Four guests have now died on Holland America’s Zaandam cruise ship which is stranded off the Panama coast.
Zaandam Cruise Ship Latest
The Zaandam cruise ship which is operated by Holland America Line is currently located off the coast of Panama and has still not been able to get to a port. In the latest update from the cruise line, there are now 53 guests and 85 crew members who have reported influenza-like symptoms. A number of the patients with respiratory symptoms had been tested for COVID-19 and two came back positive.
You can read our previous posts about the Zaandam below:
We are also sad to report that four older guests have died onboard the Zaandam but it’s not confirmed if this is related to the virus. Our thoughts truly go out to their families and friends during this difficult time.
Holland America posted within its recent update:
Yesterday a number of patients with respiratory symptoms were tested for COVID-19 and two individuals tested positive.
Out of an abundance of caution, on March 22 when Zaandam first saw a number of guests reporting to the medical center with influenza-like illness symptoms, we took immediate protective measures, including asking all guests to self-isolate in their staterooms and implementing all other appropriate precautions that have been developed in coordination with the CDC.
All guests and crew received face masks yesterday and were provided with instructions on when and how to wear them.
Yesterday the ship rendezvoused with sister ship Rotterdam at 7:30 PM. Supplies, medications and medical staff were able to be transferred to Zaandam after approval from Panamanian authorities.
There are also plans on transferring groups of healthy passengers over to the Rotterdam so they can get back to land and disembark. Priority will be given to guests over the age of 70 and inside cabins and they will all be screened undergoing U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocols.
Unfortunately, all crew members will have to remain on board and when the Holland America vessel does eventually get back to ports it is likely they will have to undergo further quarantine.
The cruise line is working on getting the ship back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida by march 30 but that does no longer seem to be the case. Authorities in Panama have yet allowed the ship to transit through the Panama Canal and this is still being worked out.
It is a very difficult time for everyone on board the ship and Holland America is offering complimentary telephone counseling for guests and crew. The ship is under quarantine with all guests having to remain in their staterooms along with non-essential crew members. Noone has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile.
There are currently 1,243 passengers and 586 crew members on the ship which was sailing a South America cruise that departed Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 7. The cruise line has already suspended cruise operations for at least 30 days but there have still been issues trying to get ships back to port. it is expected the cruise line will announce an extension to the suspension.