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More Ships with Sick Passengers Seek to Dock at Port Everglades

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Two more cruise ships with sick people aboard are on their way to South Florida.

The Celebrity Silhouette and Caribbean Princess have some crew members who are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Four of the Silhouette’s crew members are sick but in stable condition. They have been placed in isolation, but have not been tested for the coronavirus.

The Caribbean Princess also has at least one crew member in isolation because of a flu-like illness.

Meanwhile, a debate has ensued in recent days about whether ships with sick people should be allowed to dock at Port Everglades.

Some say ships docking could spread disease and overcrowd the region’s hospitals, while those in favor of allowing ships to dock mention compassion for the sick.

Broward County commissioners are still reviewing whether to allow two Holland America cruise ships to dock at the port.

One of those ships, the Zaandam, had four people die, in addition to nearly 200 who became sick.

The commissioners’ decision is still pending. A meeting is being considered for Thursday morning before the ships are scheduled to arrive.

Celebrity Silhouette and Caribbean Princess, neither of which have passengers aboard, planned to enter Port Everglades later Wednesday, according to Glenn Wiltshire, acting port director.

The Coast Guard had initially denied the Celebrity Silhouette’s request to enter American waters, but later cleared the ship for entry when the Coast Guard adequate safety measures would be taken. In addition, only healthy crew members will be taken directly to Miami International Airport for international flights.

However, the Caribbean Princess still must provide more information before receiving permission to enter the U.S.

The Unified Command, which is comprised of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard, plans to meet by conference call late Wednesday to review any additional information submitted by the Princess. In the meantime, the vessel will remain offshore until a plan acceptable to the Unified Command is submitted and approved,” reads a statement from officials.

Other ships with pending arrivals reportedly include Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess, which is carrying a “higher-than-normal” number of passengers with flu-like symptoms, according to the cruise line. It is scheduled to arrive at Port Everglades on Saturday.

Princess Cruises adds that many of its sick passengers have tested positive for regular flu, adding that due to the concern over the coronavirus, “guests have been asked to self-isolate in their staterooms and all meals will now be delivered by room service.” In addition, crew members who are not on shift will remain in their staterooms.

UPDATED: Cruise Ship with 4 Dead of Coronavirus Cleared to Pass through Panama Canal to Port Everglades