Phnom Penh (FN), Feb. 13 – The US Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy thanked and appreciated the Royal Government of Cambodia for allowing the Westerdam ship to dock in Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Port on Thursday after she was refused entries to six countries due to fearing of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19).

“Cambodia authorities have authorised ship Westerdam, with US citizens among pax, to dock at Sihanoukville on 13 February. The ship reports no pax tested positive with coronavirus; medical personnel on board are monitoring. We greatly appreciate Cambodian assistance,” W. Patrick Murphy tweeted on Wednesday night.

With approval of Cambodia’s Government, the Westerdam cruise, which has 1,455 passengers and 802 crew on board, finally docked in Cambodia’s Sihanoukville port at 7 a.m on Thursday local time after she was refused entries to six countries due to fearing of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19).

The ship was denied entries by Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Guam, South Korea, and the Philippines despite assurances from operator Holland America Line that no cases of the viral disease known as COVID-19 have been confirmed among the more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told Fresh News CEO Lim Chea Vutha in a special interview on Wednesday night 12 February that the motives of entry are to eliminate fear and discrimination.

“Like I said, the real disease is fear, not the virus. We want to eliminate the fear of disease,” the premier told Fresh News CEO.

“Cambodia does not discriminate any countries. We must contribute to humanitarian affairs in times of emergency,” he said.

“The Kingdom does not just cooperate with China, but with all nations. Coronavirus is a global challenge, and that our humanitarian affairs have no borders,” the premier underlined.