Cruise ship corona odyssey: Trump intervenes

    Washington / Fort Lauderdale (TEH) – US President Donald Trump intervened in the back and forth around the cruise ship “Zaandam” with several corona infected people on board.

    Trump phoned Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis, who wants to prevent the “Zaandam” and her sister ship “Rotterdam” from entering the port of Fort Lauderdale in the south of the state. Around 2,500 passengers and crew members are on the two ships.
    However, there was no sign of an end to the “Zaandam” odyssey even after the phone call. Hopefully there will be a solution, DeSantis said at a press conference. The governor again argued that he wanted to use the resources to combat the coronavirus for his own population.

    Trump had said on Tuesday evening (local time) with a view to the “Zaandam”: “I will do what is right – not only for us, but for humanity.” He added: “There are people who die on the ship or at least are very sick.”
    Four people have already died on the “Zaandam” since the cruise started in Buenos Aires in early March. The British news agency PA quoted a spokesman for the shipping company on Wednesday in two deaths, including a Briton, the Covid 19 lung disease was proven. A total of nine people have now been tested positive for the coronavirus.
    The President of the Holland America Line shipping company, Orlando Ashford, warned on Monday of further deaths regarding the Corona Falls on board: “Four guests have already died and I fear that more lives are at stake.” Most recently, the shipping company spoke of 193 people with flu symptoms on the Zaandam.


    There were originally 79 Germans on the ship – most of them have now switched to the “Rotterdam”, where there are said to be no infected people. Both ships continue on course for Florida. They were expected there for Wednesday evening (local time) at the earliest.
    Maximilian Jo, whose parents are on the “Zaandam”, told Fox News that his father had been suffering from a fever for a few days. Everyone on board would have to struggle with the situation. “We have to get them ashore as soon as possible.” Jo called on the US authorities to have the two ships docked in Florida. “Now we’re facing resistance on our own shores,” he said. “It’s really heartbreaking.”
    A similar odyssey came to a good end this weekend in Australia. The “Artania”, known from the ARD documentary series “Crazy for the Sea”, was able to enter the port of Freemantle and the majority of the more than 800 passengers were flown to Germany on Sunday. Now the Australian authorities are urging the luxury liner to leave quickly. The head of government of the state of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, wants to prevent the “Artania” from attracting other ships. “I told the Australian Border Guard to get the ship on the way,” he said.

    The cruise ship “Magnifica” is still off the Australian coast with around 360 Germans on board. How many other cruise ships are still traveling worldwide is not known. But from the Holland America Line alone, according to the shipping company, there are still a dozen with a total of 9000 passengers.