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Cruise Ship Stuck at Sea Due to Coronavirus Scare Allowed to Dock

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A cruise ship from the United States that was blocked from docking at several ports in Asia due to concerns about the coronavirus has finally been able to anchor in Cambodia, signaling an end to the saga.

According to BBC.com, Holland America’s MS Westerdam departed from Hong Kong on February 1 as part of a 14-day voyage and was scheduled to conclude the sailing in Yokohama, Japan, on Saturday when around 20 people onboard reported symptoms similar to coronavirus.

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Instead, the 2,257 passengers and crew members aboard the Westerdam were denied entry at ports in Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand due to concerns related to the viral outbreak that killed at least 1,300 people in China.

Officials from Holland America said there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Westerdam, giving Cambodian provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun the clearance needed to let the ship dock in Sihanoukville on Friday morning.

At the dock, medical professionals were waiting to conduct testing and buses were lined up to transport passengers to the local airport so they could board a connecting flight to Phnom Penh before traveling home.

Holland America announced it would foot the transportation bill for impacted customers.

“The permission to dock is to stop the disease of fear that is happening around the world,” Cambodian premier Hun Sen told local media outlets. “We must help them when they asked us for help.”

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