Coronavirus: Cruise ship with Irish on board to dock in Florida

Four dead on MS Zaandam that departed Argentina on March 7th

Passangers  seen as the ship navigates through the Panama Canal on March 29th (Photograph: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty

Passangers seen as the ship navigates through the Panama Canal on March 29th (Photograph: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty

 

A Dutch cruise ship which has a coronavirus outbreak and several Irish citizens on board is expected to dock in Florida in the coming days, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has said.

Four people have died on the MS Zaandam, though it is understood that none of the deceased is Irish. The ship has 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board.

Dozens of guests have been suffering from influenza-like symptoms, the vessel’s operator said last week when the ship was off the coast of Panama.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aware of the situation of the MS Zaandam, which has passed through the Panama canal and is expected to dock in Fort Lauderdale in the coming days,” a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“We are in regular contact with the Irish citizens on board and are providing all possible consular assistance.”

The Zaandam cruise ship sails towards the Panama Canal on March 29th. Photograph: Bienvenido Velasco/EPA
The Zaandam cruise ship sails towards the Panama Canal on March 29th. Photograph: Bienvenido Velasco/EPA

MS Zaandam had been on a South American cruise that departed Argentina on March 7th and had been scheduled to end in San Antonio, Chile on March 21st. It has been unable to dock at a number of ports since the Covid-19 outbreak.

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