The ship is stuck in limbo while carrying 138 people who have shown flu-like symptoms and two people who have tested positive for Covid-19.
Spokesperson Erik Elvejord said of the four who had died: “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and we are doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time.”
Those on the ship who are sick include 53 passengers and 85 crew members. In total, there are 1,243 passengers and 586 crew members on the ship.
The ship did not have coronavirus tests available until last Thursday evening, when Holland America’s MS Rotterdam supplied them with medical personnel.
Holland America said the Zaandam arrived in Panamanian waters on Friday and has since been following the protocol of Panama's Ministry of Health, which states that if a vessel has individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 on board, it cannot make any port operations or transit the Canal.
"We announced a plan to transfer groups of healthy Zaandam guests to Rotterdam, with strict protocols for this process developed in conjunction with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Holland America's statement said. "Only those who have not been ill will be moved, and health screenings will be conducted before transferring."
The healthy passengers transferred to the Rotterdam were going to be transported back to the US. However, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said that passengers cannot be ‘dumped’ in his state.