Three passengers on Viking’s Mekong ship have tested positive for COVID-19 as the ship is docked and quarantined in Kampong Cham, Cambodia.
The first passenger who tested positive on Tuesday was a 65-year-old British woman who is travelling in a group of five people, according to local media VOA Cambodia.
The Ministry of Health said on Thursday that a 73-year-old Englishman and his 69-year-old wife have tested positive for the virus. The couple has been quarantined at the Kampong Cham provincial hospital, the Phnom Penh Post reported.
Cambodian Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng told an urgently called press conference on Tuesday evening that the ship is currently under strict quarantine on a river in Kampong Cham, according to the Phnom Penh Post.
“The woman contracted the novel coronavirus infection from a Vietnamese national who sat beside her as they travelled on the same flight from England to Vietnam last week. The British woman then boarded the ship which left Vietnam on March 5 and arrived in Phnom Penh on March 7,” he said.
“The passenger is British and we understand this guest was exposed to the virus on Vietnam Airlines flight VN54 from London to Hanoi on March 2nd and subsequent tests by the Cambodian authorities confirmed that she had contracted the virus,” says the line in a statement.
The line confirms that there are no Australians onboard Viking Mekong. The ship has 31 guest from United States, Britain and Canada and 31 crew comprising of Cambodians, Danish, Myanmar national and Vietnamese, the Khmer Times reported.
“We can confirm that the Cambodian Ministry of Health have announced that two of our British river cruise guests have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19,” says Viking.
“The passengers have been transferred to a local hospital and we are doing everything we can to look provide full support, and are in contact with the guest’s family and the relevant authorities.
“As a precaution, all 29 guests and 31 crew on the ship were tested for the virus and we are coordinating with the Cambodian authorities about the best course of action for the guests and crew who remain on board. Our priority will be to maintain their comfort and wellbeing.”
The ship was sailing a 15-day itinerary beginning in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and travelled to Cambodian capital Phnom Penh before arriving in Kampong Cham on the sixth day of sailing. The sailing was meant to conclude in Hanoi, Vietnam.
“According to our procedures, all of the passengers’ temperatures were tested in Saigon at the start of their cruise, and this passenger, along with all other passengers, showed no signs of ill health and did not have a fever or any other symptoms,” says Viking.