Workers wearing protective gear prepare to transfer passengers who tested positive for coronavirus from the cruise ship Diamond Princess to an ambulance bound for the hospital, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, on Friday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
national

Coronavirus cases on cruise ship in Yokohama jump to 61

72 Comments
By Ju-min Park and Elaine Lies

Another 41 people quarantined on a cruise liner off Japan tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 61, with thousands of passengers confined to cabins as testing continues.

The cruise ship, Diamond Princess, and the roughly 3,700 people aboard have been under two-week quarantine since arriving back at the port of Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, on Monday after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.

The 61 cases came from a sample of 273 people who had been tested because they were either showing symptoms or had been in close contact with those who did, according to the health ministry.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told a news conference 21 of the newly found 41 cases were Japanese. Further tests would be conducted if additional passengers on board the ship developed symptoms, he said.

Video footage showed blue and white hoardings put up in the vessel as passengers diagnosed with the virus were being moved out to medical facilities.

The new patients would be transported to hospitals in Tokyo and neighbouring towns, the health ministry said.

The rise in the number of infections has worsened the mood for passengers stuck on the cruise, who were only allowed onto open decks briefly for fresh air.

"A bit more anxious today after announcements of more positives," one passenger, a 43-year-old Hong Kong resident on the ship with his family, told Reuters.

"I expected about that number. But it's still a shock to hear it. There must be more who were without symptoms at the last screening who will develop symptoms," said the man, who declined to be identified.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter, an American whose parents are on the ship, said she hoped U.S. officials would be able to help her parents leave.

"They are all breathing circulated contaminated air so they could be getting everyone infected," Rhodes-Courter said.

Experts say the virus can be transmitted via droplets from an infected person exhaling, coughing or sneezing, and can also spread via contaminated surfaces.

Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba told reporters Japan had asked another cruise ship, the Westerdam, not to make port calls in the country. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said earlier that non-Japanese passengers on the ship would be denied entry.

Separately, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said a fourth chartered flight had brought 119 more Japanese nationals and 79 Chinese and Taiwanese family members from Wuhan.

Three planes last week brought a total of 565 evacuees back to Japan, a handful of whom were confirmed to have the virus.

The new ship cases take the total number of coronavirus infections in Japan to more than 80, according to Reuters calculations.

Health Minister Kato said Japan is not including the cruise ship cases in its national count, which stands at 21 patients.

Separating out the cruise line cases helps authorities demonstrate they've been able to keep domestic transmissions low, said Ikuo Tsunoda, professor of microbiology at Kindai University.

"Whenever I see the table of the number of patients infected around the world, the top line is always of course China, and now in the past few days, the second country is Japan," Tsunoda said. "It looks really bad."

© Thomson Reuters 2020

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

72 Comments
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Not unexpected at all. These poor folks are sitting in a petri dish. Cruise ships are notorious for spreading virus' (even more so than aircraft) but the level of infection is really concerning

23 ( +25 / -2 )

So they’re going to just let it spread around within the ship? No regards for the non- infected.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

The death toll in mainland China's new virus outbreak has risen to 636, including a doctor who got in trouble with authorities in the communist country for sounding an early warning about the disease threat.

Are we sure it was the virus that did him in?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

@quercetum

The whole ship is quarantined. That's how it works.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

273 people were tested and 61 were found to be positive for the virus, that is really high, specially if there was only on person to begin with. Is there any reason to believe that there was no one else spreading the virus apart from the 80 year old man from Hong Kong?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I believe even more valuable information would be to find out how many people on the aircraft which repatriated the Japanese citizens from Wuhan have been infected. This combined with the data from the ship would give really good empirical evidence of the R0 (contagion multiplier) of this virus.

I hope this data becomes available. It would provide good information to assess the real risk of flying.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The death toll in mainland China's new virus outbreak has risen to 636, including a doctor who got in trouble with authorities in the communist country for sounding an early warning about the disease threat.

So the guy who defied the CCP and tried to get accurate information to us just happened to be one of the 3 percent who died from the disease after being arrested. Nope, not suspicious at all...

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I would like to suggest watching this Youtube presentation starting at 21:14 for a different perspective on the death toll in Wuhan. I have my own thoughts but I think each person needs to draw their own conclusions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5VGPYtbTk8

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That cruise ship stopped in Naha, Okinawa last Saturday, Feb 1st, and quite a few passengers went sightseeing for over nine hours, before returning.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Anybody know if there are any kids on this ship? If so, how many?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

TedSales, I believe the same happened in Kagoshima too.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

They should evacuate the people on that ship to a sterilized facility or else they will likely all get sick.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

As I said repeatedly

...and we keep having to correct what you post.

