Thursday, 09 April, 2020

Coronavirus quarantine: Diamond Princess passengers begin disembarking in Japan

Relieved passengers disembark coronavirus-stricken cruise ship in Japan 'A lot of people in hazmat suits': Canadian resident describes U.S. evacuation flight from Japan
Deanna Wagner | 20 February, 2020, 02:11

When the quarantine came to an end on Wednesday, more than 500 people were confirmed to have been infected by COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Five more cases emerged Wednesday - a 40-year-old Sapporo man and another man in Hokkaido, a man in Okinawa, and two elderly men sharing a hospital room in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture - bringing the total number of domestic cases, excluding those aboard the Diamond Princess, to 79.

Beyond mainland China, six people have died from the disease, and governments around the world are trying to prevent it from spreading into a global epidemic.

The beleaguered ship has been under quarantine and docked in Yokohama, Japan, since February 3, with some 3,700 passengers and crew on board.

A professor of infectious diseases said "inadequate" quarantine measures aboard a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship have created conditions that are scarier than when he was dealing with outbreak hotspots in Africa and China.

Disembarkation is expected to take around three days as more test results become available.

"Our last deep gratitude to the crews and captain for such an fantastic care. during the epic crisis. we can't wait to see you again soon on board again", tweeted passenger Yardley Wong, who has been cooped up with her six-year-old son.

Passengers stranded on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan for more than two weeks have begun to disembark.

In a press conference on Monday, Japanese public health expert Shigeru Omi, head of the Japan Community Health Care Organization, defended the strategy. US citizens were evacuated Monday and South Koreans left Wednesday morning.

Diamond Princess cruise
Quarantined passengers on coronavirus-hit cruise liner Diamond Princess start disembarking

"Captain wishes "Arrivederci" to the guests departing the ship today but omits his usual "Buon Appetito" to those of us who are still awaiting our fates".

"It just demonstrates the infectiousness of this particular virus and how it can spread very easily in a closed setting like a cruise ship", he said in Sydney.

Among those sending well-wishes to people still on board the ship was Gavin MacLeod, better known as Captain Merrill Stubing on the Pacific Princess in The Love Boat. He later published a YouTube video.

"If any of those 500 individuals are infected, we won't be able to contain it", he told health minister Katsunobu Kato during the meeting. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told USA Today that while the idea to keep the passengers in their cabins wasn't an unreasonable idea but in the end the virus wasn't contained.

Passengers over the age of 50 accounted for 86.5 percent of all who tested positive for the virus, the report said.

"So I can't see there's going to be any way we're on that flight to the United Kingdom". The day before, as passengers were being screened, events continued, including dances, quiz games and an exercise class.

Meanwhile, South Korea has banned entry to all foreigners who have been aboard the cruise liner. There were just 56 new cases outside Hubei, epicentre of the outbreak, down from a peak of 890 on February 3.

At least 74,000 people are infected across the country with the death toll surpassing 2,000. All but 56 new cases were in the epicentre of Hubei province. "Right now, it's very hard to remain focused on anything", he said.

The UK government said it hopes to fly the Britons back "later this week".

Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone amaze as Mr and Mrs Kapil Dev
On the other hand, Ranveer as Kapil is seen dressed in a formal white shirt, a striped tie, and a Team India blazer. The power couple of Bollywood Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone are gearing up for their upcoming film '83.