Passengers watch as ambulances transfer passengers, who tested positive for coronavirus, from the cruise ship Diamond Princess to a hospital, after the ship arrived at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, on Thursday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
national

20 virus infections on cruise ship in Yokohama; passengers confined to cabins

56 Comments
By David Dolan and Elaine Lies

Ten more people on a quarantined cruise liner in a Japanese port have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Thursday, taking the number of infected passengers to 20 with test results on more than 170 still pending.

About 3,700 people are facing at least two weeks quarantine on the Diamond Princess ship in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, after 10 people were initially confirmed with the virus and moved to medical facilities.

The total number of coronavirus patients in Japan is now 45. Test results on around 171 people from the cruise ship are still pending. The 10 new cases included four Japanese, two Americans, two Canadians, one person from New Zealand and one from Taiwan.

Carnival's Diamond Princess was caught up in the global coronavirus epidemic after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man tested positive for the virus after disembarking late last month. The ship arrived in Yokohama on Monday after a 14-day round trip.

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Firefighters wearing protective gear cover the windows of an ambulance to protect the privacy of passengers, who tested positive for coronavirus, before they are transferred from the cruise ship Diamond Princess to a hospital, after the ship docked at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, on Thursday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Clyde and Renee Smith, a U.S. couple who are both 80 and on the cruise with two adult grandsons, said they were on a bus trip with the man in Kagoshima, southern Japan, but both tested negative for the virus.

They were enduring their second day in a stateroom that, as Renee told Reuters by phone from the ship, "is tiny, we don't have a window, there are four of us - and only one chair."

They've spent time reading and watching movies, including"Crazy Rich Asians" and "Aquaman." Grandson Sawyer Smith, 25, a workout devotee, does crunches since he can't visit the gym.

"It's not really to the point where we're getting stir-crazy, if they keep us in the rooms for four to five days it might be a little different," Sawyer said.

Others, though, were starting to feel confined.

One 43-year-old Hong Kong resident, also in a windowless room, said they had received food, toilet paper and games and art supplies for their child.

But it was sunlight they wanted, he said.

"Wondering though when we can step outside the room, if at all, for sunlight,” the man, who declined to be named, told Reuters, adding he hadn’t been in direct sunlight since Tuesday.

"I got a peek of it when the opposite room opened their door to receive breakfast, as that room has a balcony. The sky looked blue."

Other passengers said food delivery to the rooms was slow.

"Of course, our greatest worry is that we have been infected," said Gay Courter, a 75-year-old U.S. novelist.

"We are hopeful that the U.S. government will be sending transport for the Americans on board it’s better for us to travel while healthy and also if we get sick to be treated in American hospitals."

Concern has also spread to ports the ship visited along the way, including Naha on Japan's tropical Okinawa island and Taipei in Taiwan, where passengers went on day trips.

A health official in Naha said they were trying to trace the path of the infected passengers, while Taipei's National Palace Museum disinfected its exhibition rooms and Taiwan banned all cruise ships from making port.

Japan is making arrangements to send a fourth chartered plane to Wuhan to pick up around 200 people on Thursday night, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference. These are likely to include Chinese spouses as well as Japanese.

The virus death toll in mainland China hit 563 on Thursday, with almost 3,000 new cases reported.

China's National Health Commission said another 3,694 coronavirus cases were reported throughout the country on Feb. 5, bringing the total to 28,018.

Nearly 260 cases have been reported in 31 other countries and regions outside mainland China, according to a Reuters tally based on official statements from the authorities involved.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

56 Comments
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Has anyone heard anything about the 80 year old patient zero in this case? Did he disembark in Japan or elsewhere?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The overtime pay for the cruise staff must be amazing! That's got to be regular overtime x hazard pay x weekend pay. Sweet!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Tencent briefly lists 154,023 infections and 24,589 deaths from Wuhan coronavirus.

According to Beijing, there is no real threat and the US is taking the matter all out of context. Yeah right. Over-reaction, well sorry Beijing, when it comes to my own life, I was only given 1 and as far as I know at least for now I don't have a 100% carbon copy. The numbers above are more realistic based to the population and from what leaked videos, photos and data that have come from real world people and not watered down by the CCP.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

after disembarking the ship late last month.

