MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Several cruise ship workers believed to be sick with COVID-19 have been transported off the ship and brought to get medical attention in Miami Beach.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded to the U.S. Coast Guard Station to help transport the crew members who were aboard the Costa Magica ship on Thursday morning.
“We have several of these cruise ships that were allowed to dock,” Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo said. “Some of them it was confirmed that people had been infected.”
7News cameras captured several medical staff members in hazmat gear making their way to a tender from the cruise ship. One man who was taken off the ship could be seen struggling to walk once coming ashore.
The ship is currently holding off approximately five miles out from the coast of PortMiami. The sick workers were reportedly loaded onto the smaller boat, which then came into PortMiami.
Although Miami-Dade County controls the port, City of Miami commissioners on Wednesday night discussed closing the road in and out of the port to stop cruise ship passengers from entering the city.
Carollo asked, “Can you research to see if there’s anything we can do to blockade that entrance or exit where we can limit only the people that are there to do essential work?”
Medical personnel have been transporting crew members from the boat to MDFR ambulances where they will be brought to Jackson Memorial Hospital to get further medical attention.
7SkyForce HD hovered above the scene where first responders could be seen around one of the patients. Aerial footage also showed the patients being loaded into the ambulances.
Shortly after, another small boat believed to have also come from the cruise ship docked at the U.S. Coast Guard Station.
Two crew members appeared to have come off the second boat.
After transporting the suspected sick patients, the paramedics could be seen being decontaminated.
Jackson Health System said they could not abandon the sick crew members.
In a statement, they said while they are “committed to preserving resources for our own residents, an international community like Miami would never turn our backs on board ships at our shores.”
The Holland America Zaandam cruise ship, with more than 100 sick passengers exhibiting flu-like symptoms, is several days away from Port Everglades, and they are looking to dock at the port.
“We hope to pass through the Panama Canal and get to Fort Lauderdale,” a passenger said. “We’re not sure of that. The captain has been trying for several days to get an answer and not has been forthcoming.”
Some Broward County leaders want the ship and the sick passengers to stay away. There are hundreds of Americans on the ship.
“The main concern is just being able to get home,” a second passenger said. “Those of us that are healthy are happy to self-quarantine.”
The ship is expected to be near South Florida sometime next week.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the patients will remain in South Florida until they can return to their home countries.
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