By R. Mitchell –
Princess Cruise’s Grand Princess cruise ship is being held off the California coast as at least 21 people aboard are feared to have contracted Novel Coronavirus and a man that came off the ship last month has now died from the disease.
Two people who traveled on the ship last month have been confirmed with coronavirus and a 71-year-old man who was on the ship during a Mexico cruise became California’s first fatality from the disease on Wednesday.
The ship was returning from Hawaii when an additional 11 passengers and 10 crew members reported symptoms.
62 people who had contact with the two victims from the previous cruise, or were on the previous cruise have also been quarantined as health officials investigate a small cluster of coronavirus victims in California that were associated with the Grand Princess’ previous trip to Mexico.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said that testing kits are being flown out to the ship and that the Grand Princess will not be allowed to dock until everyone aboard has been assessed.
The ship is currently about 400 miles off the coast and is due to arrive in San Francisco Thursday afternoon.
The travel industry is already suffering from massive cancellations due to fears of contracting the disease and this latest cruise-ship outbreak is unlikely to change that.
Last month over 700 passengers and crew contracted the virus on the Princess Cruise Lines Diamond Princess ship.
The close proximity of travelers on aircraft and cruise ships give a highly-contagious virus, like Novel Coronavirus, the perfect breeding ground.
Only about 130 people in the United States have contracted coronavirus compared to the more than 15 thousand that have been hospitalized for influenza.
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