Coronavirus: Trapped cruise passenger Dr Partha Basu falls ill

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image captionRetired doctor Partha Basu and his wife have been in their cabin for 11 days

A passenger trapped on a cruise ship has been taken ill hours before his family hoped he would reach dry land.

Dr Partha Basu, 86, and wife Marion, 69, are on the MS Rotterdam, which hopes to dock in Florida at 18:00 BST.

The couple, from Greater Manchester, have been confined to their cabin for 11 days, after being transferred from sister ship MS Zaandam.

The Zaandam was denied access to the US last month after four people died when coronavirus was detected on board.

A spokesman for Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale said the joint command of several local agencies, including the port and US Coastguard, have yet to decide whether to allow the Rotterdam permission to dock.

"Yesterday, we had been hoping they would have been able to disembark today and start trying to fly home but my mum told me last night that dad is poorly," said Dr Basu's daughter Sally Worthington.

image copyrightFamily collect
image captionPartha and Marian Basu were only due to be on the ship seven days

"I spoke to mum today and she said dad is better but it could be flu, a chest infection or the virus - it looks as if they will take him straight to hospital from the boat," she added.

The couple, from Sale, were only due to spend seven days on the cruise, but the Zaandam was which was condemned to roam the seas after the deaths on board.

Dr and Mrs Basu were later transferred with other healthy passengers to the Rotterdam, which is due to dock in Fort Lauderdale.

"They are very active people and if they were at home they would probably have volunteered to help the community - dad does a lot of charity work with Rotary," said Mrs Worthington.

"It is very stressful for the family but we are trying to keep positive."

Dr Basu worked as a GP in the Newton Heath district of Manchester and also worked as an ENT specialist at Withington Hospital.

The Zaandam was on a South America cruise that departed from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 7 March.

The cruise operators Holland America have been contacted by the BBC for a comment.

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image captionHundreds of passengers without coronavirus symptoms were transferred to another ship

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