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Coronavirus strands couple on cruise ship in Hong Kong

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

An Adelaide couple on a cruise through Asia say they have been “rejected again” after the liner was denied entry to ports due to the coronavirus threat.

An Adelaide couple on a cruise through Asia say they have been "rejected again" and are feeling unloved after the Holland America liner was denied entry to several scheduled ports due to the coronavirus threat.

Grandparents David Holst and his wife Judy are on board Holland America's MS Westerdam, which entered Hong Kong on Saturday resulting in a planned stopover in Manila being cancelled when authorities denied the boat entry.

Mr Holst posted on Sunday on his Facebook page, "It was greed and stupidity when Holland America sent our ship into Hong Kong yesterday given HK is on red alert, the highest level you can have around the virus and other cruise lines were cancelling HK stops as HK is the gateway to China".

He said the crew "did not even bother to offer face masks to passengers going ashore" so they disembarked using their own and they "did not see any temperature screening for those 700-800 joining the cruise".

He described sanitation prevention on the liner as "ordinary" and said they were not amused as it was totally avoidable if Holland America had acted "more responsibly".

Mr Holst said planned stops at Hualien in Taiwan today had now also been cancelled, but the liner was heading to Kaohsiung further south tomorrow.

"I am feeling unloved," he said, blaming Holland America for the disruption to the itinerary by "recklessly went to Hong Kong".

Mr Holst says there are "plenty of Aussies" on board, including others from Adelaide and criticised the cruise company for only really caring "about dollars".

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Hong Kong has recorded 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus which are including in the national total of 17,238 cases.

China has agreed to allow US health experts into the country as part of a World Health Organisation (WHO) effort to help fight the fast-spreading coronavirus, as the number of cases and deaths continued to mount.

In central China's Hubei province, epicentre of the epidemic, China state TV reported there were 2345 new cases of the virus and another 64 deaths, bringing the total of virus-related fatalities in Hubei to 414 by yesterday.

The death toll in mainland China has risen to 425, with the total number of cases now standing at 20,438, officials said today.

Source: 9News

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