
On its Facebook page this evening, the EU Delegation to Cambodia also thanked the Cambodian authorities for authorising the docking of the Westerdam, and expressed its sympathy to the passengers and crewmembers of the ship, hoping they will soon be safely repatriated.
For his part, 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 in a Twitter message.
(Photo: Lanh Visal)
By C. Nika