Crew on quarantined Yokohama cruise liner beg to be allowed to leave


Princess Cruises on Monday confirmed an additional 65 people on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan have tested positive for Coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases onboard to 135.

Diamond Princess now has around 3,700 people on board the ship, 1,000 crew and 2,670 passengers.

"The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare sent 45 additional doctors, 55 nurses and 45 pharmacists on board to address the backlog in medical services and medication needs of passengers", the consulate said.

As a result of the quarantine, two Diamond Princess cruises scheduled to depart from Yokohama on February 4 and February 12 have been cancelled.

People who test positive for the virus are taken off the ship to a hospital.

The quarantine officer who was infected had been handing out questionnaires checking the health of passengers and crew and had been following rules that require the wearing of a mask and gloves but not a full protective suit, according to the Nikkei business daily, quoting the health ministry.

Four patients - all men between 60 and 70 - are severely ill, on respirators and in intensive care.

Princess Cruises confirms there are 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew now onboard Diamond Princess, covering a range of nationalities.

"The issue with quarantine remains the lack of ability in a closed environment like this to maintain infection prevention measures on a ship", said Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.

He was not diagnosed with coronavirus until he left the ship on January 25.

Fifteen passengers on board are Israeli.

It is not clear how many of those on board have coronavirus since the disease has a 14-day incubation period before symptoms show.

'I will get nervous if we pass 200, ' said the 43-year-old Hong Kong resident quarantined on the boat with his wife, child and several of his family. Japan's health ministry said tests were being conducted for others deemed to need them and it would announce the results later.

"We are kind of anxious because we've still got two weeks on here assuming that works out in our favor and we still have to get onto American soil", Cerullo told the outlet.



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