5 Singaporeans Reportedly Aboard Coronavirus-Hit Cruise Ship Off Japan’s Coast
UPDATE (7 Feb, 12.53pm): 5 Singaporeans are aboard the cruise ship. According to The Straits Times, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) reported that they’re physically well.
The Singapore Embassy in Tokyo has contacted them to offer the necessary assistance.
The Diamond Princess cruise liner, with 3,711 passengers on board, has been quarantined off the coast of Yokohama as Japanese authorities found that a previously confirmed case had spent a few days aboard the ship
On Friday (7 Feb), Japan’s health minister announced that a staggering 41 more passengers on board the quarantined cruise ship had tested positive for the coronavirus.
This brings the total number of infections on the ship to at least 61, reports The Straits Times (ST).
Cruise ship embarked from Yokohama on 5 Feb
According to ST, the Diamond Princess embarked from Yokohama on Wednesday (5 Feb), before it was discovered that at least 10 people on the ship tested positive for the coronavirus.
As a result, the entire vessel carrying 3,711 people was quarantined off the coast of Yokohama.
Entire cruise ship quarantined for 14 days
As a precautionary measure, passengers have been quarantined on the ship for 14 days.
Currently, all passengers are restricted to their cabins and will have meals delivered to them by the crew. This minimises human contact, preventing the possibility of the coronavirus being spread even further.
The Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama on Thursday (6 Feb) to resupply, as the quarantine could potentially last until 19 Feb.
Japanese health officials are also screening those showing symptoms of the coronavirus, as well as those who have been in close proximity to the confirmed cases.
61 people on cruise tested positive for coronavirus
As of the time of this article, 61 passengers have tested positive, out of the 273 who were screened.
20 confirmed cases have allegedly departed the cruise ship and been sent to hospitals.
They plan to send the remaining 41 confirmed cases to various hospitals around Japan today (7 Feb).
Japanese authorities handled situation efficiently
With such a large number of people exposed to carriers of the coronavirus, this situation could have been a disaster.
Fortunately, the Japanese authorities handled it efficiently and smoothly.
Using the cruise ship as the quarantine facility definitely saved a lot of time and logistic difficulties. We applaud them for their innovative reponse.
We hope the situation will continue to be managed well, and that there are no more confirmed cases from the Diamond Princess.
Featured image adapted from Washington Post.