Savethegaijin - It was Hong Kong. The return trip is the one in Yokohama but no doubt the crew is the same. The current cases could be from people bringing it on board in HongKong as well. Anyway, keep safe by washing your hands a lot.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/04/national/japan-quarantine-3700-cruise-ship-coronavirus/#.XjtpdFL7RBw

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This is not a time for Japanese to be ignorant, since you are ground zero at the second wave of the virus ,why do the government start mass pneumonia vaccination, these mask are worthless,if they are taken off in a public place and you are eating, how do you know your host is not infected or your food is not contaminated with the virus

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Not really sure of their plan, wait until even healthy passengers are infected? Let's say they wait two weeks and lo and behold, others show up positive, then what do they do, keep these passengers on board longer? I say if you test virus-free you can be removed from the boat, and if you are positive you should be quarantined in a hospital or other facility where you cannot infect others.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Overkill.

35 confirmed coronavirus patients in Japan, out of nearly 127 million people, hardly worth getting in a panic over.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

The overtime pay for the cruise staff must be amazing! 

service zangyo maybe. My guess

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Reckless, they are being confined to quarters to prevent further spread.

Save-the-gaijin, the 80-year old boarded in Yokohama on Jan. 20th, went on a bus tour with 40 people in Kagoshima on Jan. 23rd, and got off in Hong Kong on Jan. 25th, where he later tested positive. At least 2 of the first 10 positives were people who went on the bus tour in Kagoshima with him. I haven't heard if he's recovered or not.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The overtime pay for the cruise staff must be amazing! That's got to be regular overtime x hazard pay x weekend pay. Sweet!

I,d guess majority of the crew would be Filipino & other low labor cost countries on contracts with no overtime & penalty rates.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@Reckless Removing people who test negative from the boat isn’t a good idea. It has been reported that the test isn’t that accurate yet. People have tested positive, then after some time tested negative and then later tested positive again.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

My point is that after two weeks, supposing a few new cases show up, those that test negative will be released? It seems this is unfair to confine them simply because they are on a ship.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

What happens if people test positive close to the last day of quarantine, what happens? Quarantine begins all over again?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wuhan coronavirus is going to be an endemic disease of Japan persist through the Tokyo Olympics.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

Sorry Samit, these viruses don't do well in heat and humidity. The summer Olympics will proceed just fine.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

That sounds more like a prophesy than a prediction, Samit.

Of the 273 they tested on the ship, 20 have come up positive, out of 102 results so far. That's 20%, but why are these results taking so long to come through?

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20200206-00000041-reut-cn

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Cannot believe that Japan have over 45 people positve with coronavirus.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

It seems to me that most people infected didn't/don't die except China as long as there are usual good treatment and good care for patients. In China all hospitals are now out of control because of tooooo many patients infected in very short time. Doctors can't see all in and outpatients at hospitals, Doctors and nurses are too exhausted to take care of them. There is almost no treatment and no care for most patients in China. That's why so many patients died of coronavirus so far and still.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The should start separating the cabin/floors with non exposed, to possibly exposed, and remove the exposed to a quarantined hospital room. As those who have undertaken 3-4 passed test kits, should be removed completely so that they are not or risking them to be exposed to coronavirus, like a decon station but on a wider scale. The number will rise before its all over.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Once again it’s a Chinese man’s fault. Notice how the nationalities of the others are not mentioned?

a ridiculous woman I know through a friend stopped me int he street to chat and unfortunately I humored her for a bit. She talked about how her husband wanted to travel to Myanmar for volunteer work (which is wonderful), but how she tried to forbid him. He went anyway, so she is moving out for two weeks before he comes back. I pointed out she is more likely to get it here than him getting it in Myanmar, and she looked truly offended. I pointed out that outside of China (Hong Kong included), Japan has one of if not the highest outbreak, and with its population de duty poses more of a threat. So, it’s good, and safer for them, that he’s there and not here (since she wanted to suggest going outside of Japan is dangerous). That ended the conversation abruptly. :)

“If the new infections are confirmed, that would bring the total number of coronavirus patients in Japan to 45.”

is that no.2? Might not be long before embassies are preparing their people to leave.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

why are these results taking so long to come through?

