2 Singaporean passengers who were on board Westerdam quarantined at home

2 Singaporean passengers who were on board Westerdam quarantined at home

Passengers wave their towels as they are about to leave MS Westerdam, a cruise ship that spent two
Passengers wave their towels as they are about to leave MS Westerdam, a cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard might have the coronavirus, as it docks in Sihanoukville, Cambodia February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

SINGAPORE: Two Singaporean passengers who were on board the MS  Westerdam are being quarantined here, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Monday (Feb 17).

The National Development Ministry said later that the two are on home quarantine.

Mr Wong, who is the co-chair of a multi-ministry task force set up to deal with COVID-19, added: "We are not allowing any other passenger from the Westerdam to come into Singapore or to transit through Singapore." 

READ: Cruise ship stranded by COVID-19 fears to dock in Cambodia

He was responding to a question on the two passengers from the Westerdam during an interview held on Monday, where he had announced tighter restrictions for Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning to Singapore from mainland China.

Mr Wong on Monday said that of 1,200 people who are quarantined in Singapore, about half of them are in Government Quarantine Facilities.

CRUISE SHIP VIRUS FEARS

The cruise ship had docked in Cambodia on Thursday after spending nearly two weeks at sea. 

It had been turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand over fears that passengers could be carrying the novel coronavirus. 

READ: Scramble to track Cambodia cruise ship passengers after coronavirus case reported

Passengers of the Westerdam had been cleared to travel by Cambodian authorities after health checks when the cruise ship docked there. 

However, an American woman who flew to Malaysia from Cambodia later tested positive for the virus there. Holland America Line said it is working with governments and health experts to track passengers who disembarked from its cruise ship.

There were more than 2,200 passengers and crew on the ship when it docked in Sihanoukville, many of whom have now dispersed around the globe.

The cruise line, which is owned by cruise giant Carnival Corp, said none of the other 1,454 passengers and 802 crew have reported any symptoms.

READ: Cruise liners steer clear of mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore over COVID-19 fears 

There have been fears about the virus spreading via cruise ships after COVID-19 cases were found on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The ship docked off Japan's Yokohama now has more than 450 infections, forming the biggest cluster of cases outside China.

Editor's note: This article has been updated after the Ministry of National Development said the two Singaporeans are on home quarantine and are not at a Government Quarantine Facility.

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Source: CNA/ja(hm)

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