Already, the data scientists are saying they have to use a logarithmic vertical scale to depict Coronavirus. They don't/didn't have to do this with influenza or SARS. When putting SARS again Coronavirus, the infection graph is simply astounding.

So, either China isn't containing infection very well, or Coronavirus is so virulent the containment methods is not effective.

Honestly, if it makes you feel good, keep posting your propaganda. But you are simply demeaning China's true efforts (if it exists).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They should evacuate the 'healthy, tested negative to the virus' people on that ship

...added some pertinent info to the sentence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are still 3000+ people who are not being tested for the virus, with no plan to test them unless they develop symptoms. I think that's absolutely inhumane as well as dangerous. They should 1. secure a safe location and move the passengers off the ship, 2. start testing every single one of them even of they show no symptoms yet.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

They should evacuate the ship and put them in hospitals equipped to deal with this. Seems to me to be a human rights violation by Japan. on JT here the other day, Abe was promising a test in the making for this virus. Get the people tested. Then sanitize the ship

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Obviously not the news we were hoping for.....

Sadly these folks on the vessel will likely be on there for much longer than 2weeks. If someone gets the virus on day 10, then it may not show until day 24...…

Hope things get better sooner!! Hang in there folks!!!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@Jeff Ko

There are still 3000+ people who are not being tested for the virus, with no plan to test them unless they develop symptoms.

Do you have some link to this? I am not asking to be argumentative but I am only asking as perhaps I am misunderstanding things. I understood everyone was going to be tested for this.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

id like to know more about this virus. So many infected...does that mean they will also die? Or will the virus be shed by the body, like the flu is? Whats the likely hood of developing pneumonia and put on a respirator?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Facility could be another ship, an unpopulated island, an isolated military base. Definitely would not put them in an area where there is a chance of it spreading further.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

TheLongTermer, there are 1540 cases cured, against 636 death. The possibility for you to survive is more than 70%.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

so the people who have it, do they come down with one helluva case of the flu, or no symptoms?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Akie

TheLongTermer, there are 1540 cases cured, against 636 death. The possibility for you to survive is more than 70%.

That's an insanely high death rate just going by your numbers. That's almost twice the mortality rate of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic that killed millions.

If one sick man can sicken at least 60 people in a matter of days this is bigger problem than any country to handle, much less a secretive and globally uncooperative state like the PRC.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Tokyo Engineer,

https://m.khan.co.kr/view.html?art_id=202002070947001

Its a Korean newspaper that came out today. One paragraph says

"There are 3700 passengers and virus testing other than 273 people are not being done. So it seems that more people will be infected. Japanese government says it's planning to do additional testing on elderly, people with underlying disease, and people who came in close contact with those who's been tested positive for the virus"

As I said, they need to move and isolate those passengers asap. Otherwise, more passengers will get sick.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Does anybody remember how the SARS pandemic ended? Did the virus just burn out? It seems people who get the virus outside of China may be getting a weaker version of it?

I'm also wondering if some people are purposely travelling with symptoms knowing that they will get a better level of care than in overcrowded hospitals in China.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

those of us who have survived many cases of the flu in Japan wonder if that gives some immunity

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Jeff - thanks for the link. I am going to try to find out more about this as it contradicts what I have heard on the news in Japanese.

Thanks

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Tokyo Engineer,

I'm interested in what you may find also. I noticed that one would often have to read both Japanese and Korean newspaper to get the complete picture on the issues.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So they all are going to get sick... all of them... they are on a boat and no where to go...

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

This gentleman's account of what is going on appears to be very legitimate and he is in China

https://twitter.com/WilliamYang120/status/1222612869260333056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Some pretty scary stuff

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Looks like doubling every day. 80 tomorrow?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"They should evacuate the ship and put them in hospitals equipped to deal with this."

3500 healthy people should not be forced into hospitals, taking up beds that are normally in tight supply. They could be housed in any other facility - hotel, unused university dormitories, other ships with cabins, etc., but while they are healthy, there is not reason to be in a hospital.

All the passengers where initially screened for temperature and asked about symptoms. People with symptoms and those who had contact with the original patient (went on the bus tour to Kagoshima, dined with him, swam in the same pool, etc.) were tested. There was a lot of intermingling before the quarantine/confinement to quarters started, so it's no surprise that there are more cases and surely there are more to come, but hopefully (and in all likelihood), the current confinement scheme will stop further spread.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

reinfection seems highly probable in that environment. The mortality rate is holding steady at 2% so that hasn't changed

Health Minister Kato said Japan is not including the cruise ship cases in its national count, which stands at 21 patients.

