As the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of stopping, cruise ships that are supposed to have docked months ago are still struggling to come onshore.
In particular, two cruise ships that have been in limbo off the coast of Florida that’s carrying coronavirus-exposed passengers are just being allowed to dock now after an order by the Coast Guard warned the doctors on the ship to prepare to start treating individuals that are believed to have been infected with the coronavirus.
As per Dr. Phil Brewer, the university medical director for Student Health Services at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut and a former cruise ship doctor, the initial refusal to let these ships dock is simply “unprecedented.” Previously, Brewer served as a physician aboard more than 50 cruises between 1996 and 2015. Furthermore, he also added that no cruise ship is set up and prepared enough to take care of patients that are severely ill for the long term since protocol ensures that they can get back on land as soon as possible where proper medical care can be given immediately.
“If they were really severely ill, I would say the most you could take care of is two or three people,” Brewer said, adding that there is only one ventilator aboard a cruise ship as well as no more than five hospital beds for patients, and this is even assuming that the exam rooms and quarantine rooms can be easily converted at a moment’s notice.
Per another release, there are dozens of cruise ships that are still in limbo and waiting to enter Florida, with a lot of them only having a crew onboard. However, a report by the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that there are still more than 6,000 people passengers still stuck at sea.
According to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, he was initially reluctant to allow the ships because the state is lacking in medical facilities.
“My concern is simply that we have worked too hard to make sure we have adequate hospital beds,” Gov. DeSantis said .
However, a recent release revealed that an agreement has been made to let the ships dock in Florida’s Port of Everglades.