Photo Credit: Photo by BRUCE WEAVER/AFP via Getty Images
Thousands Stranded At Sea On Cruise Ships Due To Coronavirus Port Closures
As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, countries around the world are doing everything they can to flatten the curve for their respective nations. That includes forcing cruise ships to remain at sea in a holding pattern to avoid an influx of sick people coming in.
It is being reported that more than a dozen cruise ships are currently at sea desperately looking for ports to accept them and their passengers. Some ships have now been circling for over two weeks.
The MS Zaandam boarded in Argentina three weeks ago and has been searching for a country to dock since. There are more than 1,200 passengers on board, 300 of them from the U.S., and many are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Since taking off, four people on the ship have died and nine others have tested positive for COVID-19. The ship has been rejected by Chile, Argentina, and Peru.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is also against the ship docking in South Florida. However, the final decision will be made by the Broward County Commission– who was still undecided as of Tuesday.
“We cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources,” DeSantis told Fox News on Monday.
Many of the sick passengers have been taken off of the ship by the coast guard, which is standard procedure for cruises. However, there are many more falling ill each day and nowhere for them to go.
“People are getting sick and they need proper medical attention in a hospital, they cannot be treated onboard,” passenger Andrea Anderson said in an interview. “The people on this boat, we are all someone’s parent, grandparent, aunt, and uncle. The governor should think ‘what if my mother was on that boat?’”
This is only one of several boats facing the same situation. However, most others only have crew on board and passengers have been taken off through transfers with smaller boats.