(PoliticalLookout.Com)- The state of Florida continues to bar a cruise ship from docking at its ports.
The ship has passengers on board who are suffering from being infected by the coronavirus, as well as four guests who have succumbed to the COVID-19 virus. But Florida officials are still working on details of a plan that would allow the cruise ship to dock safely and contain the virus.
The U.S. Coast Guard has said that two cruise ships from Holland America — Zaandam as well as its sister ship Rotterdam — won’t be allowed to enter U.S. waters before the cruise line owner, Carnival, obtains approval for “a complete plan for self-support of the medical issues occurring on board the vessel.”
The Rotterdam was sent out on a mission to bring emergency supplies and medical personnel to the Zaandam last week. Some elderly passengers who were suspected of being not infected were even shuttled over to the Rotterdam so they could avoid the dangerous of the coronavirus.
As of now, there are a reported 76 guests and 120 crew members who recently fell ill with flu-like symptoms. Two of those people are in critical condition, and four have died so far. Between the two ships, there are 1,247 crew members and 1,243 passengers.
Executives from Carnival are working now with the Coast Guard, local officials in Florida’s Broward County as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The groups are trying to figure out a way to address all concerns and figure out a way to dock, allowing healthy passengers to embark safely and addressing those crew members and passengers who have been infected.
President Donald Trump said he would also talk with the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, to see what can be done. On Tuesday, the president said:
“I am going to do what is right, not only for us but for humanity.”
The Zaandam is expected to arrive in Florida on Thursday.
Local officials, including Nan Rich, a Broward County commissioner, are optimistic that a final plan could be created and agreed upon, and that the ship would be allowed to dock in Florida safely once that’s done. Rich said:
“These people have been turned away from so many countries, one after the other. We are their last hope. What are we going to do? Let the ship go back out to sea and just float around and let people die? I don’t think so.”
On Wednesday, Carnival revealed that there are roughly 6,000 passengers aboard its cruise ships around the world, with all expected to disembark by the end of this month. The company will need to provide a number of its crew members both food and housing, as they will be unable to return to their home because of travel restrictions put in place by countries around the world.
In addition to the Zaandam and the Rotterdam, the company has two other ships — the Costa Magica and Costa Favolosa — that are anchored near the port of Miami awaiting docking.