Hundreds leave quarantined cruise ship in Yokohama as coronavirus concerns grow

By Chang-Ran Kim and Elaine Lies

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Japan is fumbling this horribly. Given the average Japanese dude doesn’t wash his hands after using the restroom, this could get bad. (It’s ironic they are willing to wear ineffective masks to prevent the spread of diseases, but are unwilling to wash their hands.)

10 ( +28 / -18 )

"There are still crew testing positive on the ship, yet people are being allowed to disembark - and told it's okay to use public transportation to get home, then told by the health ministry to avoid using public transportation after they are home," wrote one Twitter user using the handle 'Homo Sapiens'.

"What the heck is this?"

Whoever "homo sapiens" is has nailed it. Nations like the US, Australia, NZ and the UK are not imposing a 2 week quarantine on those taken off the ship and flown back home, for fun. Its because some of them have been incubating the virus, and some are now displaying symptoms.

As for the crew remaining on the ship, I truly feel for them.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Letting these people go without isolated quarentee is just plain crazy. Evidence shows you can't detect the virus in the first few days!

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Two Australians tested positive for the virus after their arrival, Australian authorities said on Friday.

This information is incomplete. They tested positive yes, but the point is that they tested negative when initially tested in Japan.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

This government is botching this so badly.... I am actualy beginning to be concerned about my vacation plans...

1 ( +13 / -12 )

11 Americans and 2 Australians who tested negative a few days ago and were flown back home tested positive today. Scary to think what might happen in the next days and weeks in Japan.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Hence, you dont know who is coughing near you on the train...

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Given the average Japanese dude doesn’t wash his hands after using the restroom, this could get bad. (It’s ironic they are willing to wear ineffective masks to prevent the spread of diseases, but are unwilling to wash their hands.)

Not just Japanese. I have witnessed many people of many different nationalities avoiding washing their hands over the years.

Big problem here, is that there's quite a few jacks that just don't have soap dispensers. Not sure why this is?

14 ( +15 / -1 )


Yes I feel sorry for the crew too. I heard about an Indian crew member who is now infected and being treated quite far away in a Nagoya Hospital. Alone, having no family or friends for support, hospitalized in a foreign country would be pretty depressing. I hope he and all of the crew members and passengers still in hospital make a full recovery.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I love the picture at the top of this article. This is a direct reflection of how those in charge continue to fail in this dire situation. It has been already proven that taking ones temperature does not prove if they have the COVID19 or not. You can still have the vurus and have no fever. This is a DIRECT reflection of how much the Japanese have failed this situation. It is time for the Japanese to step aside and let some people who know what they are doing take over this situation.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yes, English people often don't wash their hands after using the toilet. Their is no culture of washing hands before eating either, or taking off ones shoes indoors.

The difference is the population density.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Infectious disease control is still obviously the domain of civil servants and not infectious disease specialists.

When will the Japanese administration learn?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

This is one even the ‘Japan can do no wrong’ crowd are going to be hard pressed to put a positive spin on.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

This ramen shop says it is now a pandemic!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

tamanegiToday  05:30 pm JST

This ramen shop says it is now a pandemic!

LOL. Apart from the wrong use of "pandemic", who cars what a Ramen shop says. At present, it is an "epidemic" in Japan. For now anyway, let's hope it stays that way.

pandemic adjective

(of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Leaving the cruise ship and there are no more additional checks on Japanese?

There should be a requisite self isolation with frequent medical checks.

That is an established protocol carried out by infectious disease specialists...

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It's gonna go away in April.

Hey... i am not the one who said that... go easy with the down vote.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I wrote about this yesterday, but couldn’t show proof. The vice health minister of Japan, Hashimoto Gaku, posted a now deleted picture on Twitter showing the entrances to the virus free (green) and the potentially infected zones (red) on the Diamond Princess. Both entrances were actually two doors leading to the same hallway, and separated only by a rope and some furniture. A few days ago, prof Kentaro Iwata revealed the quarantine process on the ship was completely inadequate and put everyone at risk. He was especially angry about the lack of clear virus free zones. It is quite clear now that Hashimoto and the other people in charge don’t know what they are doing and are putting at risk the lives of people on the ship, and now the general population. The government is saying the quarantine was successful and people were already infected. Really?! Nobody is that gullible. What about the sick officials? The government’s stupidity is astonishing... they will pay the price one way or another.

Here is a picture of the green and red zones on the ship:

13 ( +14 / -1 )

We now have our first case here in Western Australia, one if two who tested negative prior to leaving the Diamond a Princess and flying back to Australia but since confirmed to have the virus. Bit of a worry that all the Japanese passengers were just allowed to disembark and get in with their lives. Was there no direction to self quarantine?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Japanese passengers getting off the ship have been called by the Health Ministry and asked to be careful for 2 weeks, paying attention to their health and checking their temperatures. Not all will do it for sure, but knowing the locals, I am quite sure most will follow. The majority of those of the ship were retired and can easily keep quiet for two weeks

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Goodbye plans for the Olympics.

