Quarantine puts crew and passengers of cruise ship at greater risk of virus infection
13 February 2020
Japanese authorities have made life miserable for the entire crew and passengers of a 115,000-tonne cruise ship, Diamond Princess, by quarantining the entire ship that has been docked in the Japanese port city of Yokohama since 6 February.
The ill-fated cruise ship has 2,670 passengers and 1,100 crew members, making it very likely that most of them, if not all, get infected with the virus.
The crew members are more prone to get infected as they are duty-bound to keep the vessel clean, while continuing to serve the passengers who have been confined mostly to their cabins.
Diamond Princess was ordered to be quarantined with its entire crew and passengers after it was reported that an 80-year-old man, who disembarked earlier in Hong Kong, had tested positive for the virus.
Japanese health authorities said 44 more people had been confirmed with the infection. Coronavirus has now infected at least 219 people in the cruise ship, including 15 crew members, and at least one quarantine officer.
This include two Indian crew on board the Japan cruise ship who tested positive for coronavirus. A total of 138 Indians, including passengers and crew, are on board the ship.
The Diamond Princess was placed in quarantine for two weeks on arriving in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.
The Indian nationals working on board the Diamond Princess have pleaded with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "rescue" them from the ship.
In one of a series of videos posted online, Binay Kumar Sarkar was joined by five of his colleagues as they called on their government to allow them to leave the ship before they got infected with the virus.
"Please save at least those of us who are healthy," he said.
Filipinos make up half the total of 531 crew and seafarers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship that is quarantined in Japan's Yokohama port, and as the illness spreads, they are becoming increasingly worried.
Among those crew who are infected, at least 11 of them are Filipinos, according to the Philippine government, raising alarm among family members back home, as well as fellow crew members who continue to work under quarantine conditions.
The nationalities of at least four other sick crew members remained unknown as of Thursday.
In China, more than 1,300 people have died from the virus, with about 60,000 confirmed infections as of Wednesday.
While many health experts, including doctors, argue that ship is the safest place for quarantine and contain the infection, the passengers and crew under quarantine inside the ship are open to infection.