Luxury cruiser docks in Phuket, no sick persons on board


PHUKET – Cruiser Seabourn Ovation was allowed to dock at the resort island as none of the passengers had a fever.

The cruise ship came from Hong Kong and Malaysia. It left Malaysia yesterday and docked at the Phuket deep-sea port at 7am. Upon its arrival, health officials checked the body temperatures of its passengers and found no one with a fever.

The cruise ship carried 495 passengers. Most of them are Europeans. One of them is Asian, an Indian. Crew members numbered 433. The ship totally had 928 people on board.

Phuket governor Pakapong Tawipat said local authorities seriously checked visitors on cruise ships in line with the standard procedures of the World Health Organization to help contain the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

“European visitors are quality tourists. They spend at least 6,000 baht a day. More than 3 million baht will be circulated. I guarantee that tourists from cruise ships undergo standard screenings to cope with Covid-19. Their temperatures are checked daily before their disembarkation. Doctors aboard their ship certified their health status. The ship will return to Singapore on February 15,” Mr Pakapong said.

According to him, 17 cruise ships will visit Phuket this month. Sixteen cruisers docked in Phuket last month. All the ships passed strict screenings of international standard.

Deputy government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul said Seabourn Ovation would dock for about 10 hours and was set to depart at 5pm today. The ship had received permission to visit Hong Kong, Vietnam, Chon Buri province, Koh Kut, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.

“Thailand does not ban travel or bar citizens of any particular country from paying a visit… The Seabourn Ovation ship’s visit is different from the docking request of Westerdam ship because Westerdam sought emergency docking away from its route. It was rejected by Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. It planned to send its passengers to other transport modes including air transport to return to their home countries,” Ms Traisulee said.