Four die on Holland America cruise ship as COVID-19 detected on board


Carnival Corp.’s Holland America Line said four passengers died on its Zaandam ship, which has had an outbreak of flulike symptoms on board, including at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Holland America said Friday that the passengers were “older,” but it didn’t say how they died.

Zaandam was still at sea when U.S. President Donald Trump asked cruise companies to cease new voyages. This week, the company said it was sending another ship to rendezvous with Zaandam and deliver medical supplies to test passengers and crew for COVID-19, after several started showing flulike symptoms.

In its statement Friday, the company said the new ship, Rotterdam, had met Zaandam on Thursday. The company said it’s transferring healthy Zaandam passengers to the new ship.

So far, two people have tested positive for COVID-19, Holland America said. It said 53 guests and 85 crew members have gone to Zaandam’s medical area with flulike signs.

The ship was on a cruise around South America that left March 7 from Buenos Aires and had been set to end in San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. But the cruise industry was essentially shut down over the coronavirus mid-voyage, and no one has been off the ship since March 14. It is currently off Panama along with Rotterdam, and both ships plan to sail for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to Holland America.

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