Too bad, they're being counted anyway. JHU chart has Japan at 86 currently.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's too bad for the passengers and crew but they are a useful demographic right now about who gets infected, what chronic issues lead to symptoms, if diet plays a role in infection (meat vs plant eaters). Lots of useful data to be learned. There's not much to do when confined so they're going to have to loosen up on that as well

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good sources of information:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

You can see how many cases, how many still being treated, died, recovered. Only 2 deaths outside China, so far. Hopefully the high death rate in China is largely a result of their hospitals having been overwhelmed.

And if you read Japanese or don't mind the machine translated version of the original, the MHLW produced their daily report which shows the status of the people here who have been tested positive. And how they are connected / which ones they are still investigating. Today's batch hasn't been added yet.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/newpage_09360.html (as of the 6th)

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/newpage_09329.html (as of the 5th) here you can see some recovered and have been released from hospital).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Also if the infection rate is different than what China is reporting this group will either confirm or disprove it. Might as well make it a hospital ship

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Seems more virilant than the usual nuroviris. But if you are going to eat bats, expect a downside. Even entering a cave occupied by bats is not a good idea, eating them well might as well play pachinko.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I would be traumatized. The boredom must be unbearable.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Akie

TheLongTermer, there are 1540 cases cured, against 636 death. The possibility for you to survive is more than 70%.

Do not try to do maths if you are not good at that, please.

There is a lot of stuff we do not know about this situation, so all number are to be taken with precaution :

total number of people contaminated : unknow

total number of people tested positive for the virus : 31472

total number of people which got the virus but are now cured : unknow

total number of people tested positive for the virus which have recovered : 1551

total number of people which died from the virus : unknow

total number of people which death was confirmed to be from the virus : 638

Until specialists got more information, they can not really determine real rate just estimation.

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

For now the grossly estimated survival rate is 98% : 5% recover and 93% are ill.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Tokyo Engr

On Japanese TV, I saw a super reading something like. 273人,検査が終わり

Bloomberg also reports only 273 tested, providing 61 infections.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

yes it's an incredible sample size and infection rate. They must get everyone tested ASAP

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@So they’re going to just let it spread around within the ship? No regards for the non- infected.

Better them than us. I only have 1 life and so far no carbon copy. It's selfish but good enough for me.

@Among the 41 who have tested positive for the virus, 21 are Japanese, eight are American, five Australian, five Canadian and one each from Argentina and Britain.

What do you mean, will China be compensating the people for being infected by what was spread by its people because their government turned a blind eye? Then kept secrets, knowing full well what the expected outcome otherwise why even bother dealing with the strain in the first place at a lab?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I feel that a lot of people are missing the point of what a quarantine is. They do this to prevent the spread of the disease and keep it confined to one location. It is a terrible thing that these people on board the ship have to deal with but in all reality, this is a very legitimate way to stop the spread of the infection. I’m all for them remaining on the ship. They are receiving supplies, food, water, tablets for internet use. They will be fine.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To the people on the boat, “Stay strong!”

Maybe they could find alternative accommodation first for the people in dark artificially lit inner cabins with no windows.

This sentence in the article above I find concerting: "They are all breathing circulated contaminated air, so they could be getting everyone infected," Rhodes-Courter told Reuters.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They should evacuate the people on that ship to a sterilized facility or else they will likely all get sick

Yes. As we all know, Japan is full of sterilized facilities equipped to take 5000 people at a moment's notice.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Obviously, living on a ship leads to a high infection rate-who would have thought it!

There must be some high IQ geniuses at the Japanese Ministry of Health l working on that one.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

That high IQ genius was untill six months ago was working at the Ministry of Labour, or Agriculture, I'm guessing and has absolutely no clue at all. Any high IQ person has a private sector job certainly not a government job.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Is there a reason why Japan hasn't closed its borders for all people from china , like what US and Australia have done? we have flights coming in everyday with passengers possibly carrying the virus with no initial symptoms. How will you stop this spread??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am so surprised they have not tested for influenza sick people on this ship.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

any kids on this ship? If so, how many?

They talked about babies needing nappies and formula (and having been sent some) and a few other kids. Probably not hundreds. I think they should unboard the few concerned families and quarantine them elsewhere.

