Passengers must be cleared by doctors before exiting the boat

By Benjamin VanHoose
April 04, 2020 05:45 PM
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Coral Princess
Credit: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Two passengers aboard a Princess Cruise ship have died.

On Saturday, the Coral Princess docked in a Miami, Florida, port to disembark passengers who’ve been on board since the ship initially left for its voyage on March 5. A cause of death hasn’t been disclosed.

There were 12 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections among travelers and crew members, the company said in a news release.

“All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened to report that two guests passed away on Coral Princess,” a spokesperson for the company told PEOPLE in a statement. “Our hearts go out to their family, friends, and all who are impacted by this loss. All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincere condolences.”

There are 1,898 people on board the cruise (1,020 guests and 878 crew members), and its intended wrap-up date was March 19 in Buenos Aires.

According to Princess Cruises, the disembarking process for Coral Princess will be over the course of several days, with priority going to those who need medical assistance. Anyone with respiratory symptoms or recovering from being sick will stay until cleared by doctors.

Once cleared, travelers will be able to fly home from the Miami International Airport.

drone shows the cruise ship Coral Princess
Coral Princess docked at Port Miami on Saturday in Miami, Florida.
| Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Several of Princess Cruises’ ships have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreaks. According to USA Today, the Diamond Princess had 11 deaths and more than 700 cases of the virus, and the Grand Princess had two deaths and about 103 cases.

Princess Cruises was among the first cruise lines to temporarily halt all sailings in order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. On March 12, the company announced a 60-day, worldwide pause on its trips.

“By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, it is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world,” said Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz at the time in a statement.

According to data compiled by The New York Times, there have been at least 300,617 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 8,100 deaths, as of April 4. Worldwide, the Times reports over 1.1 million cases of the virus and 62,000 deaths.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.