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Coronavirus Infection Found After Cruise Ship Passengers Disperse

Amid assurances that the Westerdam was disease free, hundreds of people disembarked in Cambodia and headed for airports. One was later found to be infected.

The Westerdarm docked in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Saturday.Credit...Tang Chhin Sothy/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Richard C. PaddockSui-Lee WeeRoni Caryn Rabin

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The cruise ship had been shunned at port after port for fear it might carry the coronavirus, but when the Westerdam arrived in Cambodia on Thursday, the prime minister greeted its passengers with flowers.

Amid assurances that the ship was disease free, hundreds of elated passengers disembarked. Some went sightseeing, visiting beaches and restaurants and getting massages. Others traveled on to destinations around the world.

One, however, did not make it much farther than the thermal scanners at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. The passenger, an American, was stopped on Saturday, and later tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Sunday, with passengers already headed for destinations on at least three continents, health officials were scrambling to determine how a big a problem they now have — and how to stop it from getting bigger.

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