A SECOND passenger has died after leaving coronavirus cruise ship the Grand Princess.
The 72-year-old was found dead at his home in Sunnyvale, California and he had been on the same voyage as another man, aged 71, who died of the virus after leaving the vessel.
The Grand Princes is being held off San Francisco after the traveller, from Sacramento, who had been on a voyage to Mexico in February, died of the coronavirus.
A desperate search is underway to track down the 2500 passengers who had sailed with the man, though some are currently still on the ship.
In the latest incident, police found the man unresponsive at his home in Sunnyvale, California and despite officers performing CPR, he died, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“It was later learned the patient had recently been on a cruise with two passengers were suspected of having COVID-19,” the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, referring to the official name for the virus.
The officers who performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation were quarantined at home, said the department chief Phan Ngo.
“We don’t yet know if the patient had COVID-19,” he added.
The passengers who are being tracked down got off the ship in San Francisco last week and fears are growing they could be "potentially spreading the virus".
The US death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 12 on Thursday, with all but one victim in Washington state.
The number of infections swelled to over 200, scattered across 18 states. Colorado and Nevada reported their first cases.
Two other passengers from that voyage have been hospitalized with the virus in Sonoma County, northern California
Officials in Nevada confirmed a man in his 50s from Washoe County who was on the Grand Princess also tested positive for the virus.
The test kits were delivered by the National Guard copter to the Grand Princess, which has 3,500 passengers and has been ordered to stay away from the coast of California.
The helicopter was scheduled to retrieve the kits later Thursday for delivery to a lab in California.
The test results could be processed in a few hours.
A Canadian man in his 60s from that voyage has also tested positive, and two other passengers from have been hospitalized.
Princess Cruise Lines has said that fewer than 100 people on the ship had been identified for testing.
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.
“The ship will not come on shore until we appropriately assess the passengers,” he said
The governor had previously said that 21 people on the cruise ship may have shown coronavirus symptoms.
Dozens have had flu-like symptoms over the past two weeks, said Mary Ellen Carroll of San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management.
"Once we have results from the tests," she said, authorities "will determine the best location for the ship to berth.”
Some of the current passengers had been on the previous voyage, to various Mexican ports.
A passenger from the Mexico voyage says she and her husband became ill later but did not think much of it until the fellow traveler succumbed to the virus.
“They're telling us to stay home, but nobody told me until yesterday to stay home," Judy Cadiz said Thursday.
"We were in Sacramento, we were in Martinez, we were in Oakland. We took a train home from the cruise.
"I really hope that we're negative so nobody got infected.”
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