princess cruise

This is the latest on the 235 Canadians stranded on the Grand Princess cruise ship

More than 230 Canadians aboard a Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California are being held for coronavirus testing, and results are starting to come in. 

There are currently 3,533 people on the ship, including 2,422 guests and 1,111 crew members. A total of 237 Canadians (230 passengers and seven crew members) are stuck on the Grand Princess. 

The ship was denied entry to its home port in San Francisco earlier this week amid growing concerns over coronavirus cases in patients who took the cruise not long ago, and after 35 passengers reported flu-like symptoms on board. 

Several attractions on the ship were initially closed down before passengers were told to isolate themselves in their staterooms as of Thursday afternoon. 

In a statement released Friday morning, Grand Princess said samples were collected from 45 people and 21 have tested positive for coronavirus. Nineteen of these were crew and two were passengers.

Videos posted online show the California National Guard delivering the coronavirus test kits to the ship by helicopter. 

"Following guidelines received today from the CDC, all guests have been asked to stay in their staterooms while test results are pending," Princess Cruises said in the statement. 

"Guests are receiving meal deliveries in their staterooms by room service, and additional television and movie options have been added to in-room programming. Guests have also been provided complimentary internet service to stay in contact with their family and loved ones, and the ship’s internet bandwidth has been increased."

This is now the second time that more than 200 Canadians have been quarantined on a ship due to coronavirus fears, following the Diamond Princess ship that was not allowed to dock in Japan in February. 

At least 47 Canadians contracted the virus on that cruise, and a total of 705 passengers were infected leading to six deaths.

In light of this, the Canadian government is now warning of the potential dangers of cruise ships in the face of the virus outbreak. 

"Canadians planning cruise ship travel should be aware that infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, can spread quickly due to close contact between passengers," reads a travel alert on the government's website

"Older people and people with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19."

The alert explains that many countries are implementing policies and restrictions in order to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, which could potentially impact a cruise traveller's itinerary, ability to disembark, access to health care, and could also result in travellers being subject to quarantine procedures.

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