A total of 781 passengers from the Westerdam Cruise Ship are one step closer to returning home after Cambodian health authorities said they had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
After being unable to find a port for days, the Westerdam finally was able to berth in Cambodia on February 13.
At the time, no cases of the virus had been reported aboard the Ship.
However, an 83-year-old American passenger tested positive for the virus in Malaysia while she was on transit home after disembarking the ship. That left hundreds of passengers either stuck on board the vessel or in hotels in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh as authorities scrambled to investigate the infection.
A ship in limbo: On board the ship when it docked were 1,455 passengers from several countries and more than 700 crew. As of Tuesday, only 1,000 people were left onboard the Westerdam, while another 500 or so were in Phnom Penh.
The Cambodian government said the negative test results were from both passengers on the ship and in the city.
No quarantine: Those still awaiting testing are not being held under any strict quarantine measures, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Dr. Or Vandline said.
She added that the passengers in Phnom Penh still awaiting their test results are being allowed to move around the city if they need to as long as they “exercise precaution.” The ministry has also advised passengers still in Cambodia to contact health officials if they are feeling unwell.
Both Malaysia and Thailand have said they will not allow Westerdam passengers to pass through their countries on their way home.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to accurately reflect the quarantine measures imposed on Westerdam passengers waiting for test results.