A cruise ship hit by the new coronavirus is headed to the port of Oakland, California, the captain told passengers, though they were destined to stay aboard the ship for at least another day.
Grand Princess Capt John Smith, in a recording provided by passenger Laurie Miller of San Jose, told guests the ship will dock in Oakland.
Princess Cruises says it's expected to arrive on Monday (local time). The ship is carrying more than 3500 people from 54 countries.
"An agreement has been reached to bring our ship into the port of Oakland," he told passengers Saturday night.
"After docking, we will then begin a disembarkation process specified by federal authorities that will take several days."
Passengers who need medical treatment or hospitalisation will go to health care facilities in California, while state residents who don't require acute medical care "will go to a federally run isolation facility within California for testing and isolation", the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services said in a statement today.
"The crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, but importantly, the ship will only stay in Port of Oakland for the duration of disembarkment.
"This ship will depart Oakland as soon as possible and will remain elsewhere for the duration of the crew's quarantine," the statement said.
US guests from outside California will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states.
Texas Gov Greg Abbott said numerous passengers – about 90 of them Texas residents – will be transferred to a military base in San Antonio for testing for the coronavirus. It was not clear when the group would arrive.
Smith said the information he was given did not include any information about what would happen to passengers from other countries. California officials did not provide those details.
The Grand Princess had been forbidden to dock in San Francisco amid evidence that the vessel was the breeding ground for a cluster of nearly 20 cases that resulted in at least one death after a previous voyage.
Meanwhile, the US death toll from the virus climbed to 19, with all but three victims in Washington state.
The number of infections swelled to more than 400, scattered across the US, as passengers aboard the ship holed up in their rooms.
Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 3400, the vast majority of them in China. Most cases have been mild, and more than half of those infected have recovered.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-cruise-ship-to-dock-in-oakland-california/9fc7cba9-6982-4bb8-9488-96b978b222b5