Cambodia Prime Minister personally welcomes passengers of stranded cruise ship

The fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak has upended the dream vacations for thousands of sea-faring passengers.

The 2,257 passengers and crew abroad MS Westerdam heaved a sigh of relief when they finally saw land from their cabin windows and set afoot in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Their cruise liner had been marooned for days after five countries denied it entry fearing that somebody in the ship was infected.

On Friday, the passengers were welcomed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who handed out flowers to welcome them.

Though no one has shown any symptoms of the coronavirus, the Westerdam’s crew and passengers went through a health screening at the port.

Following the Philippines, Taiwan and  Hong Kong , Japan became the latest country to deny entry to all international cruise ships.

The scramble in Tokyo to close its ports came on the heels of a surge in confirmed cases in the cruise ship, Diamond Princess, which is currently under quarantine and docked in Yokohama. Nearly 220 people aboard the ship carrying 3,700 passengers and crew have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection.