The Holland-US “MS Westerdam” cruise ship has been refused docking permission at Laem Chabang Port in Chonburi, south east of Bangkok, after having been turned away by three other countries who were concerned about the spread of coronavirus.
Referring to the company’s website, which stated that Thailand would allow the ship to dock at Laem Chabang Port last Thursday, Deputy PM and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul posted on his Facebook page that he had issued orders not to allow the ship to dock in Thailand.
The vessel carrying 1,455 passengers, including four Japanese nationals and 802 crew, was scheduled to enter Naha Port in Okinawa prefecture over the weekend. But following Japan’s order, the plan was cancelled.
The Japanese government had earlier prohibited the ship from docking at Yokohama Port to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, so the cruise company had turned to other posts, then Thailand. The plan was to dock, some 2,000 passengers would disembark in Chonburi and be transported directly to Don Mueang International Airport to board planes back to their home countries.
MS Westerdam was registered under the Holland America Line with its head offices in Seattle, US. It departed Singapore on January 16 for a month-long tour of Asia. It picked up 600 passengers from Hong Kong on February 1. Since then it’s been denied docking permission by the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan, fearing there could be infected passengers on board.
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