Authorities in Broward County say they are working to disembark passengers from two cruise ships who reported having both dead and ill passengers.
The ships, Zaandam and Rotterdam docked in Port everglades on Thursday after several other countries turned them away.
Four men over the age of 70 were reported died after falling ill and experiencing medical complications. According to CNN, two of the men were diagnosed with the coronavirus, while the 3rd passed away due to a heart attack, and the 4th passed away due to an undisclosed preexisting medical condition.
Officials also say that at least 100 passengers reported experiencing flu-like symptoms, while another 1211 passengers reported good health.
On Friday the process of disembarking passengers from the cruise ship began.
Broward County Mayor Dale Holness says he understands local concerns that the passengers may increase the spread of the virus among Floridians and that officials are doing everything necessary to prevent that from happening:
“We have taken every precaution necessary to protect the well-being and health of the people of Broward County, while at the same time being humanitarians,” Mayor Holness said.
13 critically ill passengers have been transferred to area hospitals, while those who reported themselves as being in good health will be provided supervised travel home once they pass a medical screening.Officials say passengers leaving the cruise ship will be ushered directly onto shuttle buses that will then drive directly onto the tarmac of the airport to avoid passengers going through terminals. The passengers will then be put on planes home and told to self- quarantine for 14-days.
As for Florida residents, they will be taxied to their homes where they are expected to self-quarantine.
An additional 26 passengers and 50 crew members will remain onboard the ship where they will be monitored after reporting flu-like symptoms.