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A safe harbour

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A passenger knelt and kissed the ground upon disembarking to show gratitude to the country that “saved” his life. Chor Sokunthea

It was quite a controversy which prompted global response – Cambodia allowed MS Westerdam to dock in Sihanoukville, after the vessel was turned away by six other countries amid Covid-19 fears.

The vessel, which was carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew on board, was running low on food supplies and other essentials when Prime Minister Hun Sen decided to extend a helping hand.

While critics warned the move put the Kingdom at risk of being exposed to the notorious epidemic, others, such as American President Donald Trump, applauded the act – which has been viewed as a remarkable humanitarian gesture.

Chor Sokunthea, GT2’s photojournalist, captured the passengers’ euphoria and gratitude as they disembarked in the Kingdom, in this photo gallery.


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