Authorities in Thailand refused entry to a Holland America cruise ship on Tuesday, due to fears that the ship may be carrying passengers sick with coronavirus.
According to TheHill.com, Holland America had previously told passengers of the MS Amsterdam that they would soon be able to disembark in Bangkok, Thailand and would be able to travel home from there. But Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, refused the ship’s entry. “I have issued orders. Permission to dock refused,” he reportedly posted to Facebook.
In its own statement, Holland America stated that the company is “actively working this matter & will provide an update when able.” The company acknowledged that its passengers may have been concerned by the revelation, saying “We know this is confusing for our guests and their families & we greatly appreciate their patience.”
In the wake of reports that over 130 passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship have been diagnosed with norovirus, world health authorities have been screening cruise passengers closely. Published reports indicate that the Diamond Princess contagion represents the largest concentration of coronavirus outside of mainland China.