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Ok so one more diamond cruise passenger tests positive once back in Israel. So this plan has failed horribly and we will see the repercussions in the coming weeks in Japan.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Foremost my heart goes for the crew, medical team, and those remaining in the ship.

There is a attention robber amid the house afire: Please refrain from spreading the false information: tamanegiToday 05:30 pm JST This ramen shop says it is now a pandemic!

No, it is a signg, "Japanese Only," that has been outlawed since Dr. Dabito Arudou's court battle of 22 years. The ramen shop's tri-lingual posting degrades the national standing much lower in international society. Other ramen shops should stand up and voice their opposition if they love their nation enough and protect their trade prestige, if any. Otherwise rumor mongering further worsens in a disease-stricken nation.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

l Pandora’s box is well and truly open, hold on to your hats or should I say 3M masks if you have them it’s gonna get messy!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Anxiety growing daily in Japan but Interesting to contrast with Australia. Life goes on pretty much as normal. Just 15 cases of Covid 19 with 10 recovered. No major events canceled, sport going on everywhere, no advice to stay indoors or avoid people. No longer the top news story.

Why? Well borders were sealed very early on with no Chinese students and tourists allowed in. And this has been extended again to end of Feb and will probably go well into March. And the Aussies from Wuhan and the ship? All Quarantined for at least 2 weeks on an island and isolated military bases.

Japan? Well Ginza was still full of Chinese tourists right through CNY. And the Japanese from Wuhan and the ship - they are straight back in their homes and communities on the basis of one negative test.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Its hard to say if panic is growing, ebbing or staying the same. But the guy who pushed the emergency button on the train over a guy coughing is certainly evidence of the power and irresponsibility of the mass media and government. It looks to me like this virus is only truly deadly in China, particularly in Wuhan, and that because cruelly shut down a whole city over a virus that cannot be stopped anyway. I do believe most deaths would have been averted if they simply took no special action and let everything run as normal, like letting hospitals that reached capacity allow patients to move to hospitals in other cities and not spread the panic that makes people run to the hospital over a couple coughs, thereby over-taxing the system. This is still just a cold virus even if it does cause pneumonia. People need to learn to stop letting the TV and the government yank them around every few years over cold and flu.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Given the average Japanese dude doesn’t wash his hands after using the restroom,

Based on my experience, most Japanese wash hands after using the restroom.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Publuc toilet carry all kind of disease

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyone interested in learning more about the Coronavirus will learn that part of it resembles HIV and seems to be recombined.

It is not an ordinary flu virus!

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Do these temperature guns have any meaning at all, seeing that surface temperature on people's bodies fluctuates wildly depending on the situation?

Afaic, this thing is out now and will run its course. Best hope is they find a vaccine soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ kokotazi do you mean splas with water or walk past the sink when you say wash? Wash means using soup and water if I recall correctly?

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One guy let off the ship who was told who was advised to go and stay home is apparently taking photos with people in restaurants and talking about his ordeal. Tomorrow as infection spreads we'll hear from the dingbats who defend Tokyo on this that "it was perfect" and "it's not the government's fault!" and within a week, "Who could have known?" One bigoted woman who struck up a conversation with me for a brief moment this morning said, "Long ago there was the Spanish Flu. This will be known as the 'Chinese Flu'. hahaha" She stopped laughing when I pointed out that it's not Chinese restaurants in Paris being vandalized.

ChipStar: "Japan is fumbling this horribly. Given the average Japanese dude doesn’t wash his hands after using the restroom, this could get bad. (It’s ironic they are willing to wear ineffective masks to prevent the spread of diseases, but are unwilling to wash their hands.)"

It's only ironic to those who think masks actually have any effect. But anyway, agreed. A lot of bathrooms I see don't even have any soap dispensers, which is sickening. Imagine what's on those door handles.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Avoid public restrooms due to the potential for aerosolized(=flushed) effluent and give a wide berth to diamond princesses.

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After getting out of the Sjip - all of them without exception should re-quarantine alone from their family so they do not contaminate their family. Only then should they ride public transportation and join the public.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's only ironic to those who think masks actually have any effect. 

Hmm I’ll have to tell my doctor friend who said that they have an effect that an interest poster said he is ironic.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Internet poster

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Well my experience is different ...the number of oyajis that just walk straight out of the toilet, past the sink and out the door is mind blowing for a country that prides itself on being so clean. Shameful....

Plus the younger smartphone addicts who do their thing at the urinal with one hand, while holding the smartphone with the other. Man, I am close to exploding sometimes. If females knew what is going on in the men's toilet...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wash my hands going into the washroom, do my business and then wash hands again on the way out. I wash my hands when I get home or when I'm going to eat or when I arrive at work before I get to my desk. I have been doing that as long as I can remember but I still catch the flu or a cold from time to time.

It just grosses me right out when I see someone leaving a toilet stall and head right for the door. I have to wait for some to open the door so I don't have to touch the door handle. I don't have OCD but times like this it just kicks in.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I truly hope they get a grip on the situation. Was there 2 years ago. Such kind people. Going again jn a month. I bit scary to be honest

0 ( +0 / -0 )

South Korea is now at 204 confirmed cases and Japan is at 107 with Singapore who was second, now in fourth at 85 not counting the growing number on the Yokohama docked Princess cruise ship at 634.

