February 20, 2020
The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh continues to coordinate with Holland-American Line (HAL) and the Cambodian government to assist U.S. citizen passengers of the MS Westerdam in Cambodia with onward flights home.
Since a passenger from the MS Westerdam tested positive for COVID19 (novel coronavirus) upon arrival on Saturday, February 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Cambodian Ministry of Health (MOH) began testing the passengers and crew from the MS Westerdam. The Cambodian Ministry of Health announced on February 19 that 781 passengers from the MS Westerdam in Cambodia have tested negative for COVID-19 and received clearance to travel to their onward destinations. No passengers or crew in Cambodia have tested positive. We hope the remaining MS Westerdam passengers will be able to leave Cambodia soon.
Just a reminder: we continue to consult closely with the State Department Bureau of Medical Services, U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Cambodian CDC (CCDC), and Cambodian Ministry of Health to assess the risks of any exposure to COVID19. The type of contact U.S. Embassy staff and other individuals have had with the passengers and crew of the MS Westerdam is considered low risk for exposure to COVID19. Risk is determined by the distance (less than 6 feet) and duration (more than 15 consecutive minutes) of exposure to a person with confirmed COVID19 infection. Outdoor or large indoor spaces such as the airport departure hall reduce risk because of greater ventilation. Medical and public health experts agree that it is not necessary at this time for U.S. Embassy members and staff to quarantine themselves from their family members or colleagues. For more information, go to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
The safety and well-being of U.S. citizens is the top priority of the State Department. We understand COVID19 has caused concern across the region and around the world. We continue to work around the clock to remain up-to-date on developments to keep you informed. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns at +855 23 728 523 or via email at ACSPhnomPenh@state.gov.