राजनीति र अन्तर्दृष्टि

शक्तिशाली समाचार
डोनाल्ड ट्रम्पले भने कि ब्रिटनहरुलाई फ्लोरिडामा रहेको क्रुज जहाजबाट बाहिर निकालिनेछ

डोनाल्ड ट्रम्पले भने कि ब्रिटनहरुलाई फ्लोरिडामा रहेको क्रुज जहाजबाट बाहिर निकालिनेछ

पढ्ने समय: 3 मिनेट

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that US authorities will evacuate passengers, including Britons, from a stranded cruise ship due to dock in Florida after being barred from several South American countries because of a coronavirus outbreak aboard.

Both the cruise ship Zaandam, where dozens of people have fallen ill, and its sister ship Rotterdam are due to enter US waters early on Thursday ahead of their expected docking in Fort Lauderdale.

The US president said the US was “sending medical teams on board the ships” and taking people off, with foreigners sent home.

“We’re taking the Canadians off and giving them to Canadian authorities,” he said. “Same thing with the UK. But we have to help the people. They’re in big trouble.”

A British national is among four people to have died on the Zaandam. In what is being described as an unfolding humanitarian crisis, so far two of the four people to have died on the cruise ship have been confirmed to have had Covid-19, with nine people on board testing positive and 189 reporting flu-like symptoms.

More than 200 British passengers are on board the Zaandam.

The cruise ship MS Rotterdam is seen from its sister ship MS Zaandam

State Governor Ron DeSantis, who issued a stay-at-home order on Wednesday for Florida’s 21 million residents, had earlier stated he didn’t want the ships to come into port.

But late on Wednesday he told Fox News network that he had not realised there were US citizens aboard.

The ships’ operator, Holland America Line, said it was awaiting confirmation that disembarkation will take place in Fort Lauderdale.

About 1,200 passengers who are not ill would be sent home on charter planes. They will be “transported in coaches that will be sanitised, with limited person-to-person contact and while wearing masks,” the company said.

Some 45 people with mild symptoms will remain aboard in isolation until they recover and 10 people requiring critical care will be taken ashore for treatment locally, the company said.

Mr DeSantis, a Trump ally, had resisted calls to issue stay-at-home orders in Florida and likewise had said he didn’t want the additional burden of sick cruise ship passengers.

“I was told that these ships were all foreign nationals and that they had no connection to Florida. So I was just like, why would you just bring them to Florida?” the Republican said, explaining his earlier thinking.

“It turns out there are American citizens and we actually have Floridians.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis listens during a news conference at a drive-through coronavirus testing site in front of Hard Rock Stadium

With nearly 7,000 coronavirus cases and 87 deaths, Florida – home to many retirees – has the fifth-most virus cases in the United States.

More than 30 other US states have already issued stay-at-home orders.

Holland America Line appealed to the US authorities on Monday to allow the two ships to dock, saying four passengers had already died and others were at risk.

“What happened to compassion and help thy neighbour?” Holland America president Orlando Ashford pleaded.

A total of 1,243 passengers and 1,247 crew members are stranded at sea on the Zaandam and also on Rotterdam, which came to its sister ship’s aid last week, bringing supplies.

About 200 passengers and crew aboard the Zaandam had reported influenza-like illnesses and at least nine have tested positive for Covid-19, the company said initially.

The desperate situation aboard the Zaandam, which was not allowed to enter several South American ports, attracted worldwide publicity, but it is just one of several cruise liners seeking permission to dock at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

The Zaandam, which left Buenos Aires on March 7, was originally meant to finish the trip in Chile on March 21, but changed course due to the virus and was scheduled to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on April 7.

Guy Jones, whose parents, Nick and Celia, are among some 229 British nationals on the luxury liner, said the cruise company had at least been keeping passengers informed.

He said that, although his parents, who are from Bristol, have an attitude of “keep calm and carry on”, they are still concerned about what the next step will be.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died on board the Zaandam and are in touch with cruise ship operator. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

“We are doing all we can to help British people on board the Zaandam cruise ship.

"हाम्रा कर्मचारीहरू क्रूज अपरेटर र यस क्षेत्रका अधिकारीहरूसँग बेलायती जनता सुरक्षित घर फर्कन सुनिश्चित गर्नका लागि निकट सम्पर्कमा छन्।"

यो लेख मूलतः प्रकाशित गरीएको थियो द टेलीग्राफ.

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