The numbers now coming out of China are completely fake. China is doing everything it can to hide the fact that more than 150,000 have been infected and more than 3000 have died. The current numbers just don't make sense and don't add up. Currently 76,787 worldwide with 2,248 deaths and 18,864 recovered but less than 2600 new infections over the last four days worldwide? Really?! So now it's growing proportionally much faster outside of China per capita?

I call complete BS on China's reporting of the numbers.

The numbers are about to mushroom in Japan now that the Diamond Princess passengers have been let out into the general population.

And what is up with South Korea? They have gained more than 50 new cases in a day.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan is fumbling this horribly. Given the average Japanese dude doesn’t wash his hands after using the restroom, this could get bad. (It’s ironic they are willing to wear ineffective masks to prevent the spread of diseases, but are unwilling to wash their hands.)

So true. And even more scary since the information has come out that the living virus is also found in fecal matter. We must now also consider its aerosol effect when using any facilities..

But inadequate hand washing is not found only in Japan. I see this everywhere. So few wash properly that when I do see someone beside me washing properly I thank them for their commitment to personal and public health.

The women I've observed in Japan often rinse for a few seconds, flink their fingers and dry off in the cloths they carry with them. Women elsewhere do the same but dry off with paper towels or the air dryers provided. In upscale washrooms in the finer Japanese malls and hotels the dryers (and even stalls) provide blue-light sanitizing. (So whenever possible I use the top tier facilities.)

However, none of those measures are as good as a thorough hand washing and taking special care under the fingernails. People would also be well advised not to wear rings until the crisis wanes. They're a breeding ground as well, which is why visitors to hospital wards with severely compromised patients are asked to remove them. Even the Duchess of Cambridge recently observed this practice.

However, after all that care people must remember that the next thing they touch very likely recontaminates them. The neurotic germophobes among us are the smart ones. They've been hyper vigilant all along. Perhaps not quite mentally healthy, but likely better served in this sort of situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smh.... So basically let them all out all across the country should have spread everywhere in 3 days then 14 days for cases. The grand experiment

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For the critics of these people being let out, what were they told to do, and what are the procedures they were advised of?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder why USA and other countries did not evacuate their citizens from the beginning of quarantine?

why all experts in US did not give their Government any advices from the beginning?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would like to ask people who think "other Countries are doing better", exactly which Countries, because the situation is starting to look rather bad worldwide. In few days South Korea identified more than 200 cases in a couple of days. Today here in Italy 14 cases were identified in Lombardia and 2 in Veneto, in few hours. It is starting to look really bad, honestly. I am a bit afraid now, until some days ago I didn't feel like that.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

don't bring out countries to to hide and excuse what J. Government is doing.

you let 1000s of people get off the ship without additional safety measure,

in a week or 2 week, Japan will have pandemic in their hands, i don't want say this, i don't like to say this,but

what this government is truly irresponsible, and dangerous ,

I feel sad and afraid for Japanese people..................................

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When some people say something that doesn't fit the narrative "Japan is hiding its mistakes", they are attacked very badly by some users. Exactly how it happened when I said the cases in the cruise ship hadn't to be considered Japanese cases. I have been attacked with the usual argument about "defending Japanese reputation and mistakes". Well, I read today an article in an Arabian newspaper (maybe Aljazeera?) that spoke of the Countries where there are cases of coronavirus, and I discovered I was right all the time, indeed Japan doesn't consider those "Japanese cases" because it is simply following the WHO guidance. To me it was common sense, and I was right indeed. But for some users they will be always "Japanese cases" and Japan doesn't want to consider them like that to save the face blah blah blah, regardless the facts.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

14 days from now is March 6th

will mark on calendar and compare infection and mortality rates

2250 deaths / 76798 cases = 2.93% mortality, with 18870/76798 = 24.6% of those ill recovered so far

Again, if the data can be believed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most of the crew are young and healthy people. The Wu-Flu for them will be like getting the normal flu.

For the really old, really young and people with health issues, they should already be cautious around sick people. The wu-flu and regular flu are dangerous to them. I'm not up on the death rate, but last time I looked wu-flu was around 2% and regular flu around 1%.

The optimist would see that at a 98% you-gonna-live outcome, if you even get sick.

I wonder why USA and other countries did not evacuate their citizens from the beginning of quarantine?

Because Americans overseas are responsible for their own health decisions and travel plans? There was little belief that the situation would have been so bungled. After all, Japanese wear fashion face masks all-the-time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@James Stowe Actually, every BRITISH person I knew in the UK had a culture of taking off their shoes and/or wearing slippers indoors at home, plus most people I knew washed their hands before eating. However, in pubs, I did see many other men not washing their hands after urinating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you let 1000s of people get off the ship without additional safety measure,

People keep very wrongly saying this.

Can everyone please stick with things that are actually based in fact, instead of making up rhetoric without checking it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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