4 dead, 138 Ill Aboard MS Zaandam Off Coast Of Panama

4 dead, 138 Ill Aboard MS Zaandam Off Coast Of Panama

4 dead, 138 Ill Aboard MS Zaandam Off Coast Of Panama

Four passengers have now died aboard a cruise ship that's carrying at least two people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

The company said 53 of the 1,243 guests and 85 of the 586 crew aboard the Zaandam "have reported to the ship's medical center with flu-like symptoms".

Cruise line Holland America confirmed that four older passengers had died.

Holland America sent another cruise ship, the Rotterdam, with COVID-19 test kits, supplies, and relief personnel to meet Zaandam in Panamanian waters.

In the address, the captain also said more than 140 people on board are sick with flu-like symptoms. "Only those who have not been ill will be moved, and health screenings will be conducted before transferring", it said in a statement.

The ship is now carrying 138 people who have complained of flu-like symptoms, which are similar to coronavirus symptoms.

It took on medical supplies Thursday night from sister ship, Rotterdam, the company said in a Facebook post.

In total, more than 1,000 crew members are on board the ships, but no passengers. Any guests who are now ill, or in isolation as a close contact, and all crew will remain on the Zaandam.

David and wife Norma Kirkham, a couple from Sooke and some passengers from Nanaimo are among close to 250 Canadians on the ship, which has been refused entry by South American ports anxious about the pandemic.

"If there are confirmed cases of COVID-19, the ship has to go into quarantine", Vásquez was quoted by Telemetro Reporta.

"The onward plan for both ships is still being finalized, we continue to work with the Panamanian authorities on approval to transit the Panama Canal for sailing to Fort Lauderdale", the cruise line said.

The ship departed last March 7th from Buenos Aires for a tour that included the South Pole, and its final destination was San Antonio, on the coast of Chile, where it was denied docking. No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile, where guests were initially told they could disembark for flights but were not permitted to. Nobody has disembarked from the ship since it docked in Punta Arenas, Chile almost two weeks ago.

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