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4 dead on cruise ship heading to South Florida

Posted at 2:48 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 18:43:15-04

Four passengers have died on a Holland America cruise ship bound for South Florida on Friday.

According to Holland America, four "older guests" have died on Zaandam, which is carrying more than 1,200 other passengers and more than 500 crews. The cruise line said two people have tested positive for coronavirus and more than 140 people said they were feeling sick.

Holland America did not say if the four deceased passengers had coronavirus.

Zaandam, which is currently off the coast of Panama as of Friday afternoon, is working to move healthy passengers who pass a health screening to Rotterdam, according to Holland America. The cruise line said 53 guests and 85 crew members reported to Zaandam's medical center "with influenza-like" symptoms.

Zaandam has four doctors and four nurses on board. Rotterdam has two doctors and four nurses, Holland America said.

Holland America said it is working with authorities in Panama to allow its ships to sail to Fort Lauderdale.

Holland America said Zaandam was sailing a South America cruise, leaving Buenos Aires on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end at San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Holland America suspended its global cruise operations for 30 days and said no one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile.

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