Because they have to incubate the sample tissue (from throat) a little bit to diagnose it is positive or negative. It take 3, 4 days to make the tissue grow. If they don't do this way, they may make mistake of diagnosis.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan have over 45 people positve with coronavirus.

35 are either Chinese/foreigners

10 are Japanese with some connection to China.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

why are these results taking so long to come through?

Because they have to incubate the sample tissue (from throat) a little bit to diagnose it is positive or negative. It take 3, 4 days to make the tissue grow. If they don't do this way, they may make mistake of diagnosis.

and if the test results are positive they run it again.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

and if the test results are positive they run it again.

The test results were negative once, but second test became positive for some patients, because the virus of the tissue was too less to diagnose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kwatt, "Because they have to incubate the sample tissue (from throat) a little bit to diagnose it is positive or negative. It take 3, 4 days to make the tissue grow. If they don't do this way, they may make mistake of diagnosis."

From what I have heard and read, this coronavirus generally skips the nasal and throat membranes and goes deep into the lungs. For a definitive reading they need to take coughed-up lung mucous; higher swabs have tended to turn up negative.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if the tests are specifically for the 2019-nCoV or include the 4 coronaviruses which have been around since years.

2019-nCoV joins the four coronaviruses now circulating in people. […] Although little-known outside health care and virology circles, the current four “are already part of the winter-spring seasonal landscape of respiratory disease,” Adalja said [Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security]. Two of them, OC43 and 229E, were discovered in the 1960s but had circulated in cows and bats, respectively, for centuries. The others, HKU1 and NL63, were discovered after the 2003-2004 SARS outbreak, also after circulating in animals .[....] OC43 and 229E are more prevalent than other endemic human coronaviruses, especially in children and the elderly. Together, the four are responsible for an estimated one-quarter of all colds. “For the most part they cause common-cold-type symptoms,” said Richard Webby, an influenza expert at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. […] All four, in particular HKU1, can cause pneumonia, and sometimes death.

https://www.statnews.com/2020/02/04/two-scenarios-if-new-coronavirus-isnt-contained/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder if the tests are specifically for the 2019-nCoV or include the 4 coronaviruses which have been around since years.

Tests are based on amplification of the 2019-nCoV RNA, so the trick to make it specific is to look for areas of the genome that don't change rapidly over coronavirus evolution but have changed enough in this novel branch of the family that they can be used as a distinctive signature. Since coronaviruses probably diverged around the last ice age 8000 years ago, differences are substantial and this is quite doable. 2019-nCoV closest's relative that is also active in humans is Sars (about 80% similar at the protein/genetic level).

More details on how these tests work: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/02/how-does-one-test-for-coronavirus-anyway/

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Worst case scenario for this is that everyone on the cruise was infected and it would be a little bit much for Japan to swallow. Just read news that US drug remdesivir from Gilead seems to be working in treating coronavirus. Gilead applied for a Chinese patent in 2016 but is still pending. Now China also has just sent application for the treatment patent to the Chinese Patent Office because they did not want to pay for license fee to the US company.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/chinese-scientists-ask-patent-us-045728414.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So it is a glorified prison now.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japan have over 45 people positve with coronavirus.

35 are either Chinese/foreigners

10 are Japanese with some connection to China.

And? Everyone who gets infected will ultimately have a connection to Wuhan indirectly.

It is very good fortune that these people were not able to disembark in Japan because otherwise this virus would have spread rapidly.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@dk9000

Thank you. Always a pleasure to communicate with the informed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

To add insult to injury and further strain resources, H5N1 avian flu has reared its ugly head.

https://www.businessinsider.com/bird-flu-china-coronavirus-pathogenic-strain-of-h5n1-highly-2020-2

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why still no mention of the ten people who disembarked in Okinawa?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I hope at least they kept the bar open. Nothing better for stress / worries than an ice cold beer.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

sumikonagoyaToday  01:23 pm JST

Japan have over 45 people positve with coronavirus.

35 are either Chinese/foreigners

10 are Japanese with some connection to China.

