Published: Tue, March 10, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Stranded by coronavirus, cruise passengers eager to land in Oakland

Stranded by coronavirus, cruise passengers eager to land in Oakland

A cruise ship that had been barred from docking in San Francisco after a coronavirus outbreak on board has landed in Oakland, California.

Some 30 USA states have been hit by the novel coronavirus, with OR the latest to declare an emergency, and 60 million people in California and NY under crisis measures. As a boat puttered close to the ship, she could hear people on their balconies yelling "Bring us pizza!" and asking for DoorDash (the food delivery service).

"We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend".

The Smiths said they were a bit anxious but felt safe in their room, which they had left just once since Thursday to video chat with their children. 114 people have tested positive in California, with more than 10,000 individuals under observation following the state's first death related to the virus. We miss our spouses.

A Johns Hopkins University tally put the number of confirmed USA cases at 537 by Sunday afternoon, with newly diagnosed patients in states including Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.

The California governor and Oakland mayor sought to reassure people that none of the cruise ship passengers would be exposed to the public before completing the quarantine.

Newsom asked for patience, disclosing that the debarkation process could take two to three days.

Britons on board the ship have been confined to their cabins since Thursday.

Government charters plane to bring home Canadians aboard Grand Princess
On Friday, the USA government confirmed that 21 people on the ship had tested positive for the virus , including 19 crew members. Princess Cruises officials said it was expected to arrive on Monday - carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries.

USA passengers will be flown or bused from the port - chosen for its proximity to an airport and a military base - to bases in California, Texas and Georgia for testing and a 14-day quarantine. "While the USA government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for US citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities".

The Regal Princess cruise ship finally pulled into a Florida port and passengers began disembarking after two crew members tested negative for coronavirus.

A Victoria woman is speaking out about her experience aboard the quarantined Grand Princess cruise ship now being held off the coast of California due to a coronavirus outbreak on board.

Also Sunday, the U.S. State Department advised against travel on cruise ships, particularly for travelers with underlying health conditions.

Trump has been heavily rebuked for repeatedly contradicting the advice of his administration's experts in his public pronouncements about the coronavirus. "They have all these people, why isn't anyone calling us?"

"Their messages are all over the place, frankly", he told Fox News.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health's infectious diseases chief, said widespread closure of a city or region is "possible".

"It's just an environment where people can not separate sufficiently from each other to prevent transmission... and with the ongoing outbreak that we're having around the world right now, there's really no way to effectively screen people out of cruise ships", said BC provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, adding that going on a cruise "is really taking a chance on your health at the moment".

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