Passengers on Dutch cruise ship refused entry to Thailand over coronavirus concerns

The passengers on Dutch cruise ship the Westerdam are not allowed to disembark in Thailand due to concerns over the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV. The Thai Minister of Health refused entry to the passengers. "I gave this order. Permission to disembark has been denied," he said in a statement, NOS reports.

The Westerdam left Hong Kong on February 1st. Owner Holland America Line initially reported that passengers will be allowed to disembark in Thailand after it was established that no one on board was infected with the virus. The passengers of the cruise ship were previously also refused entry to the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan.

There are around 2 thousand people on board the Westerdam, including some 90 Dutch, according to the broadcaster. What will happen now to the ship, is not yet clear. It is currently on the southern coast of Vietnam.

The coronavirus was detected in passengers of another cruise ship. Some 130 people on the Diamond Princess have been diagnosed with the virus. The ship has been anchored off the coast of Japan for days. There are around 3,700 people on board the Diamond Princess, including five Dutch. They are all in quarantine aboard the ship.