Just days ago the officials with Holland America expressed hope that its troubled ship, the MS Zaandam, would dock at Florida on March 30. Now that plan is in significant doubt after company officials reported that four passengers aboard the ship have died and two more have tested positive for coronavirus.
Every day it seems that more passengers aboard the Zaandam come down with flu-like symptoms. Just days ago the number was 45, and it has now ballooned to 138, including 53 guests and 85 crew members, reports CNN.com. The ship is currently carrying 1,243 guests and 586 crew.
The Zaandam is currently off the coast of Panama. Officials are transferring healthy passengers from the Zaandam to its sister ship, the Rotterdam. "Only those who have not been ill will be moved, and health screenings will be conducted before transferring," CNN.com reports that Holland American said in a statement.
The Zaandam must pass the Panama Canal in order to head for Florida, but even that is in doubt as safety protocols may cause Panamanian officials to deny the ship's passage.
The four deceased passengers are described as being "older" individuals. Authorities have not yet been able to test to confirm whether the deceased passengers died from coronavirus.