2 Maltese nationals stuck on cruise liner due to coronavirus

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Two Maltese nationals are stuck on a cruise-liner which was refused docking in several countries, fearing passengers might be infected with coronavirus, despite there were no reports of infected passengers.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said that it was informed that two Maltese passengers were on board MV Westerdam which has been stranded for eleven days. The cruise-liner will be allowed to dock in Cambodia on Thursday. The cruise-liner sailed from Hong Kong on 1 February 2020.

The government said that it kept contact with the two stranded citizens and their relatives. It added that the case will be followed to ensure their safe return to Malta.

The Ministry said that there were no Maltese passengers stranded on board Diamond Princess which is outside Yokohama, Japan.

Thailand was the fifth country to refuse docking to the MV Westerdam. Holland American Line which operates the cruise liner in question said that none of the passengers on board its vessel were infected with coronavirus.

1,455 tourists and 802 crew members are stranded on the vessel.

Countries which refused entry to the cruise liner include Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and Guam, leading to the cruise liner being stranded for a total of eleven days in the South China Sea.

The company said that the cruise-liner was sailing for Sihanoukville, Cambodia and would arrive at 7am local time on 13 February. The cruise-liner will remain in port for several days for disembarkation, Holland America Line tweeted.