Trump calls Florida to allow Dutch cruise ship with coronavirus patients
United States president Donald Trump called on the authorities in the state of Florida to allow the cruise ship MS Zaandam of the Holland America Line. Several people on the ship were diagnosed with coronavirus Covid-19 last week. The ship, which sails under the Dutch flag, has been looking for a port to dock in since. Trump is talking with Florida governor Ron DeSantis about allowing the cruise ship to dock, he said during the early hours of Wednesday morning, local time, NU.nl reports.
The MS Zaandam was supposed to dock in Chile, but was refused due to the Covid-19 infections. Some passengers were transferred to MS Rotterdam, so that MS Zaandam has more room to care for the remaining passengers. Both ships are en route to the Florida city Fort Lauderdale.
The governor of Florida previously said that he will not allow the MS Zaandam to "dump" its sick passengers in Florida. The mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Dean Trantalis, said on Sunday that no permission had been granted for the ship to dock, calling the arrival of the ship "unacceptable".
MS Zaandam had a total of 1,243 passengers and 586 crew members on board. Dozens of passengers and crew members are showing flu-like symptoms. Four passengers died last week, including one Dutch person, according to NU.nl. It is not clear how many of the passengers were transferred to MS Rotterdam.