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The ship originally carried some 3,700 passengers and crew members Photo: AFP
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Virus-striken Diamond Princess leaves Yokohama Port

24 Comments
By Kazuhiro NOGI

The Diamond Princess, a coronavirus-hit cruise ship that saw 712 passengers and crew contracting the disease with 10 deaths, left its moorings in Yokohama Port Wednesday, a city official said.

The ship, which originally carried some 3,700 passengers and crew members, dominated international headlines as Japan's clumsy handling of its quarantine made it at one point the biggest cluster of coronavirus carriers outside China.

"Disinfection work has been finished. Quarantine confirmed that the work has been finished," a Yokohama city official told AFP.

"It is leaving the pier," he said, without revealing where it was heading or how many crew members were onboard.

The departure ends the ship's troubled two-month stay in Yokohama where passengers on the luxury cruise were abruptly told to remain inside their small cabins for two-week quarantine from February 5, except for brief exercise time.

The ship arrived off Yokohama on Feb 3, after a former passenger left the ship in Hong Kong and tested positive for the virus.

Tokyo claimed its quarantine was effective, but passengers, crew members, and physicians who examined the ship reported shortcomings, such as inadequate protection for quarantine officials.

The number of new infections soared daily and fueled severe international criticism and skepticism of the Japanese approach.

A number of countries, including Australia, South Korea and the United States, used chartered flights to repatriate their nationals from the ship, and placed them in quarantine facilities in their own countries.

Japan allowed the passengers and crew to disembark from February 19 if they tested negative for the virus.

But several disembarked passengers later developed fever and pneumonia-like symptoms and tested positive for the virus.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
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Poor Richard Branson, there he was touting off about his new Cruise liner... just at the time when we were all reading about one cruise ship after another suffering from Covid-19 infections.... and that's coming after the spate of other onboard illnesses we've read over the past few years.... He's either a brave man, or foolish in his elder years.

I for one, will never travel upon a Cruise ship - they're turning into floating cesspools of illnesses and misery. I doubt that I am alone in thinking that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This ship seems to be assumed the source of Japan’s corona virus. If the infected cases are plotted on a logarithmic scale it becomes a virtual straight line and can be extrapolated to case No 1. Interestingly this occurs round about December 23 when many Japanese were returning from China for the family New Year celebrations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mike_oToday  02:19 pm JST

Who wants to buy a boat? Anyone?

I do, but not that one!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who wants to buy a boat? Anyone?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JayMar. 26  08:16 am JST

“Where to now for this ship?”

The tv news was saying now that it’s disinfected, it’s heading to another location where new mattresses and such will be installed in preparation for its next cruise departing May 20.

Invalid CSRF

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Australia recently let 180 possible positive passengers off at Sydney. I guess humans don’t learn.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Current location and position of Diamond Princess

https://ship-tracker.org/diamond-princess/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm amused by the 'sink it' crowd. Wouldn't it be interesting if the coronavirus thrived, mutated, and multiplied in salt water?

TheLongTermer's call for more facts is the way to go. The Diamond Princess is a floating lab for the virus and could yield important information in combating it.

It will be back in 2021, though, probably as extra housing for Olympic athletes now that the Olympic Village will be sold off before the Olympics starts.

Under a different name, of course. I suggest The Mississippi Queen. Do you know what I mean?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

80% of the passengers were Japanese.

The ship is based in Japan in the summer and Australia during the winter months.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It was downright criminal that it was allowed to dock to begin with. And then to not let it leave? Outrageous. Of course it should have been allowed to leave. To allow a known contagion into dock was stupid at best.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Burn and sink that ship. No way will I ever take a trip on that particular vessel

probably not necessary; more facts need to be known about how long the virus can live outside its host on a surface.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Cruise ships are nothing more than giant disease incubators.

Well said. It is beyond belief that even after the horror of the Diamond Princess , people have continued boarding these death traps. And now these passengers are insisting they are allowed to dock, unbelievable.

JSDF cleaning this ship found that the virus was still detected on surfaces 17 days after the room had been vacated.

Scrap the ships and scrap the cruise industry.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yup.

The headline is a tad misleading seeing as it just sailed just 1 km across the bay to Honmoku (still very much in Yokohama).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You could not pay me enough to step foot on a cruise ship.

Cruise ships are nothing more than giant disease incubators.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The ship is hiding in plain view over at Mitsubishijūkō Honmoku kōjō in Yokohama.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They will rename the ship and in 12 months nobody will even think about it.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I wouldn't step on that tub in a hazmat suit and a sprayer full of a gallon of bleach.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Where to now for this ship?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tokyo claimed its quarantine was effective, but passengers, crew members, and physicians who examined the ship reported shortcomings, such as inadequate protection for quarantine officials.

To be fair, when was the last time you've seen a government or a political figure acknowledge, not even a mistake, but just the fact that they handled something poorly ?

Hold your horses if your waiting for a "we could have done better" from those people...

May be it is too human for them to say "we're sorry, we did not handled it the best way possible"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Twas the ship with another name - international conveyance. All because of some incompetent crooks who begged and bribed WHO with $10m. Sayonara.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Burn and sink that ship. No way will I ever take a trip on that particular vessel. Best everyone keep an eye on it and see where it ends up, hopefully not turned into a cargo ship either.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Take it out to the middle of the ocean somewhere and sink it.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Tokyo claimed its quarantine was effective, but passengers, crew members, and physicians who examined the ship reported shortcomings, such as inadequate protection for quarantine officials.

Tell that to the over 700 who caught the virus and the 10 people and their families who died because of the government screwing things up!

The only people who were actually "effective", from news reports, were the JSDF assigned to assist in the mess. If the reporting is to be believed, not one member assigned to the detail, (well over 100) contracted the virus, because of their procedures that kept them safe!

No thanks to the government, but thanks to their military training!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

You call it “clumsy handling” but it seems to me it was better handled than the Ruby Princess in Australia!

11 ( +17 / -6 )

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