The Dutch passenger cruise ship Zaandam, which had been stranded at sea for days after it four people died and at least nine cases of coronavirus were confirmed on board, was authorized this Thursday to enter the Evergaldes port, in Fort Lauderdale, United States, as confirmed by the agency AFP.
The ship had departed from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 bound for Chile, but after confirming the COVID-19 outbreak, no country wanted to allow it to arrive in port. Until finally Panama exceptionally allowed him to cross the Canal to go to Fort Lauderdale, where the company has its headquarters.
They have been officially stranded since at least March 22, the date the Carnival group Holland America Line reported the deaths of four elderly passengers and that there were passengers and crew members with flu-like symptoms. . Then nine cases of coronavirus were confirmed, tested on board, and gold 179 possible.
Without touching land they take even longer. The last time passengers were able to get off was in Punta Arenas, Chile, on March 14. All ports on the journey from there to Florida were closed to them.
In Panama, Zaandam joined Rotterdam, another Holland America Line cruise ship, and was able to transfer its asymptomatic passengers to it. Since then both ships have been sailing together and the two received permission to dock in the Everglades.
Now that both ships have received permission from Broward County to moor at Everglades, lAsymptomatic passengers -about 1,200- will be able to disembark and after undergoing a health check, they will be transferred to nearby airports. Passengers in critical condition will be taken to hospitals and those with mild symptoms will remain on board until recovery, as reported by the agency EFE.
Of the 1,250 passengers on the Zaandam, now spread between it and Rotterdam, 311 are Americans, 248 Canadians, 232 British, 141 Australians, 104 French, 75 Germans, 26 Swedes, 17 Dutch, 11 Swiss, 11 Argentines and 5 Mexicans, and the rest of different nationalities.
The President of Holland America Line, Orlando Ashford, in a dramatic message issued asking for “compassion and humanity” with those caught in the “Zaandam” and the “Rotterdam”, had stressed that they are some 9,000 people on board a dozen ships worldwide that are in that situation as a result of the coronavirus.
Governments “have turned their backs on thousands of people” who are “floating in the sea” and have become victims of the syndrome “it is not my problem,” Ashford said in the message published on the blog and social networks of the company.
With information from AFP and EFE