Four guests died on a cruise ship where 2 people have tested positive for coronavirus

Holland America Cruise

At least four “older guests” have died on the Holland America cruise ship Zaandam, where two individuals have tested positive for the coronavirus, the cruise line said in a Friday news release.

The statement did not provide a cause of death or say when exactly the guests died.

As of Friday, 138 people — 53 guests and 85 crew members — had reported flu-like symptoms, Holland America said in its statement. There are 1,243 guests and 586 crew members on board the ship, which is now off the coast of Panama.

On Thursday, a “number of patients with respiratory symptoms” tested for coronavirus, it said, and two people were positive.

The news release said that when the ship first saw guests report flu-like symptoms on March 22, the crew took protective measures and asked all guests to self-isolate in their rooms. All guests and crew members received face masks Thursday.

The ship exchanged medical supplies with a sister ship, Rotterdam, Thursday evening prior, according to the news release.

Cruise line officials are working with the Panamanian authorities to receive approval to use the Panama Canal before sailing on to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the news release said.

The cruise line said the Zaandam departed Buenos Aires on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end its cruise at San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. The cruise line decided to end its current cruises in progress.

No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile, the cruise line said.

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