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Stranded ship waits for Panama passage, faces doubts in Florida


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Stranded ship waits for Panama passage, faces doubts in Florida

PANAMA CITY — More than 1,800 passengers and crew — some infected with COVID-19 — stranded off Panama were receiving mixed signals on Sunday about the chance for finally reaching port in Florida. While Panamanian officials said they would let the two ships transit for Panama Canal, the cruise company said it had not been…

Stranded ship waits for Panama passage, faces doubts in Florida

PANAMA CITY– More than 1,800 guests and crew– some contaminated with COVID-19– stranded off Panama were receiving mixed signals on Sunday about the chance for lastly reaching port in Florida. While Panamanian officials said they would let the two ships transit for Panama Canal, the cruise business said it had actually not been permitted and Fort Lauderdale’s mayor stated he didn’t want it to dock near his city as planned, at least without comprehensive precautions.

Panama’s Health Ministry revealed Saturday that it would permit the Zaandam, which has been at sea because leaving Argentina March 7, to transit the canal, though no passengers or team would be enabled to disembark. The independent Panama Canal Authority likewise issued a declaration stating it was “preparing the facilitate the transit of the Zaandam through the waterway.”

The ship which had actually been unable to put into any port given that mid-March, had been stranded off the coast and its operator, Holland America Lines, said Friday that 4 people aboard the ship had passed away– though the cause was not reported– and at least 2 had actually evaluated favorable for COVD-19

Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, stated late Saturday that his Panamanian equivalent had actually guaranteed him the ship would be permitted through the canal en path to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There were 248 Canadians amongst the ship’s 1,243 travelers and 586 team prior to it reached Panama and offloading some travelers onto a sister ship, the Rotterdam, which the cruise business said wouild likewise make the transit.

However the ships’ operator, Holland America Lines, said Sunday it had actually not yet received consent for the canal transit– nor to dock at Port Everglades, its designated destination.

It was not clear what may be causing the delay in Panama, which would need to send out pilots and other employees onto the ships to assist them through the canal.

However the vessel was getting less-than-welcoming reception in Florida.

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Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis issued a statement stating it was “deeply uncomfortable” that the ship may be headed towards his city and he recommended sending it to some Navy base in other places on the Eastern Coast.

If it does come to Port Everglades, he stated, he said stringent protocols should be put in place to separate passengers, hospitalize those who require it, quarantine Americans who appear healthy and send out foreign nationals quickly to their own countries.

” Up until I am completely briefed by the Trump administration and am comfortable with their plans, I can not support the Zaandam docking in my neighborhood,” he added.

Holland America had sent out the Rotterdam to rendezvous with the Zaandam off Panama and resupply it, and many apparently healthy guests were moved to that vessel.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights scheduled. This product might not be released, broadcast, reworded or redistributed without authorization.

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