Princess cruise ship with 'sick' passengers also wants to dock in South Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Another cruise ship with sick passengers want to dock in Florida, but the U.S. Coast Guard could stop that from happening.
The "Coral Princess" has several people on board showing COVID-19 symptoms, reports the Sun Sentinel. They were previously scheduled to dock in Port Everglades by April 4.
The newspaper reports that the Coast Guard is directing Princess Cruises, which operates the ship, to seek aid from Bahamas, since that is where it is registered. The agency said cruise ships with more than 50 people on board should be prepared to care for passengers with flu-like symptoms "for an indefinite period of time."
According to the Sun Sentinel, Coral Princess has "higher-than-normal" number of people with flu-like symptoms. The ship departed from Santiago, Chile on March 5. One week later, Princess Cruises announced operations will be halted.
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Another cruise ship, Holland America's Zaandam and Rotterdam are set to arrive later this week. At least two people on board need emergency attention.
However, Governor Ron DeSantis has repeatedly said the state's resources cannot handle the sick passengers on board the cruise ships.
“Just to drop people off at the place where we’re having the highest number of cases right now just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” DeSantis said.
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Two of the four deaths on board the Zaandam have been blamed on COVID-19 and nine people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company said.
Holland America said the Rotterdam took on nearly 1,400 people who appear to be healthy from its sister ship, leaving 450 guests and 602 crew members on the Zaandam, including more than 190 who said they are sick. More than 300 U.S. citizens are on both ships combined.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would speak to DeSantis about the ships.
“They’re dying on the ship,” Trump said. “I’m going to do what’s right. Not only for us, but for humanity.”