By THE NATION
Referring to the company’s website, which stated that Thailand would allow the ship to dock at Laem Chabang Port on Thursday (February 13), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul posted on his Facebook page past midnight on Tuesday (February 11) that he had issued orders not to allow the ship to dock in Thailand.
The Japanese government had earlier prohibited the ship from docking at Yokohama Port to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, so the cruise company had turned to Thailand for help.
According to the previous arrangement, some 2,000 passengers would have disembarked in Chonburi and been transported directly to Don Mueang International Airport to board the planes to their home countries.
MS Westerdam was registered under Holland America Line with head office in Seattle, US. It left Singapore on January 16 for a month-long tour of Asia. It had picked up 600 passengers from Hong Kong on February 1. But it was denied docking by the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan, fearing there might be infected persons on the ship.