Two of the passengers from the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship have died from complications related to the virus, USA Today reports. The ship was the second from Princess Cruises impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, after the Diamond Princess. The situation came to light after a 71-year-old who had been on the previous Grand Princess cruise died from coronavirus; more than 60 fellow passengers plus a number of crew members stayed aboard for the next cruise, a Hawaii trip. The ship was forced to remain at sea for several days, not allowed to re-enter port, but it ultimately docked in Oakland, Calif., on March 9 with 21 cases of the virus confirmed onboard. Ultimately, 103 of the 1,103 passengers who chose to be tested were positive for the virus; 301 tests are still pending. These are the first two deaths to be reported from the ship, the Washington Post reports.
"Princess Cruises was notified that two guests who sailed onboard Grand Princess have passed away," the cruise line says in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the families, friends, and all who are impacted by these losses. All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincere condolences." Both passengers were males in their early 60s. One was transported directly from the ship to the hospital as soon as he developed symptoms; the other was first quarantined in California, developed symptoms, and was then transferred to a hospital, where he died. After the ship was allowed to dock in Oakland, the 3,500 passengers were sent to four different military bases to quarantine for two weeks. The first group of passengers was released Monday, and all will be released within the next few days. On the Diamond Princess, where more than 700 were infected in a February outbreak, 10 have since died. (Read more coronavirus stories.)