Helicopter collects coronavirus testing kits from ill passengers on cruise ship

Coronavirus

(CBS) — A helicopter was seen hovering over an ocean liner barred from returning to port after passengers fell ill, as it waited to collect coronavirus testing kits Thursday.

The Grand Princess Cruise ship was due to return to San Francisco on Wednesday night but was stopped after at least 35 people developed flu-like symptoms onboard.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has said the vessel would be kept offshore until the passengers and crew who have fallen ill can be tested for possible coronavirus infection.

Diagnostic sampling kits and members of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) team were flown to the ship on Thursday, in a joint operation by the CDC and U.S. Coast Guard.

Footage posted online showed a helicopter hovering overhead and a letter handed out to passengers offering advice to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The uploader told Reuters that passengers onboard had been restricted to their cabins but that the cruise operator was “doing their best in a difficult situation”.

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