Coronavirus: Stricken cruise ship with Kiwis head in the direction of Florida


The MS Zaandam cruise ship which has been battling with an outbreak of Covid-19, four deaths and over 189 passengers and crew reporting flu like symptoms.

Arnulfo Franco

The MS Zaandam cruise ship which has been battling with an outbreak of Covid-19, 4 deaths and over 189 passengers and crew reporting flu like signs.

A cruise ship battling an outbreak of Covid-19 with Kiwis on board was anticipated to go by the Panama Canal on Monday, however whether or not it could possibly dock at its last vacation spot within the US stays up within the air.

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In response to a press release on Saturday from the MS Zaandam’s house owners, Holland America Line, two individuals on the ship examined optimistic for Covid-19 and 4 older passengers had died. Presently 73 company and 116 crew members are reported to have flu-like signs.

Stuff understands there were 15 Kiwis on the cruise ship, which left Buenos Aires in Argentina on March 7 for a 14 day cruise by way of Uruguay and the Falkland Islands, earlier than stopping in Chile on March 21. 

However on March 13, the Zaandam was redirected to Punta Arenas in Chile the place the 1243 passengers had been anticipated to disembark to catch flights. Nevertheless, when it acquired to the port the passengers weren’t allowed to go away the ship resulting from considerations in regards to the flu-like signs the crew and passengers had.

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Auckland resident Jennifer Margaretha stated her mother and father have been caught in limbo since because the Zaandam has been unable to dock in any of the ports on its route since mid-March because of the world outbreak of the coronavirus.

Over the weekend plenty of passengers had been transferred from the Zaandam to its sister ship Rotterdam and the ship was additionally supplied with additional provides, together with Covid-19 take a look at kits.

Margaretha stated she’s hoping her mother and father, who are actually on the Rotterdam, will have the ability to get off the ship when it arrives in Florida.

“Apparently the captain appears assured they may have the ability to, however they’re nonetheless negotiating over it.” 

The Holland America Line cruise ship MS Zaandam has been stranded off the coast of Panama and unable to dock over fears some of the passengers and crew have Covid-19.

STUFF

The Holland America Line cruise ship MS Zaandam has been stranded off the coast of Panama and unable to dock over fears a few of the passengers and crew have Covid-19.

The Panamanian authorities had initially been against the ships travelling by the Panama Canal. However they agreed to permit their passage on Saturday on humanitarian grounds.

Margaretha stated she spoke to her mother and father on Monday morning. She stated she’s been attempting to maintain abreast of the newest information experiences.

“There’s a variety of data on the market, however it’s arduous to know what you’ll be able to depend on,” she stated. “It is all so unsure.”

For now she’s simply hoping her mother and father can set foot on dry land once more quickly and get a flight again to New Zealand. Nevertheless it does not appear to be it will likely be plain crusing.

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“The very last thing I would like is grief on grief,” the Prime Minister stated right this moment in a press convention.

In a press release on Twitter on Monday afternoon Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis outlined his considerations in regards to the Zaandam docking in Florida and acknowledged:

“We’ve now acquired data that the Holland America cruise ship Zaandam is being given permission to go by the Panama Canal and proceed its passage to Fort Lauderdale as scheduled. No assurances have been provided that they are going to be escorted from the ship to both a remedy facility or positioned in quarantine. That is utterly unacceptable!! 

“We can not add additional threat to our group amid our personal well being disaster right here with hundreds of individuals already testing optimistic for the lethal and contagious Covid-19 virus within the tri-county space.”

The Ministry of International Affairs and Commerce (MFAT) stated it has been involved with New Zealanders on board each the MS Zaandam and Rotterdam and at this stage it does not have any data to recommend any of them have Covid-19.