Thousands of people face spending a fortnight stuck on a Princess Cruises ship quarantined off Port Yokohama Japan after initial results showed 10 passengers had tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.
Diamond Princess, with 3700+ passengers and crew on board, was prevented from sailing on Monday, February 3, after an 80-year-old passenger who had sailed on the ship late last month tested positive. Of a further 273 people onboard who have been tested following health screenings, a total of 31 results have come back – and of those ten are positive, Japan’s health minister Katsunobu Kato said. It is not clear yet if more tests will be carried out.
None of the ten infected (3 each from Japan and Hong Kong, 2 Australians, 1 American and 1 Filipino crew member) had severe symptoms. The patients, who are reportedly in their 50s to their 80s, were removed from the liner by the coast guard and taken to local hospitals.
The remaining passengers and crew were required to stay on the ship for 14 days, the maximum incubation period of the respiratory illness that has already killed more than 490 and infected over 23,000 people. The ship was scheduled to undertake an 8-day round-trip voyage on Wednesday, but that was cancelled.
Princess Cruises said the vessel would be resupplied with food.
Also on Wednesday, February 5, health checks started on 1,800 passengers and crew on another cruise ship docked in Hong Kong, after thirty staff members reported symptoms including fever.
According to Hong Kong’s health department, 90% of the passengers are Hong Kongers and no mainland Chinese are on board. Previously, 3 mainland Chinese that had been on the vessel between 19-24 January were found to have contracted the coronavirus. No passengers have been able to leave the Dream Cruises' World Dream ship without permission. According to the ship’s owner, Princess Cruises, 3711 people were on the ship (2666 passengers plus 1045 crew/staff). About half of the guests are from Japan, 223 are Australians.
For other Diamond Princess accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.