Coronavirus latest: At last! Passengers on doomed cruise ship FINALLY allowed off vessel

THOUSANDS of passengers on board the MS Westerdam have started to disembark the ship after finally being offered a safe harbour following the coronavirus scare.

Almost 2,000 passengers and crew members on board the MS Westerdam cruise ship have started to disembark amid fears passengers may have contracted the deadly coronavirus. The move comes after Cambodia offered passengers a safe harbour yesterday. Despite the panic, none of the passengers have tested positive for the coronavirus at this stage. The traumatised cruise goers were greeted by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who handed them flowers.


Earlier on Friday, Japan claimed it would step up its testing and containment efforts in a bid to halt the outbreak’s worrying growth.

The country’s health minister advised the public a woman in her 80s had died as a result of the virus.

They added that there were other cases of the virus which had been found in residents, which included a taxi driver and doctor.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “We will stay in touch with local governments and expand our testing procedures and treatment of patients in order to prevent the spread of the illness.”

So far, his Japanese Government has promised 10.3bn yen (£71.9m) to stop the virus.

Passengers disembark the ship

Almost 2,000 passengers and crew members on board the MS Westerdam cruise ship have started to disem (Image: GETTY)

Angela Driskell, from Indiana in the United States, said passengers disembarking in Sydney were delayed by three hours.

"They said that Australian health department needed to be able to clear the ship and that they were taking a look at any passengers that had any symptoms at all of respiratory issues," Andrea Driskell said outside the Sydney terminal.

Australia, which has been on heightened alert for the coronavirus after 15 people contracted the virus after arriving from China, has temporarily banned the entry of foreign nationals who have travelled through mainland China.

A cruise security staff member, who declined to be named, said: "This virus is causing havoc, we just want people to be safe."