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Irish people among passengers on second coronavirus striken cruise ship

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Passengers react after they disembark from the MS Westerdam. AP Photo/Heng Sinith

Passengers react after they disembark from the MS Westerdam. AP Photo/Heng Sinith

AP

Passengers react after they disembark from the MS Westerdam. AP Photo/Heng Sinith

Irish people were among the passengers on a second cruise ship stricken by the coronavirus.

The Westerdam luxury ship was allowed to dock in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Saturday .Passengers were allowed disembark after one of them tested positive for the virus.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said Irish people were also on the ship and foreign affairs officials are working to repatriate them.

Meanwhile efforts are also underway to rescue Irish passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan.

There are hopes they can be included on a flight to the UK where they would face quarantine for two weeks.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said: "We are aware of the developing situation and are liaising closely with other like-minded countries regarding the consular needs of our citizens."

However, if it is arranged and the Irish couple accept the transport they are likely to have to endure another two weeks isolation in the UK, or another country, before they are allowed to return home to Ireland.

There were reports yesterday that a hotel near Heathrow airport has been block booked by England's Department of Health with a view to using it as a reported yesterday to be in discussions with the UK government to deploy a Virgin Atlantic plan for repatriation.

No case of the virus has been diagnosed in Ireland.

However, scores of people have been tested for it as a precaution.

In total, 4,501 people have been tested for Covid-19 in the UK, of which nine have come back positive.

The death toll in mainland China rose by 98 to 1,868, in figures announced early on Tuesday morning, while the number of people infected globally stands at 72,436, according to the country's National Health Commission.

Online Editors