  I wonder if coronavirus will be as discriminating of nationality as many, many people (throughout the world) are proving to be.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan have over 45 people positve with coronavirus.

35 are either Chinese/foreigners

10 are Japanese with some connection to China.

I suspect there are a lot more cases in Japan. Given the level of panic and the events in China, I doubt many people are going to mention any cold or flu-like symptoms in public. They'll take over the counter medicine, keep wearing a mask, and hope the symptoms disappear before anyone notices.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

 I say if you test virus-free you can be removed from the boat

You don't test " virus-free" but just "not sick (yet)". You can carry the virus for 2 weeks, and never get sick and the current tests show nothing. During that time, it seems you can transmit it to others.

That's why people are made to stay in their rooms, to avoid contaminating more other passengers. In theory, if the whole group of one room is not sick during 2 weeks, they can leave quarantine safely.

And? Everyone who gets infected will ultimately have a connection to Wuhan indirectly.

Some say everybody on the planet is connected with at most 6 degrees of separation...

Clearly, some of the new patients are already 3 or 4 degrees away from the mythic Wuhan market.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Detailed update of 2019-nCoV mortality rate:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This ship is becoming a classic test case for the disease contagiousness and lethality, neither of which do we have a clear handle on. The ranges so far vary between flue and SARS, quite a wide range.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@rgcivilian1 Those numbers gotta be utter bs. There's no way they're real numbers. It seems that would make the virus more lethal than the range of level 4 bio-weapon type viruses. Be wary but don't believe everything you see.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The perils of the tourist industry showed up.

But then if isolation by island does not work for viruses any more will it continue to work in other fields.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

2 weeks isnt going to help... lets say on the 13th day someone that was not infected gets infected.... you going to leave them on this boat forever?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Seasonal influenza kills about 3,000 people in Japan. I just wonder how many people were killed by such coronavirus lately in Japan. No one gets critical and no one dies yet of it. Wash your hands and put mask on your face when you go out. No problem.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Maybe the smart move is to catch it so you can get off the ship. Being confined to your cabin would be a nightmare.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Don’t let them off

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Don’t let them off

Its being reported that the ones with the virus - 20 so far - ARE being let off the ship for treatment. The other, non-infected ones will be on there for 12 more days, then allowed off. Difficult situation , but its being handled correctly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They were enduring their second day in a stateroom that, as Renee told Reuters by phone from the ship, "is tiny, we don't have a window, there are four of us - and only one chair."

They've spent time reading and watching movies, including"Crazy Rich Asians" and "Aquaman."

Sorry. I can't stop laughing. Are watching the movies "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Aquaman" equivalent to some kind of inhumane action like torture?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Being in an interior stateroom would be tough to bear with.

Seems like a lot of ignorance is being shown off here. Shows how far the public has to go to be educated about this virus.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In Movies terms - "The Cassandra Crossing" springs to mind here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The virus may have mutated so results and fatality aren't always the same. And the outside world has no accurate information on the virus as China is covering it up. The fear for the virus this time is due to China's secrecy about the virus and their reactions. And it doesn't need much to see that they knew a lot about the virus and have a whole lot to hide providing their extreme reactions. It's not about national pride but survival. They need to conceal the truth to ensure their survival. If people actually find out the truth, their existence will be over. After all the Chinese government officials aren't the ones dying in their homes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

People are so scared of death... but then they are afraid to live ...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yeah, it does suck for the passengers, but unfortunately, this is necessary. I mean with just the cases that we know about, 400+ people have already died, with 20,000+ already infected. And that number is set to grow as it is.

But at least they’re able to provide a little bit of amenities, like with food, as well as drawing materials for that one kid. I mean it’s better than even more people getting affected and dying from the corona virus, wouldn’t you say?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People in America are not wearing mask, in a great numbers,i have a tendency to avoid people wearing mask ,n they probably already have somekind of disease, and people already have some compromise health situation,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wasn't it 10 yesterday? Will it be 30 tomorrow?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So this is how it all ends. Through fear, ignorance and misinformation. Talk to professionals, your doctor.

Nothing better for stress / worries than an ice cold beer.

Is that your medical opinion?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That ONE masked person in the cruise ship pic, has got to be Japanese,uh?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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