Miami – The disembarkation of healthy passengers from three cruise ships, which in two of the cases arrived in South Florida with COVID-19 patients, continued this Monday in the ports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, amid complaints about the delay in the evacuation process for seriously ill patients.
The Democratic congresswoman of Ecuadorian origin Debbie Mucarsel-Powell He called for an “immediate” investigation into the death of Wilson Maa, a passenger on the Coral Princess cruise ship who had to wait several hours before being evacuated and died Saturday in a Florida hospital.
“Dad passed away last night (…) Now my mother Toyling Maa is waiting for her ambulance (…) Please, I can’t go through this again. #CoralPrincess ”, wrote the daughter of the deceased, Julie Maa, on Sunday on her Twitter account.RELATED
@PrincessCruises @ WPLGLocal10 @MiamiHerald Dad passed away last night. Thanks for all your support. Now my mom Toyling Maa is waiting for her ambulance. Been waiting over an hour. Please, I can’t go through this again. #CoralPrincess
– Julie Maa (@julieformusic) April 5, 2020
However, Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell, the first South American in the US Congress, urged to put in place a “clear and transparent process” on how symptomatic COVID-19 passengers should disembark and “quickly access medical care that saves them the lifetime”.
The protocol, as reported by cruise lines, has been delayed longer than expected due to the difficulty of sending them on charter flights, entry restrictions in several of the countries of origin of the passengers and changes in the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The “challenging” landing of the Princess
Princess Cruises detailed that the landing at the Port of Miami began on Saturday and that on Sunday they were able to evacuate passengers to California, Australia and the United Kingdom, on chartered flights.
He noted that CDC changed its policies on post-disembarkation travel for cruise passengers on Saturday night.
They no longer recommend travel on commercial flights or shared transportation for these passengers.
“Princess Cruises continues to work tirelessly to adjust the repatriation plan to meet the new CDC requirements,” the shipping company said.
“Unfortunately, this will lead to further delays in disembarking and traveling for many passengers as we work through this complex, challenging and unfortunate situation,” said the cruise company.
Before touching port, two passengers died on board the Coral Princess, out of a total of 1,020 travelers and 878 crew members of the ship, which reported at least 12 people infected with COVID-19 during the trip.
Four other passengers died during the South American voyage of the Zaandam cruise ship, which together with Rotterdam, both from the Holand America Line company, docked on Thursday in Port Everglades, Florida.
Caught on board
Most of the passengers have already disembarked, but there are still some asymptomatic passengers on board, such as a group of Uruguayans and Argentines who could be sent on a charter flight to Montevideo (Uruguay), where there are still possibilities to enter.
Both ships were able to dock in South Florida after a controversy with local and state authorities, who initially rejected the landing due to the COVID-19 crisis facing Florida, mainly in the southern state, where the ports of Miami and Everglades.
On ships, however, passengers with flu symptoms that are not serious remain in quarantine, as agreed with South Florida authorities.
Ship crew members will also remain on board until further orders.
All indicators of the progression of the coronavirus are on the rise in Florida, with Miami leading the way, according to the first official report on Monday, which indicates that there are 13,324 cases (12,350 on Sunday), 236 deaths (221) and 1,592 (1,555) hospitalizations. .