【COVID-19】Diamond Princess cruise ship: Virus ship finally docked in Japan

Hundreds of passengers finally stepped foot on the soil of Japan after being quatrain on a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship for weeks.

A week after the luxurious cruise ship disembarked Hong Kong, an 80-year-old passenger was tested positive for coronavirus on February 1. Four days later, the remaining 3,700 passengers and crew members were asked to stay on the ship under quarantine orders.

According to Vox, ship quarantine means that passengers who have tested positive for the virus have disembarked and been admitted to hospitals in the Yokohama area. The remaining passengers on the ship were asked to “stay in their rooms, wear masks, and only walk on the deck for a couple of minutes each day, keeping at least six feet of distance from other passengers. They’re having meals delivered to their rooms, and have plenty of TV, movie, and newspaper options to keep them busy.”

Vox named their article on the incident as “the coronavirus cruise ship quarantine is a scary public health experiment” to emphasis the anxiety the public and the people on board were facing.

This week, the coronavirus ship finally docked at Yokohama, Japan. According to New York Times’ article, “The very day the 443 passengers were released to the port city and the world beyond, the number of confirmed infections on the Diamond Princess rose again, to 621, as 79 new cases were announced. And on Thursday morning, as another wave of passengers disembarked, the authorities announced the first deaths among those who have tested positive, of a man and a woman in their 80s.”

Diamond Princess had 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members. There were over 600 cases of coronavirus were linked to the vessel.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged additional travel restrictions and quarantine measures for passengers who were aboard on Diamond Princess. They also released a statement saying “While the quarantine potentially conferred a significant public health benefit in slowing transmission, CDC’s assessment is that it may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship”, according to CNN.

Now that everyone is off the virus ship, the cruise will be undergoing a deep cleaning. The same article talked to the Japanese Ministry of Health on sanitation specifics, cruise line Public Relations Director Negin Kamali that “the ship will be fully sanitized by a cleaning company with an expertise in this area following guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization.”

However, Business Insider reported that the cruise is preparing to set sail again before “Japan’s bustling “Golden Week,” a string of national holiday celebrations in late April and early May”.

“The truth is that coronaviruses have really poor survivability on surfaces,” Saskia Popescu, a senior infection prevention epidemiologist who works at a Phoenix-based healthcare system, previously told Business Insider. “Viruses are either enveloped or non-enveloped and those non-enveloped ones like norovirus, you know, the cruise ship bugs? Those are harder to kill. This is enveloped, which means it’s much, much easier to kill with disinfectants,” according to the article.

Despite all the scientific evidence that proves that the Diamond Princess cruise ship will be safe to use by April. The public is well-informed about the situation and still worried about the chances of lingering virus on the vessel.

On the other hand, the Westerdam passengers were welcomed to Cambodia on the day before Valentine’s. At the time, everyone on the ship had not tested positive for Covid-19. Only two days later that there was a confirmed case from an American passenger who traveled to Malaysia. The situation worries Westerdam passengers who may have been already exposed to the virus, according to Vox.

Currently there were already three deaths in Japan due to the virus and 727 cases tested positive. Globally there are already 2,360 deaths and 77,767 cases. The widespread of the virus is still at an alerting level.

Coronavirus Total