The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is made up of 38 cruise companies with a total of 277 ships. On March 13, the CLIA decided to suspend operations from US ports for 30 days. As of Friday, this has resulted in 20 ships being denied entry leaving the passengers and crew stuck at sea, CNN reports.
The organization confirmed to CNN on Friday that about 5.4 percent of the total fleet are currently at sea completing journeys.
Some of these ships have passengers who have been infected with COVID-19. Per The Guardian, two people tested positive for the coronavirus on Zaandam luxury cruise liner which is currently stranded off the coast of Panama. These infections led to the death of four elderly people.
"Unfortunately, four of our fellow guests have passed away – one last night, two yesterday, and one a few days ago," the ship’s captain Captain Jan Smit revealed via an announcement. "We are still seeing both guests and crew with symptoms reporting to the medical center. The situation continues to grow more challenging each day."
There are still over 1,200 passengers on board along with 586 crew members who are being quarantined in their quarters. The ship is making its way to Florida where it hopes to be able to dock after being denied entry at various countries.
"It’s very scary," Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine said on Friday. "We are waiting for a plan to be presented to us."