Cruise Ship Welcomed by Cambodia Is Anchored Offshore Pending Coronavirus Check

A frightening weeklong odyssey is nearing an end for almost 1,500 passengers on board the cruise ship MS Westerdam, which had been turned away from ports in four virus-wary countries before being allowed to anchor this week in Cambodia. 

Officials said passengers would be permitted to disembark Friday in the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville provided a health check showed they were free of COVID-19, the deadly, fast-spreading coronavirus first reported in Wuhan, China. 

The government of Cambodia, which has strong ties to Beijing, finally allowed the stranded cruise liner to anchor off its coast Thursday morning. The vessel, with 1,455 passengers and 802 crew on board, had previously been turned away by Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand. 

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