Passenger From MS Westerdam Cruise Ship Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Posted on February 15, 2020

A passenger from the MS Westerdam cruise ship has tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus. The cruise ship had nearly 1,500 passengers and was denied entry at several Asian ports over the past few days before finally docking in Cambodia.

An 83-year-old U.S. woman from the ship has tested positive for the virus in Malaysia according the South China Morning Post. The Malaysia Health Ministry confirmed the new case. The woman flew from Cambodia to Malaysia on Friday after departing the ship.

Cambodia had claimed that none of the passengers tested positive for the virus but it is not clear how many of them were tested. A Reuters report says only 20 were tested when the ship docked. The ship also claimed there were no coronavirus patients aboard according to a USA Today story.

This is a different ship than the Diamond Princess cruise ship where 285 people have been confirmed to have contracted the virus. Given how quickly the coranavirus spread around the Diamond Princess it seems unlikely that this woman was the only infected person aboard the Westerdam ship. To contain the virus it will now be necessary to track down all the Westerdam passengers and crew and test them. Their contacts will also need to be traced should any of them test positive.

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Image: IVDC, China CDC via GISAID