In France, they've quarantined people in a family resort (now off season it was empty) and it's better than than sitting all day in tiny boat cabins, each family can have a condo.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I believe there was an elderly American lady taken off the ship late this afternoon due to an unrelated health matter.

I hope she will be okay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As we all know, Japan is full of sterilized facilities equipped to take 5000 people at a moment's notice.

Probably between 50 000 and 100 000. Well, the beds and equipments exist, the staff able to work there... not sure. And more beds could be needed if that spreads.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The cruise ship industry must be worried. This would put me off cruises.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Very worrisome.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TheLongTermerToday  11:25 am JST

They should evacuate the ship and put them in hospitals equipped to deal with this. Seems to me to be a human rights violation by Japan. on JT here the other day, Abe was promising a test in the making for this virus. Get the people tested. Then sanitize the ship

Typical, damned if you do, damned if you don't

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Many old people are taking everyday's medicine. They had enough medicines plus extra for travel. But all medicines are gone now. I wonder how Japan would support them. Some old people may die of no medicine before of virus.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Only going to get worse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All the best to everyone on board. Fingers crossed not many more infections. I know if I was in that situation I'd be pulling out all stops to get at the duty-free whisky!

This is going to put a lot of people off ever booking cruises.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The cruise ship industry must be worried

Yes, this must be costing them a mint. One passenger...one Chinese Communist Party with a fixation on controlling everything, especially information.

If info was available earlier, I do wonder if they would let the infected guy onboard. Given they're known to be pr1@ks when it comes to departing without passengers, I'd say more than likely he woukdn't be allowed onboard.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is going to dent Japan’s tourism image big time!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Seems infection spreads like wildfire here. Hasn't the cruise ship become an incubator itself of the novel coronavirus because it's said that the ship's ventilation system is only circulating the same contaminated air all through the cabins? (See an earlier article on JT, '41 more cases ...")

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@sh1mon-m4sada I actually didn’t notice, thanks for bringing it up. And that was a very good, measured way of evaluating the situation, especially in regards to China, where it’s very tempting to jump on a bandwagon one way or another.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

know this my bad

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is all overreaction due to social media manipulation. For healthy people with strong/normal immune systems they will survive it like any other flu. Compared to the viruses and parasites we have had in the past, this does not even compare. More people die from other deadly viruses (Ebola, Zika, Dengue, Polio, Malaria(a parasite)) yet the world has not been panicking like this.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Eating raw fish carry, is away to get lots of disease, hepatitis is found in raw uncooked seafood

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It may be overreaction, which I hope it is, but is the fear spread solely by the media?

A man tends to hold fear against something unknown to him, whether it's a health matter or a political one. So let's hope this novel coronavirus will be thoroughly understood medically and hygienically.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is all overreaction due to social media manipulation. For healthy people with strong/normal immune systems they will survive it like any other flu

Newsflash: tens of millions of people in Japan alone do NOT have strong/normal immune systems. You do know the demographics, right?

Not an over-reaction.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Daily reports from WHO - World Health Organization are here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

There's a graphing website that had current data a few hours ago (Say AM JP Time): https://coronavirus.app/toll?mode=infected Just remember, they are using log scales, even for the bar charts, so bars with 2x more infected aren't 2x the length.

The best guess today is that 2.5-3% of those who are infected will die from related complications. Comparing cured numbers to deaths is a trailing indicator. Not really useful, IMHO.

I really worry about the steward on the ship. How can they possibly NOT become infected?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the future, they should turn part of Iwo Jima into an emergency quarantine and supply center since they already have an airstrip that can handle commercial jet planes. Find a way to build a dock for large ships as well as large-scale medical facilities and you are set since you already have the military there to keep order. Japan needs to be better prepared when a more lethal outbreak like ebola happens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the future, they should turn part of Iwo Jima into an emergency quarantine and supply center since they already have an airstrip that can handle commercial jet planes.

Good idea. The facilities that Australia is using were originally set up for isolating refugees and asylum seekers. When the coronavirus crisis is over, Japan would have Australian-style facilities ready to use for refugees and asylum seekers.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/26/inside-christmas-island-the-australian-detention-centre-with-four-asylum-seekers-and-a-26m-price-tag

The Australian PM is a known admirer of Abe. Australian technical assistance in turning Iwo Jima into Japan's Christmas Island would be a great goodwill gesture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Still 61? Waiting for the daily update...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The whole ship is quarantined. That's how it works.

The infected are kept quarantined with the non-infected. Can they not see how this is a problem? Read the headline for this cruise ship day by day

If you’re on that ship you are waiting for your death.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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