A Cruise Ship Carrying More Than 2,000 People Has Been Denied Entry To At Least 4 Ports
The MS Westerdam, which has more than 2,000 people on board, has now been denied entry by at least four different ports over fears of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Thailand’s Prime Minister said the country would try to assist the ship but that it would not allow the boat to dock in Thailand to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
No cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed on the ship so far.
The ship had originally departed Singapore on January 16 and called into ports in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong, according to marinetraffic.com.
In Hong Kong, the ship disembarked 1,254 guests and embarked 768 guests before departing, cruise company Holland America said.
Where was it meant to go? The ship planned to make stops in the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and finally China but revised the ship’s final destination from Shanghai to Yokohama following a warning by the US CDC on January 28th, according to the company. The Philippines and Taiwan announced closure of their ports to cruise ships due to the fear of coronavirus, and Japanese authorities announced they would deny the ship entry — leaving it in a “holding pattern” in the sea.
The cruise liner later announced plans to dock in Laem Chabang, Thailand to allow its passengers to disembark.
But at a press conference Tuesday, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said :We are not allowing them to dock on our port, however we will look into humanitarian assistance, if they wanted to refill their fuel or resupply their food and water, we would definitely provide.”
“There are a lot of people on board, more than 2,000 people. We have to be careful, not allowing the situation to turn into stage 3 of disease spreading (in Thailand),” he added.