Cruise ship with coronavirus cases reports 4 deaths

Cruise ship with coronavirus cases reports 4 deaths

Four people have died on a cruise ship off the coast of Panama that is looking to make its way to Florida, the Holland America Line announced Friday without specifying the cause of deaths.

Holland America noted that two people on the cruise ship Zaandam have tested positive for COVID-19, while 138 others, consisting of 53 guests and 85 crew, had reported "influenza-like illness symptoms."

“Holland America Line can confirm that four older guests have passed away on Zaandam. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and we are doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time,” the cruise line said in a statement.

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The company said it had received approval from Panama to transfer healthy guests to another ship "with strict protocols for this process developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," while the Zaandam had received medical supplies and additional medical staff to treat those who remain aboard the ship.

"Any guests who are currently ill, or in isolation as a close contact, and all crew will remain on Zaandam," the company added.

The company added it was working with Panamanian authorities to receive approval to sail through the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Zaandam departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 and was initially scheduled to end its trip in San Antonio, Chile, on March 21.