Greater than 1800 Australians nonetheless stranded at sea

“DFAT is repeatedly updating its journey recommendation, together with particular bulletins on cruises.”

Elvira Fernandes is on board the MS Zaandam – a cruise ship anchored off the coast of Panama after a number of international locations refused to let it into port.

4 passengers on the ship have died of the virus, whereas 138 extra have reported flu-like signs related to COVID-19.

Ms Fernandes mentioned it was a terrifying expertise.

“4 folks died on board we had been advised yesterday at 2 o’clock (PM) and all of us had been horrified and shocked,” she mentioned.

“There was a girl who was so scared and shocked that she was shaking.”


She mentioned passengers had been confined to their rooms since March 22 and have now been advised they needed to put on masks.

Ramadan Abdullah can also be stranded on the ship.

“To be fairly trustworthy the expertise is rather like an Agatha Christie film, and as a matter of reality I’d like to jot down a guide,” he mentioned.

“However the expertise is superb. The captain is a intelligent younger man and he tried to beat the clock in Chile when he received the message that every one the land and aerospace had been closed in Chile: he went to Punta Arenas to beat the clock however failed and we actually couldn’t make it in time.”

As sister ship, the MS Rotterdam linked up with the Zaandam to supply assist, with the plan to switch wholesome passengers off the ship.

Mr Abdullah mentioned the variety of sick continues to climb.

“It was one thing like 25 per cent of crew; 28 members and 14 passengers initially, however the quantity began to balloon,” he mentioned.

“However we’re nonetheless within the bush, there’s nothing sure about the place we’ll disembark. Nonetheless a query mark over whether or not we get by means of the Panama Canal and they’re transferring us by testing us first to ensure we’re wholesome.”

However in some excellent news on Sunday, Holland America, the corporate which operates the ships, launched an announcement revealing it had been granted passage by means of the canal – nevertheless whether or not it is allowed to dock at its initially deliberate vacation spot of Fort Lauderdale, Florida is unknown.

The Zaandam's sister ship, the Rotterdam, has docked alongside the cruise liner as a rescue vessel.

The Zaandam’s sister ship, the Rotterdam, has docked alongside the cruise liner as a rescue vessel. Credit score:9 Information

“We’re conscious of reported permission for each Zaandam and Rotterdam to transit the Panama Canal within the close to future,” the assertion mentioned.

“We drastically recognize this consideration within the humanitarian curiosity of our company and crew. This stays a dynamic scenario, and we proceed to work with the Panamanian authorities to finalise particulars.”

Nearer to dwelling, Australia have cruise ship issues of its personal to cope with.

On Saturday West Australian Premier Mark McGowan confirmed 46 passengers on the Artania cruise ship, which is docked at Fremantle port, had been displaying COVID-19 signs.

A sign hanging from the Artania cruise ship on Saturday reads 'Thank you Fremantle'.

An indication hanging from the Artania cruise ship on Saturday reads ‘Thanks Fremantle’. Credit score:Fran Rimrod

Twelve passengers on the ship have, or are suspected of getting, COVID-19 and are being handled in Perth hospitals – three are in a crucial situation.

The remaining 800-odd wholesome passengers, largely German nationals, haven’t been allowed to step foot in Western Australia as they wait to be transferred on buses on to the airport.

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