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The Malaysian Health Ministry has confirmed that an American woman who was onboard the MS Westerdam cruise ship is infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The ship was finally allowed to dock in Cambodia after having been denied entry by at least five other countries.
145 passengers from the cruise ship are reported to have flown to Malaysia on February 15 after disembarking in Cambodia.
Local health officials stated that the 83-year-old American woman and her husband displayed symptoms of the coronavirus upon landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on February 15.
The woman has been moved to a hospital on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur and is said to be in stable condition. Her husband wasn’t found to be infected with the virus.
“A total of 145 passengers from the cruise ship had taken a flight to Malaysia on February 14, 2020. Of that number, the woman and her husband were detected as symptomatic as soon as they arrived at KLIA and were referred to Hospital Sungai Buloh for further tests," said Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Cambodia says cruise passengers were screened
Cambodian authorities have been carrying out health screenings on 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members. Prior to docking in Cambodia, samples were collected of those who were showing symptoms of the coronavirus. The samples were then airlifted to a hospital in Phnom Penh.
According to Cambodia’s health ministry, the hospital has found no traces of the coronavirus in the tested samples.
835 passengers from MS Westerdam have disembarked
A total of 835 people who disembarked on February 15 had left Cambodia. Due to the large numbers of passengers on the cruise ship, Cambodian officials reported that it would take at least three days for all passengers to disembark.
Malaysia has recorded 22 cases of coronavirus so far. Of those, 15 are Chinese nationals, one is American and six are Malaysians.