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Canadian man dies from COVID-19 in Brazil hospital after being taken off cruise ship

Canadian man dies from COVID-19 in Brazil hospital after being taken off cruise ship
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A 79-year-old Canadian man who tested positive for COVID-19 while on a cruise ship in South America has died in a Brazil hospital, health authorities said.

He was on the cruise ship Silver Shadow sailing off the coast of Brazil when two passengers showed signs of influenza-like illness. They were medically evacuated on March 12.

The man was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Real Hospital Português de Beneficência in Recife for treatment.

He died Thursday morning “due to complications caused by the new coronavirus,” said Dr. Cristiano Hecksher, medical director of the hospital, in a statement. The Canadian was one of two COVID-19 patients who died that day, the other was 69-year-old local man.

“Both had comorbidities,” Hecksher said, meaning they both had other medical conditions along with COVID-19.

The Canadian’s name was not released.

“We have expressed our deepest sympathies to the family on the loss of their loved one,” said Jonathon Fishman, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean Ltd., the parent company that owns the Silver Shadow.

“From all of us, our hearts go out to them.”

The other passenger did not have COVID-19.

The Silver Shadow was one of several cruise ships caught in limbo when the global coronavirus pandemic was declared. Several ships could not dock at South American ports and are still stranded at sea, including the MS Zaandam, where four passengers have died.

The Silver Shadow was anchored in Recife, a major port on Brazil’s Atlantic coast but the remaining 318 passengers and 291 crew members were not allowed to leave while authorities figured out how to proceed. Passengers were confined to their rooms for a week, where meals were delivered to their door. The remaining Canadian passengers were allowed to disembark on Saturday, leaving only American citizens aboard.

The ship’s plight came into the limelight when mentioned by U.S. President Donald Trump at one of his coronavirus briefings. He said the U.S. passengers had finally all been flown back to the United States.

With files from Victor Ferreira, National Post

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