WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A cruise ship, the Zaandam, together with its sister ship, the Rotterdam, had docked in Florida after given the green light by the county commissioners.
- The Zaandam, where four people have died, was carrying passengers who are coronavirus positive.
- The passengers were relieved and excited upon hearing they are finally going to land.
On Thursday, A Holland America cruise ship named Zaandam had finally docked in Florida after being at sea for two weeks. Some passengers are tested positive with the novel coronavirus.
The Zaandam, and its sister ship, the Rotterdam, received the green light to land and unload their passengers. This is following an agreement made by the cruise line and the Broward County commissioners.
The landing schedule of the Rotterdam was at 1 P.M. at Port Everglades, while the Zaandam was set to dock at 1:30 P.M.
Before the ship landed, there had been four people who died on board the Zaandam; with two of them from COVID-19. A total of 179 passengers have flu-like symptoms, and nine others were positive of the virus.
Those nine passengers who are infected will be taken to a local hospital, while the other 45 who are sick will stay onboard the ship. The cruise line will transport the foreign nationals on specially sanitized buses from the ship to chartered planes.
On March 7, the Zaandam departed from Buenos Aires for a two-week trip around South America, which was originally planned to dock in Chile on March 21 to end the trip.
The Zaandam passengers who are asymptomatic were transferred to the Rotterdam. Around 300 passengers were Americans, 49 of them from Florida, with a few numbers living in Broward County.
NBC News interviewed some family members of the cruise ship passengers. Jennifer Allan with parents on board the Zaandam, named Gloria and Bill Weed said, “I have more hope right now than I’ve had in a long time.”
Allan’s parents are both sick. Bill Weed is suffering from pneumonia. With his father’s condition, Allan is scared that it will only get worse “very, very quickly.” That is her greatest fear.
Meanwhile, Doris Kolber is excited that she will, at long last, leave the ship together with her husband, Cliff. Though Cliff said he will only be happy once he set foot on land.
Source: NBC News