Passengers on three cruise ships trapped amid coronavirus outbreak

Three cruise ships in Asia have had their journeys disrupted or brought to a halt by the virus.

Diamond Princess Cruise Ship:

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, on which the Frasures were travelling, has been quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, near Tokyo, since Tuesday, after a former passenger tested positive for the coronavirus.

There are more than 3,700 people on board the Diamond Princess, including 2,600 passengers, of whom 428 are American. So far, 61 passengers have tested positive for the virus, and the quarantine is expected to last until at least February 19.

Westerdam Cruise Liner:

In the middle of the East China Sea, the Westerdam is struggling to find a port to dock at after being turned away from both Taiwan and Japan over fears of passenger contamination.

The Westerdam cruise liner left Singapore on January 16 for what should have been a 30-day cruise around Asia. But after leaving Hong Kong on February 1, the ship has been turned away from the Philippines due to fears that there may be coronavirus cases on board. There is no suggestion that any passengers, current or former, have been infected.

The ship briefly docked in Kaohsiung, Taiwan but on February 6 Taiwan announced it would no longer allow international cruise ships to dock in its ports due to fears around the epidemic.

The Westerdam left Kaohsiung and was turned away from Taipei as well.

The ship, which is operated by Holland America, had been set to stop at five ports in Japan, but on Thursday the Japanese government said that it would not allow the Westerdam to call anywhere in their territory.

In a statement, Holland America said it understood that guests on board are concerned and it was doing everything it could to protect their health.

“We have implemented a significant number of measures. Our medical experts have been coordinating closely with global health authorities to implement enhanced screening, prevention and control measures for our ships,” the statement said.

“We have no reason to believe there are cases of coronavirus on board.”

The company added that all guests would receive a full refund of their cruise fare plus a future cruise credit of 100% of their cruise fare.

Holst criticized the ship for stopping in at Hong Kong and taking on new passengers there, despite the Chinese territory having coronavirus cases.

In its statement, Holland America said it had followed US Centers for Disease and Control guidelines at the time the ship docked in Hong Kong on February 1.

World Dream Cruise Ship:

In Hong Kong, the 3,600 people aboard the World Dream cruise liner have been under quarantine for three days after a number of passengers from a former voyage tested positive for the coronavirus.

Three crew members have been evacuated from the ship for treatment in hospital.

Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Hong Kong Department of Health said that all passengers would have to remain on board until “we complete the quarantine work.” Chuang said 33 crew members had shown symptoms of illness at varying degrees, although most had tested negative for the coronavirus.

Before arriving in Hong Kong, the World Dream had docked at several ports across China and Vietnam. On January 24, after visiting those locations, more than 4,400 passengers disembarked mostly to return to mainland China.

Not long after, eight of those former passengers were confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus, potentially leaving the ship contaminated.

Dream Cruises has said it is attempting to contact passengers who had previously been on board the World Dream “to inform them of the situation and seek professional health assistance.”

So far more than 31,400 people globally have been infected by the pneumonia-like coronavirus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and at least 630 have died, predominantly in mainland China.

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