The Diamond Princess cruise ship, currently docked off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, has 3,711 people on board, including 132 crew members and six passengers who are Indian nationals.
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Sources said the ship reached Yokohama on February 3, 2020, after visiting Hong Kong and Okinawa. On the same day, the government of Japan conducted an on-board quarantine. (Click to follow our coverage of coronavirus outbreak)
Japan quarantined the ship as one passenger who had disembarked at Hong Kong on Jan 25 was found to be infected with the virus on Feb 1. Taking into account the maximum incubation period of 14 days for the coronavirus, Japan has quarantined the cruise ship at Yokohama for 14 days. The quarantine period started from Feb 5 and will end on Feb 19.
During this period, passengers have been kept under monitoring and requested to remain restricted to their rooms. They have been provided with protective masks, medicines and necessary supplies including water and food, as well as regular phone and Internet services. Quarantine officers have been deputed by Japan on the ship, including doctors to attend to the needs of passengers.
“As of February 12, 2020, 174 people have tested positive for N-Coronavirus, including two Indian nationals. People who have tested positive have been taken to hospitals for treatment,” an Indian government source said.
“The embassy of India in Tokyo is monitoring the evolving situation and is in touch with concerned authorities in the government of Japan. Embassy officials have also reached out to the Indian nationals on board and sought their cooperation after explaining to them the health and safety regulations of Japanese authorities. The embassy is also taking up concerns raised by the Indian nationals on board the cruise ship with the concerned authorities in the Japanese Foreign Ministry as well as the cruise company,” the source said.
“We understand that once the quarantine is over, everyone leaving the ship will be screened for temperature and other symptoms related to the N-Coronavirus infection. Thereafter, people will be free to go to a place of their choice. The managing company of the cruise liner has also announced that the passengers will be refunded full cruise fare including air travel, hotel, ground transportation, etc. Crew members of the ship, will be remunerated as per their existing contracts post the quarantine period,” the source added.
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