Cruise ships wait near Florida
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/02/20, 12:02 pm
Two Holland America cruise ships, one with numerous sick people on board, are preparing to dock in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after several countries turned them away over fears about COVID-19. The state has not made public final procedures for the ships’ arrival, and officials are still debating whom they will allow to disembark and get medical treatment. About 2,400 passengers and crew members are on the Zaandam and the Rotterdam.
How did they get stranded? The Zaandam departed from Buenos Aires on March 7 and was scheduled to end its cruise in Chile on March 21. The Rotterdam took on passengers with no symptoms from the Zaandam after Chile and other Latin American nations refused to let the ship dock. Four people have died on the Zaandam, while 97 guests and 136 crew members have reported flu-like symptoms. More than 300 Americans are on the two ships.
Dig deeper: Cruise ships aren’t the only way people end up stranded in the middle of a pandemic: Read Mary Jackson’s report in Relations about adoptive families and children who are stuck overseas.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.