Princess Cruise ship remains under quarantine in Japan as Coronavirus cases grow

Princess Cruises’ ship Diamond Princess will spend the next two weeks under quarantine in Japan after at least 20 passengers tested positive for the Coronavirus, according to local media reports.

The problems for the ship, carrying 3,700 passengers and crew, began on Tuesday when she returned to Yokohama following an 8-night roundtrip cruise.

An 80-year-old passenger from China had disembarked the ship during a port call in Hong Kong and gone to hospital with symptoms of the virus. Tests on around 200 passengers and crew revealed that at least 20 people were infected.

The ship was allowed alongside briefly to evacuate sick passengers and take on supplies

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On Wednesday, the ship’s crew announced that passengers would be restricted to their cabins during a two-week quarantine.

Since then,passengers have voiced their fears and concerns through traditional andsocial media, with some askingfor prescription medications and other supplies to be delivered.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that necessities such as medicine would be delivered that evening and items requested thereafter would be handed out “as soon as possible” starting Friday.

At least one passenger has been evacuated from the ship beneath a hazmat tent to be taken to hospital.

Diamond Princess will spend two weeks at anchor under quarantine

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While some passengers have complained that their cruise has turned into a ‘prison ship’ experience, others have pointed out that the situation is beyond the control of Princess Cruises, with the crew doing all they can to keep passengers comfortable.

A passenger aboard the ship speaking to Sky News praised the ship’s crew for “doing their best under very difficult circumstances”.

“The holiday was fantastic, and the crew are doing the right thing – they’re trying to keep everybody safe,” another passenger in his 70s said.

Health officials in hazmat suits have boarded the ship

At the time of writing the number of people infected worldwide with the virus stood at more than 28,000, with 567 deaths. Cruise lines around the world, including in Dubai and South Africa, have stepped up pre-boarding health screening in the wake of the outbreak.

It’s not clear whether the Chinese passenger who brought Coronavirus aboard Diamond Princess boarded the ship before or after Princess stepped up its own pre-screening procedures.

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