US President Donald Trump announced plans to repatriate over 200 Britons stranded on the Zaandam Cruise ship where 4 people have already died form COVID-19.
The Zaandam has been refused permission to dock in numerous countries due to the COVID-19 outbreak onboard the cruise ship. Passengers have since found themselves stuck on board the ship since leaving Buenos Aires on March 7.
Passengers who cleared of COVID-19 were moved to the sister ship, the Rotterdam so as to protect them from being infected.
President Donald Trump announced that plans have been made to repatriate passengers so that they may return to their home countries after being stranded at sea for almost a month.
He went on to say:
“We’re looking at the two ships,”
“We have Canada notified. A lot of Canadians, a lot of British on the ship”
“They’re coming to take the people that are on the ship back to their homeland. Canada is coming. The UK is coming.”
“We have some people who are quite sick and we’re taking care of that. I’m speaking to the governor about that a lot. It’s a tough situation.”
“You can understand you have people that are sick on those ships and states – they have enough problems right now – don’t want to take them. We have to from a humane standpoint.
“We don’t have a choice. I don’t want to do that but we have to. People are dying.”
“At a minimum we’re sending medical teams on board the ships. We’re taking the Canadians off and giving them to Canadian authorities. They’re going to take them back home. The same thing with the UK.
“We have to help the people. They’re in big trouble, no matter where they’re from.”
So far 4 people on board have died after contracting the coronavirus, including one British national, 75-year old John Carter. His widow has been left very distressed and isolated in their cabin and her family are very worried about her well being as her cellphone is no longer reachable.
The family spokesman added that “She is struggling to eat the limited meals and is feeling unwell,”
The US will liase with British authorities on ow to get the remaining Britons back home.