US President Donald Trump has said he would rather leave thousands of people on board the coronavirus-hit Grand Princess cruise ship as 21 people tested positive for Covid-19.
It was revealed on Friday that 21 people on the ship off the coast of California had tested positive for coronavirus.
The US vice-president Mike Pence confirmed that 19 of the infected patients had been crew members.
The ship was due to dock on Wednesday at San Francisco but was forced to wait off the coast at sea over fears there may be cases of coronavirus on board as people fell sick.
There are 3,500 passengers and crew on board, including more than 140 Britons.
Everyone on board is set to be tested although a plan on how and when is yet to be confirmed
Pence said the government was working with officials in California to bring the ship to a non-commercial port this weekend.
A military helicopter had been seen dropping supplies and test-kits onto the ship’s deck.
Pence added it was likely the infected crew members caught the virus on two different voyages and said that he expects the 1,110 staff members on board to be quarantined.
It comes as Trump said on Friday he would rather everyone remained on board, although he would let others make the decision to let them leave.
“I’d rather have them stay on, personally, but I fully understand if they want to take them off,” he told reporters.
The President has also signed bill to provide $8.3bn (£6.4bn) to support the country’s capacity to test for coronavirus and fund other measures.