The cruise line did not say how many passengers and crew members had been tested but said 53 cruise passengers and 85 crew members were exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus. There are over 1,800 people aboard the vessel, the company said, adding that 4 doctors and 4 nurses were also onboard.
MS Zaandam is at least the 3rd Carnival-owned cruise ship to become the site of a COVID-19 outbreak.
HAL-Holland America Line said in a statement that 4 older guests had passed away on ms Zaandam but did not specify whether they died of Coronavirus. No one has been off the cruise ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas.
Another HAL ship - ms Rotterdam, met ms Zaandam at sea (off Panama's coast) on Thursday. Rotterdam was instructed to load all healthy passengers from Zaandam before they were exposed to the virus. All passengers and crew who currently exhibit flu-like symptoms remained on Zaandam. HAL said it was following guidance from the US CDC.
Zaandam departed Buenos Aires on March 7 for a voyage that was planned to end in San Antonio (Chile) on March 21. After being barred from disembarking in Chile ms Zaandam struggled to find any open cruise ports amid the pandemic. The company said the vessel was en route to Fort Lauderdale FL.
For other MS Zaandam accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.
For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.