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April 2 updates: Zaandam/Rotterdam to offload, Everglades-bound Coral Princess has COVID-19 cases, Inmarsat discounts, DeCurtis Shield, CroisiEurope houses nurses

Coral Princess.jpeg
Seven passengers and five crew on Coral Princess tested positive for COVID-19
In addition to feature story coverage, here's a quick read of some of today’s other coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

Zaandam, Rotterdam cleared to disembark

Zaandam and Rotterdam have been cleared to dock at Port Everglades. After passengers are screened, disembarkation is expected to be completed by Friday evening, with priority given today to those who need immediate care. Thirteen passengers and one crew member are going to two hospitals. 

Fit-to-travel passengers will transfer straight from the ships onto buses to the airport for their flights home. The majority will leave on charter flights. The few local Florida residents will return home via private cars.

Passengers with mild symptoms — 26 —will remain on board and disembark at a later date to be finalized after they have fully recovered and meet US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for being fit to travel. They will continue to be cared for by the ships’ medical staffs.

No crew from either ship will disembark in Fort Lauderdale. Fifty in total are symptomatic.

Since March 22, 107 passengers (90 on Zaandam and 17 on Rotterdam) and 143 crew on Zaandam (none on Rotterdam) have presented with influenza-like symptoms. There are 808 passengers and 583 crew on Rotterdam, while Zaandam is carrying 442 passengers and 603 crew. Among the passengers, 311 are US citizens including 52 Floridians.

Coral Princess confirms 12 COVID-19 cases

Another ship heading to Port Everglades has confirmed cases of COVID-19. Coral Princess, due to arrive Saturday, has seven passengers and five crew who tested positive among 13 samples sent to Barbados when the ship made a service call there Tuesday.

No one got off then, and people have been self-isolating on board for some days since a higher than normal number reported influenza-like symptoms. As previously reported, meals are being delivered by room service and crew are staying in their cabins when off duty. Face masks are also being distributed ship-wide.

Inmarsat discounts and free COVID-19 video call service

Inmarsat formalized a sweeping 50% discount for crew voice calling services available for up to 40,000 ships for three months until the end of June. The maritime satellite service provider is also ensuring that calls made to the SeafarerHelp service provided by International Seafarers’ Welfare Assistance Network are available free of charge over the same period.

In addition, Inmarsat is working with healthcare specialist Vikand and software platform provider FrontM to provide a free COVID-19 video call service with a trained health professional to give real-time advice. This is not a clinical care or emergency service, but will serve as a resource to help crew at a difficult time.

The voice call discount offer is available from today for three months to retail customers using FleetBroadband ChatCard voice services and to wholesale partners offering FleetBroadband voice calls under the legacy Crew Calling ‘SQT’ brand. Steps are being taken to accelerate the launch of ChatCard services for Fleet Xpress with an introductory discount. 

DeCurtis Shield for temperature checks, tracking

New DeCurtis Corp. technology is designed to be easily and quickly implemented as a standalone system to collect temperature at entry and exit points to help mitigate the spread of illness. The new DeCurtis Shield can use this health metadata to track and report the location of ‘at risk’ individuals and those they may have interacted with.

DeCurtis Shield is part of a suite that collects basic health information through facial recognition and thermal imaging to assess temperature via standalone kiosks. When integrated with a digital experience platform, that health data can be layered on in a secure fashion to enable proactive measures in the event of potential illness.

When the DeCurtis Shield is deployed in an environment enabled with the DXP Location Solution, it can provide real-time and historical indoor location timelines to address potential outbreaks, assess risks from known interactions and strategically plan for cleaning protocols.

CroisiEurope boat houses Paris nurses

CroisiEurope is making its Botticelli riverboat, moored in Paris, available to house nurses working at nearby hospitals.

Nursing staff are directed to the human resources departments of their hospital to request stays on board. Those with night shifts can go aboard at the end of their work day to rest in the morning and those who work during the day can spend the night on the vessel. CroisiEurope is also offering the nurses dinner and breakfast.

Botticelli can accommodate 75 people in individual cabins. A small team of volunteers is on board to help with services.