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26 sick people remain aboard coronavirus-plagued cruise ship at Port Everglades

14 people hospitalized after disembarking cruise ship

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The coronavirus pandemic nightmare isn’t over for 26 people who remain quarantined and sick aboard a plagued cruise ship at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

According to port authorities, 26 symptomatic passengers were on quarantine. The ship’s docking plan reported there were also 50 crew members ill.

Only one crew member and 13 passengers were allowed to disembark the MS Zaandam on Thursday at Port Everglades.
Only one crew member and 13 passengers were allowed to disembark the MS Zaandam on Thursday at Port Everglades. (Local 10 News)

Only one crew member and 13 passengers were allowed to disembark the MS Zaandam on Thursday at Port Everglades. Doctors at Broward Health Medical Center and Larkin Community Hospital in Miami-Dade County are treating them. Four needed respirators.

Port authorities determined 1,211 people on the MS Zaandam and the MS Rotterdam were fit for travel on Friday. Workers in full personal protective equipment handled the luggage and quickly disinfected.

“We are so thankful and grateful for anybody who got together and made the right decision for all of us,” said Wendy de Pinho who is eager to disembark and travel with her husband, Rick de Pinho to Township, New Jersey.

Workers in full personal protective equipment handled the luggage and disinfect it at Port Everglades.
Workers in full personal protective equipment handled the luggage and disinfect it at Port Everglades. (Local 10 News)

Gov. Ron DeSantis described the planned process during a news conference as "a very controlled exit from these ships.” De Pinho and other passengers will still have to be screened and be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Carnival Corp. arranged for private transporation for Americans who were stranded at sea in one of their cruise ships.
Carnival Corp. arranged for private transporation for Americans who were stranded at sea in one of their cruise ships. (Local 10 News)

Carnival Corp. arranged for private sports utility vehicles and three international charter flights to Canada, France, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and two domestic charter flights to Georgia and San Francisco.

According to Alinda Montfort, a spokeswoman for Port Everglades, some passengers will connect to flights to New Zealand and Australia out of San Francisco.

In this March 28, 2020 photo provided by Juan Huergo, Laura Gabaroni and her husband Juan Huergo take a selfie on board a tender after they were evacuated from the Zaandam, a Holland American cruise ship, near the Panama Canal. The Orlando- area couple was transferred to the Rotterdam, together with others who were deemed healthy. Four people have died on board the Zaandam and many others have are suffering from flu-like symptoms. (Juan Huergo via AP)
In this March 28, 2020 photo provided by Juan Huergo, Laura Gabaroni and her husband Juan Huergo take a selfie on board a tender after they were evacuated from the Zaandam, a Holland American cruise ship, near the Panama Canal. The Orlando- area couple was transferred to the Rotterdam, together with others who were deemed healthy. Four people have died on board the Zaandam and many others have are suffering from flu-like symptoms. (Juan Huergo via AP)

According to Holland America Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., which operates the MS Zaandam, the ship departed from Buenos Aires on March 7. The passengers had not left the ship since March 14 when they disembarked on Thursday.

When several countries denied the MS Zaandam port entry, Holland America sent the MS Rotterdam to deliver COVID-19 tests and to help remove the passengers who were asymptomatic. A lack of symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean someone is not a carrier of the new coronavirus.

The Zaandam cruise ship, left, carrying some guests with flu-like symptoms, is anchored shortly after it arrived to the bay of Panama City, Friday, March 27, 2020, amid the worldwide spread of the new coronavirus. Health authorities are expected to board the ship to test passengers and decide whether it can cross the Panama Canal. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
The Zaandam cruise ship, left, carrying some guests with flu-like symptoms, is anchored shortly after it arrived to the bay of Panama City, Friday, March 27, 2020, amid the worldwide spread of the new coronavirus. Health authorities are expected to board the ship to test passengers and decide whether it can cross the Panama Canal. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

When the ships crossed the Panama Canal and were able to dock at the home port in Broward County, the MS Zaandam had 442 passengers and 603 crew members on board.

The Rotterdam had 808 passengers and 583 crew members, according to William Burke, the chief maritime officer for Carnival Corp.

Passengers look out from the Zaandam cruise ship, anchored in the bay of Panama City, Friday, March 27, 2020. Several passengers have died aboard the cruise ship and a few people aboard the ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the cruise line said Friday, with hundreds of passengers unsure how long they will remain at sea. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
Passengers look out from the Zaandam cruise ship, anchored in the bay of Panama City, Friday, March 27, 2020. Several passengers have died aboard the cruise ship and a few people aboard the ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the cruise line said Friday, with hundreds of passengers unsure how long they will remain at sea. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Two of the four people who died aboard the ship tested positive for COVID-19, according to William Burke, the chief maritime officer for Carnival Corp. It’s unclear if their bodies were removed from the ship.

The U.S. State Department is asking Americans to avoid cruise ships during the pandemic.


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