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Ship Quarantine Ends
News Bytes 02/20/2020 12 Comments

About 500 passengers finally left a quarantined cruise ship yesterday. They had been on board for two weeks. But the confinement failed to stop the spread of the dreaded new coronavirus among passengers and crew docked in Yokohama, Japan.

By most measures, the quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess was a flop. Japanese officials insist the number of patients infected with the illness named COVID-19 is leveling off. But cases on the ship have continued to rise. Yesterday, authorities announced 79 more cases. That brings the ship’s total to 621. Others of the 3,711 people on the vessel may also be infected—but just not showing symptoms yet.

Japan’s decision to keep people on the ship has been unpopular. Some experts have called the trapped ship a perfect virus incubator. In fact, the cruise ship is the site of the most infections outside of China.

Because of the concerns, many foreign governments won’t let passengers from the ship return home unless they go through another quarantine period.

Japanese health officials defend the 14-day quarantine and the safeguards taken on the ship. About 1,000 crew members were told to wear surgical masks, wash their hands, use disinfectant sprays, and stop working at restaurants and other entertainment areas during the 14-day quarantine. But they continued to serve guests by delivering food, letters, and towels and entering passenger cabins for cleaning.

Passengers had to stay in their cabins and not walk around or contact other passengers. Those in windowless cabins could go out on the deck for about an hour each day.

Before leaving, passengers who tested negative and had no symptoms had to get their body temperature checked. They each received a certificate stating their negative test results and completion of the quarantine.

Anyone who tested positive recently is still on the ship. Those people must wait for transportation to hospitals. All crew members had to stay on board as well.

Not everyone felt good about disembarking. “I’m a bit concerned if I’m OK to get off the ship, but it was getting very difficult physically,” says a 77-year-old man from Saitama, near Tokyo.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato urges former passengers to stay home for about two more weeks, saying, “Extra caution will contribute to preventing the risk of future infections.”

(An unidentified passenger disembarks from the quarantined cruise ship Wednesday, February 19, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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Most recent comments

I can't imagine what that was like for them!

Two weeks to be just stuck on a ship? I can't imagine... Well at least they can go home now!

Sad...

I heard about this the other day. It seems pretty sad that what the Japanese officials thought would help to control the Coronavirus actually spread it.

Knew this

My mom has been telling me about this since it first started. My older sister thinks it would so exciting to be stuck on a ship with a deadly virus, but my dad says it would get old fast LOL. Still, I feel so bad for them!

my mom told me about this...

my mom told me about this...

It would be really hard to

It would be really hard to have a relative or friend on that ship.
Glad some of them get to go home!

Hope they'll be OK

I heard about that from my grandpa just today. I can't imagine being stuck on a ship for two weeks!

@ Alaina H

I know right!

Strong immune system

Well, people are actually just making a bigger deal about the virus than they should. It's really only killed people with weak immune systems/older people. It's just another stomach virus, people die from the flu too. As long as you keep a healthy and strong immune system you should be fine.

I would really hate to be

I would really hate to be stuck on a ship for two weeks just staying in my cabin

PHEWWWWWWWWWWWWW- i just hope it never comes to our community...

im really glad its not affecting our community

Horrible

That would be HORRIBLE!!! Being stuck at home with a cold going on is scary! They should stop the cruise ships until this thing is long over.

Being trapped on a ship is scary

especially when everyone on it is getting coronavirus. And windowless cabins! That doesn't sound pleasant, and spending 23 hours a day in them! I might go crazy. I'm glad most of the people with coronavirus are okay. I'll keep praying that it will not spread anymore.

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