Read about the effect of coronavirus (Covid-19) on cruise ships.
Holland America Line’s Zaandam cruise ship has reported that 13 guests and 29 crew members are exhibiting influenza-like symptoms and have been isolated.
The ship is carrying 1,243 passengers and 586 crew members on board.
The cruise ship is adhering to the response protocols issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ship does not have any Covid-19 testing kits and cannot identify the cause of the cases.
To protect the safety of the remaining crew and passengers, the infected passengers and those who were in contact are isolated.
Passengers have been ordered to stay in their rooms and check their health and have been asked to report to the medical centre if they experience any symptoms.
Additionally, all meals will be provided as room service and public areas in the ship are closed.
The ship is following the highest levels of sanitation and public and crew areas are being rigorously cleaned and disinfected.
The cruise ship was on a South America voyage. It left Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 7 March and was scheduled to dock at San Antonio, Chile, on 21 March.
The cruise line operator Holland America Line cancelled its sailings for 30 days and was planning to end its existing cruises in due time to send its passengers back home.
However, the cruise ship could not let the guests disembark for flights in Punta Arenas, Chile, despite having prior confirmations. The people on the ship have not disembarked since 14 March.
The ship then sailed to Valparaiso, Chile, and was anchored there on 20-21 March to receive provisions, fuel and regular medications.
The ship is currently going north and is expected to arrive at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US, on 30 March. It is currently trying to secure a reservation to pass through the Panama Canal. The ship is also exploring alternative route options.
Last month, MS Westerdam docked in Cambodia after being turned away by five countries over the Covid-19 scare.