Coronavirus: 2nd test positive for US woman from cruise in Cambodia, Latest World News - The New Paper

Coronavirus: 2nd test positive for US woman from cruise in Cambodia

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KUALA LUMPUR/SIHANOUKVILLE: A US passenger from a cruise ship that docked in Cambodia has tested positive for the coronavirus a second time, Malaysia said yesterday, after the cruise company and Cambodian authorities sought further tests.

The 83-year-old woman was the first passenger from the MS Westerdam to test positive for the virus.

She was tested in Kuala Lumpur, where she arrived on Friday from the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville.

The cruise ship operator sought more tests. The Cambodian authorities also called on Malaysia to review its test results.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Waz Azizah Wan Ismail said yesterday the woman tested positive again on Saturday night.

"The Covid-19 retest was carried out on the husband and wife pair late last night and the results were the same. It is positive for the wife and negative for her husband," Dr Wan Azizah told reporters.

A total of 145 passengers from the cruise ship had arrived in Malaysia, but only the US couple showed symptoms, Malaysian authorities have said.

Dr Wan Azizah said 137 passengers have left Kuala Lumpur, while another six are awaiting flights to their destinations.

Malaysia will not allow any more Westerdam passengers to enter, "taking into account that all those passengers were in close contact with the earlier positive case", she said.

Malaysia will also turn away any cruise ship that departed or transited at any port in China, Dr Wan Azizah said.

The Westerdam passengers were tested regularly on board, and Cambodia also tested 20 people once it docked. None was found to have the virus.

The Westerdam arrived last Thursday in Cambodia with 1,455 passengers and 802 crew. It had spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand.

Operator Holland America Line said 236 passengers and 747 crew remained aboard.

In Japan, the number of people infected with the virus on a quarantined ship has risen to 355, the country's Health Minister said yesterday.

The figure is a jump of 70 cases from a government tally released on Saturday. The vessel has been in quarantine since Feb 5 at the port of Yokohama.

Japan has seen 53 infections across the nation. - REUTERS, AFP