Another cruise ship with coronavirus victims on board, including two fatalities, docked in Florida on Saturday. Princess Cruises spokeswoman Negin Kamali said that the Coral Princess ship was docking in Miami. The ship with 1,020 passengers and 878 crew had been in limbo for days awaiting permission to dock. As of Thursday, Kamali said seven passengers and five crew members had tested positive for the coronavirus. Anyone in need of hospitalization would disembark first, the cruise line said, although it wasn't immediately clear when that would happen. Those who are fit to fly will begin leaving Sunday, while others who have symptoms will remain on board until cleared by ship doctors. A day earlier, the cruise ships Zaandam and Rotterdam were permitted to dock in Fort Lauderdale, with 14 critically ill people taken to hospitals. The remaining passengers were slowly being allowed to board flights for home.
The Coral Princess had been on a South American cruise that was due to end March 19 in Buenos Aires, reports the AP. Since then, the ship has encountered obstacles to docking because of various port closures and cancellation of airline flights. Passengers have self-isolated in their staterooms and meals have been delivered by room service. The Coast Guard said Saturday it has been involved with processing about 120 vessels carrying some 250,000 passengers over the past three weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Coast Guard said as of Saturday there are 114 cruise ships, carrying 93,000 crew members, either in or near US ports and waters. That includes 73 cruise ships, with 52,000 crew members, moored or anchored in US ports and anchorages. Another 41 cruise ships, with 41,000 crew members, are underway and close to the US.
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