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Zaandam ship passenger from UK stranded in South Florida goes home

86-year-old doctor was waiting for test results before he could board flight

MIAMI LAKES, Fla.UPDATE

We told you Saturday about a doctor from the United Kingdom that had been in stuck in South Florida after being aboard the Zaandam.

On Sunday, he was allowed to go home.

Partha Basu, 86, was stranded after be taken to a hospital from the Holland America cruise ship at Port Everglades. The medical doctor waited 10 days in a hotel before he could go home.

“It just seems like every day we wait a little bit longer. They are buying a bit of time and they are keeping us in the dark,” daughter Tanya Basu who is in the UK told Local 10 on Saturday. “As a family, it’s very tough to happen so far away and on a different time zone”

It all started on April 2, when the Zaandam and Rotterdam ships arrived in Fort Lauderdale with several cases of COVID-19 aboard.

Basu was one of several passengers taken to Larkin Hospital where he was released a week later.

His daughter said he was treated for bacterial pneumonia. “He had it in both lungs. And he responded really well to that treatment. So, we were encouraged that was going to get him home sooner.”

After his release from the hospital, the cruise line put Basu in a hotel. His daughter said all they needed were test results before flying him back home.

"At that time, we were still waiting for a COVID-19 test result back, which we were told to expect various times. Last Tuesday it got pushed to Friday. And Friday, we were told that the test was lost."

Making matters worse, Basu was here alone after his wife, who was with him on the cruise, was flown home on a charter flight.

“Now they’ve got the majority of those passengers home, they don’t seem to be concerned about the stragglers,” Tanya said.

Holland America had booked him on a return flight scheduled to leave Wednesday, but he was able to leave Sunday.

Erik Elvejord, director of public relations for Holland America, sent Local 10 a response Saturday about Basu’s situation.

"Holland America Line is very sorry that Mr. Basu is having to deal with this situation and understands the frustration caused by the process we are required to follow. We understand that he has been in good care and are thankful that he is very near to traveling home. Holland America Line representatives have been in daily contact with him, and also in regular contact with his family and the British Consulate.

Due to medical privacy requirements, medical staff at the hospital must communicate directly with him regarding his health situation. His hotel, food and transportation expenses are being covered by Holland America Line. Should he incur any personal expenses in this regard, we will coordinate with him to provide reimbursement.

Based on direction from the hospital, he will not be released to fly until having negative test results. The British Consulate has also indicated he must be cleared with negative test results to fly home.

We understand the British Consulate will be reaching out to him or has already done so to discuss things further. We have made arrangements for him to return home via business class air on Wednesday should he be given the okay soon."


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