A virus-hit cruise ship with hundreds of ill passengers and crew docked in Florida on Thursday after being banned from many countries in South America, ending a traumatic time at sea for those stranded aboard. The Zaandam owns by Holland America Line, ties up at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, with its sister ship the Rotterdam not far behind.
Their arrival comes after days of discussions as to whether they allow reaching Florida, and how they safely dock and disembark — as fears for the passengers grew. Four people died on the Zaandam, for reasons that have not yet been revealed.
All told, during the trip, 107 passengers and 143 crew registered flu-like symptoms but many have recovered since. A total of 14 people — 13 passengers and one member of the crew to shift to Florida hospital, authorities states.
A total of 1,250 passengers and 1,186 crew members strand loads with provisions at sea on the Zaandam and the Rotterdam, which last week came to the assistance of its sister ship. Initially, DeSantis states he does not wish the ships to dock, for fear of the ill passengers taxing the already stresses health care system of the City.
With more than 8,000 cases of coronavirus and at least 128 deaths, the Sunshine State — home to many elderly people — has the fifth-most cases in the US. But late Wednesday, DeSantis changes his mind, telling Fox News with U.S. people involving that he is unaware.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said Carnival-owned Holland America had settled on a “strict collection of guidelines”. It is covering how the passengers should disembark.
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After health checks, most travellers supposes to deem. It is “fit for travel” and to returning home by combining charter flights with private cars.
A hundred more people with mild symptoms will stay isolated onboard until they recover. Trump said he was negotiating with the British and Canadian authorities to repatriate the cruise liners on their nationals. The dire condition onboard the Zaandam prompted worldwide publicity. Also, but other ships at Port Everglades are awaiting permission to dock in.
Princess Cruises reported that it had received clearance from its Coral Princess. They would arrive in Florida on or about Saturday. It is with 12 report COVID-19 cases on board. The Zaandam, who leaves Buenos Aires on March 7, initially plans to complete the trip in Chile. It is on March 21 but reverses course due to the outbreak of the virus.
Following talks, while the ships wait in waters off Panama, it and the Rotterdam allows. This is to cross the Panama Canal to head for Florida. Rick De Pinho, a 53-year-old solicitor, and his wife were among passengers.