PHNOM PENH, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Friday decided to ban all cruise ships from entering the country through the Kaom Samnor international checkpoint on the Cambodia-Vietnam border in a bid to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, according to an official notice.
In the notice to all cruise ship operators and agents, Mok Sideth, director-general of the General Department of Waterway and Maritime Transport, and Ports at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said the ban took effect immediately.
"The General Department of Waterway and Maritime Transport, and Ports decided to temporarily suspend entry permits for all cruise ships to the Kingdom of Cambodia through the Kaom Samnor international checkpoint from today until a new decision is made," he said.
The move came after three British tourists on board river cruise boat Viking Cruise Journey tested positive for the COVID-19.
The boat, carrying 30 tourists and 34 crew, departed My Tho Port in Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam on March 5 and visited Phnom Penh on March 7 through the Kaom Samnor international checkpoint before arriving in Kampong Cham City in southeast Cambodia on March 9.
The three British patients, a couple and a woman, have been put in isolation rooms at hospitals for treatment and health surveillance, as the other 61 passengers and crew, who tested negative for the virus, were quarantined at a hotel in Kampong Cham City for health monitoring.
To date, Cambodia has recorded five COVID-19 cases.