Covid-19: Positive Test Results on American Woman Are Just Preliminary

AKP Phnom Penh, February 16, 2020 —

The reported Covid-19 positive test results on an American woman from Westerdam cruise ship are just preliminary and the secondary testing will be conducted for confirmation.

“While the first results have been reported, they are preliminary at this point and we are awaiting secondary testing for confirmation,” Westerdam’s operator Holland America Line underlined in a statement this morning.

The American woman, 83, was among the passengers who have disembarked the Westerdam cruise ship and taken charter flights from Preah Sihanouk province to Phnom Penh International Airport for their flight to Malaysia. However, her husband, 85, also an American, who traveled with her, was tested negative for the deadly virus.

“We are working with officials in Malaysia, Cambodia and the U.S. CDC as is standard,” said the company.

On Feb. 10, it continued, all 2,257 passengers and crew on board Westerdam were temperature-tested and not one person had an elevated temperature. Disembarking guests also completed a written health questionnaire and the passports of everyone on board were reviewed to ensure no one had traveled through mainland China in the prior 14 days. During the voyage there was no indication of Covid-19 on the ship.

For its part, the Ministry of Health of Cambodia has requested the Malaysian authorities to re-examine the test results on the American woman tested positive for Covid-19.

The request was made in a press release issued last night, a few hours after the circulation of report from the Malaysian health authorities.

The Ministry of Health has conducted thorough heath examinations and worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) as well as followed the technical standards and International Health Regulations of 2005 (IHR 2005) of the WHO, stressed the press release.

According to Holland America Line, Westerdam is alongside in Sihanoukville with 236 guests and 747 crew on board. The remainder of guests from the voyage departed Sihanoukville via charter flights to Phnom Penh yesterday and today and are in various stages of transit home.

By C. Nika