A spokesman for the cruise company confirmed the nationalities of the deceased passengers Friday, as it sought port in Florida.
“We continue to work with the Panamanian authorities on approval to transit the Panama Canal for sailing to Fort Lauderdale,” spokesman Erik Elvejord told the Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The Zaandam has been searching for a port that will allow it to dock since Chile denied the ship entry on March 21, the day the cruise was scheduled to end.
Two passengers have tested positive for COVID-19 and another 138 are sick with flu-like symptoms, double the number from just three days ago.
The causes of the four deaths have not been reported. An announcement on board notified passengers Friday morning that one person died earlier in the week, two on Thursday and another overnight; all were “older guests,” the announcer said.
The cruise’s 1,243 passengers, including 305 Americans, were told to stay in their rooms starting last Sunday.