A cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan on Monday is seeing climbing numbers of coronavirus cases
A Japanese cruise ship with 3,700 people on board is in quarantine after multiple passengers tested positive for coronavirus, which the World Health Organization recently declared a public health crisis.
The ship was first placed into quarantine in Yokohama, Japan, on Monday, after 10 people out of a sample that were tested were diagnosed with the virus. Since then, as all passengers are being tested, 51 more have had positive results, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases on board to 61 and still climbing.
Breaking: @PrincessCruises confirms to @CNBC that one of the passengers who tested positive for the coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess is from the United States. Statement: pic.twitter.com/DndlVgFirt
— Ryan Ruggiero (@RyanRuggiero) February 5, 2020
Of the 3,700 passengers, it’s reported that around half are from Japan. Among the confirmed coronavirus cases, though, are passengers from Hong Kong, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S., and one crew member from the Philippines. Everyone on board is now being tested for the virus, and it’s possible that the number of cases will keep climbing.
Though the ship’s crew has been asking passengers not to upload any footage from quarantine, one passenger, David Abel, did a video interview from on board.
Here's what it’s like to be trapped on a cruise liner under quarantine for the #coronavirus.
About 3,700 passengers on the Japanese-operated ship will be quarantined on board for up to 2 weeks after 10 passengers tested positive for the virus on Wednesday pic.twitter.com/sq0Us6HEH2
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) February 6, 2020
Surprisingly, he reported that most people on the ship seem to be taking the quarantine in stride, though many are staying out of common areas and sticking to their cabins when possible. He also said that regular announcements over the ship’s PA system remind passengers to wash their hands in hot, soapy water as frequently as possible. Public health officials say that’s one of the best ways to defend yourself against coronavirus.
Amid the situation on the ship in Japan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is making the decision to extensively test passengers on American cruise ships, as well. A ship that docked just this morning in New Jersey, near New York City, will be assessing its passengers.
“There are folks on the ship that have a history of travel to China and so CDC and local health officials are going to board the ship when it docks to do an assessment in port for coronavirus,” a CDC official told CNN. Passengers have been on board the ship, which visited several island ports in the Caribbean, for 12 days. They were set to disembark today, but that may be delayed by health checks.
The coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, China, which is now on complete lockdown as officials race to develop a vaccine and prevent the disease from further spreading. There have been confirmed cases in around 20 other countries, and hundreds have died from the pneumonia-like illness.