Rate of New Fatalities Drops in China

March 15, 2020

Passengers disembarked from the Westerdam in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.Credit…Heng Sinith/Associated Press

An American woman who disembarked from a cruise ship in Cambodia last week has tested positive twice for the coronavirus since flying on to Malaysia, officials in that country said on Sunday.

Cambodia allowed the ship, the Westerdam, to dock after five other ports turned it away over concerns about the coronavirus.

Officials said more than 140 passengers from the ship had flown from Cambodia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital. All but the American woman and her husband had been allowed to continue to their destinations, including airports in the United States, the Netherlands and Australia.

The woman, who is 83, and her husband, who is 85 and also an American citizen, were both hospitalized and placed in isolation. The husband tested negative for the virus, but he has pneumonia, which is often a sign of the virus.

Dr. Eyal Leshem, director of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Diseases at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, called the disclosures “extremely concerning” and said, “We may end up with three or four countries with sustained transmission of the virus.”

The Westerdam, carrying 2,257 passengers and crew, departed from Hong Kong on Feb. 1 and was at sea for nearly 14 days.

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