An ambulance which is believed to be carrying a person who was transferred from cruise ship Diamond Princess after 10 people tested positive for coronavirus, is seen at a maritime police base in Yokohama, on Wednesday morning. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

3,700 cruise ship passengers, crew face 2-week quarantine off Yokohama

By Ju-min Park and David Dolan

Around 3,700 people are facing at least two weeks locked away on a cruise liner anchored off Yokohama port after health officials confirmed on Wednesday that 10 people on the ship had tested positive for coronavirus and more cases were possible.

While the infected patients were transferred by Japan's coast guard to hospitals on the mainland, the remainder of the passengers and crew on board the Carnival Corp ship were placed in quarantine and given health screenings. Only 31 results of 273 tests have been received so far, revealing the 10 confirmed cases.

The quarantine decision meant that passengers on Carnival's Diamond Princess, which had arrived in Yokohama on Monday after a 14-day round trip, will now spend another two weeks on the ship.

Passengers on the ship took to social media to detail their predicament, posting photos of officials in masks and gowns conducting health checks, room service meals, empty corridors, and a barren deck.

British passenger David Abel said all passengers were confined to their cabins on Wednesday morning, with staff delivering food room-by-room.

"The challenging situation for me is that I'm an insulin dependent diabetic," Abel said in a video taken in his cabin and posted to his Facebook page, adding that regular and timed food intake was a key part of managing his condition.

"We don't have a choice in what we can eat, the announcement recently was that they're starting on the bottom deck and working their way up - I'm on the ninth deck."

"This is not a good situation for me as a diabetic and I'm certain that there are many, many more diabetics on the ship."

A 43-year-old Hong Kong resident on the ship with six family members, including his wife and son, said that as of lunchtime Wednesday, they had gotten coffee and water but no food. They were hungry but had snacks of their own, he said.

"I am not looking forward to the range of emotions in the next two weeks," he told Reuters from his family's windowless room. "Will deal as they come."

The man, who declined to be named, said he, his wife and son had been tested for the virus, since he had a cold on the ship and had seen the doctor, but none of them had been diagnosed with it, although he wondered if the virus would show up later.

Another passenger, using the handle @daxa_tw, tweeted that he was "hearing from many sides that people are troubled and uneasy."

The Diamond Princess is seen anchored off Yokohama Port on Wednesday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The cruise ship was caught up in the global coronavirus epidemic after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man, who joined for part of the 14-day cruise, tested positive for the virus after disembarking in Hong Kong on Jan 25. The man had joined a shore excursion in Kagoshima, southwestern Japan, on Jan 22, local media reported.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said officials would continue to monitor the remaining passengers and crew for the potential development of symptoms, suggesting that more test samples could be taken.

None of the 10 infected people - three each from Japan and Hong Kong, two Australians, one American and one Filipino crew member - had severe symptoms, public broadcaster NHK reported.

In an effort to soothe quarantined passengers, Carnival's Princess Cruises said they would receive free internet and telephone services "in order to stay in contact with their family and loved ones, and the ship's crew is working to keep all guests comfortable."

The ship would go out to sea to perform "normal marine operations", it added, including the production of fresh water, before receiving food and other supplies from Yokohama.

Carnival said that passengers trapped on the Diamond Princess would receive both a full refund and a future cruise credit. It cancelled another two cruises that had been scheduled for the same ship to leave Yokohama on Feb. 4 and Feb. 12.

Not all passengers were overly concerned about the major change to the itinerary. American Ashley Rhodes-Courter posted a text message exchange on Instagram with her parents, Gay and Phil Courter, who are on board the ship.

The couple joked that "the food is great, the staff is in good spirits and we're all in the same boat ... Plus they have not run out of some great pinot noir."

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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31 cases and it's getting worse day by day....scary!!!

8 ( +13 / -5 )

I have no confidence in Japan's ability to handle this situation. The medical system here is sub-par to begin with. Critical thinking and preventive measures are not Japan's strong suits.

13 ( +24 / -11 )

10 cases out of 273 tests means potentially 148 people will develop the virus on that ship.

A health ministry official said not everyone would be tested with PCR (polymerase chain reaction) kits because it was too time-consuming and deemed unnecessary.

There are no words for this. If the Olympics are threatened it will suddenly become necessary.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

10 cases out of 273 tests means potentially 148 people will develop the virus on that ship.

If 10 people have tested positive then potentially everyone has already been exposed and will develop symptoms of the virus within two weeks. All are being quarantined on the ship and visit the same eateries and public toilets within the ship, unless they are all remaining in their cabins 24/7 and the is no connection between rooms with Aircon and heating.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This trip will have turned out to be the cruise of a lifetime I guess. And they'll have to disinfect the whole ship, or at least go through the motions. More horrendous economic effects from this cunning little virus.

Virus 1. Humanity 0.

At 33 patients, Japan maintains second in the world for confirmed case numbers so far.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Doom and gloom from posts above. Brings the total number of apparent confirmed cases to 33. Roughly 123 million people in Japan. Odds are you won't get the virus, just saying.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

Lots these will need acute care such as ventilators and kidney machine

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

At least Japan does check and won’t let anyone going out, quarantine for 14 days. Even if some of the infected passengers went certainly off the ship during the previous stops and potentially spread the virus. Logistically. it is not easy but I can only praise the efforts done. They also checked all Japanese citizens coming back from Wuhan, and that has not been the case of many countries.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Take all precautions, but relax. Worrying too much about it causes undue stress which will weaken your immune system.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

All are being quarantined on the ship

As a bystander, this is all I can expect from the government. The cruise owner will already have protocols in place to limit viral infections (such as novovirus). The general public is completely segregated from the ship population.

The only thing left is to treat those infected with the virus, and there's no death so far despite 33 confirmed cases nationally, so treatment efforts are effective.

I would honestly only worry if the government is promoting business as usual, like what the WHO is doing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I hope Japanese doctors are keeping up with the latest research and case reports. This can turn ugly even for young, healthy people, with a high complication rate (~20% ICU) requiring oxygen and ventilation treatment. If this were to spread widely, demand for oxygen and ventilation could easily overwhelm available supply, and Japan needs to be prepared and stock up while there is still time.

Moreover, several existing antiviral drugs have shown efficacy and have been used on a compassionate use basis with good results (e.g. remdesivir). Hopefully there is enough of an English-literate contingent in the Japanese medical community to widely disseminate this important information.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

high complication rate (~20% ICU) requiring oxygen and ventilation treatment.

Not doubting you, just wondering who has collated this info? Linky...

Also that being the case, then China have built enough temp isolation facilities (for now) then?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To answer that question

Ventilators are part of the de facto treatment for respiratory diseases.

The demand in China must be huge at the moment.

Japan now has 33 cases of infection.

Logically, there must be more out there.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Thank goodness there are so many experts here. I feel much safer.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Thank goodness there are so many experts here. I feel much safer.


11 ( +11 / -0 )

Japan now has 33 cases of infection.

32 or 33 depending on how you count the person who initially tested negative, left the country and then came up positive on a retest after he was already gone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not doubting you, just wondering who has collated this info? Linky...

Clear data from China is hard to come by, but here's an early report that looked at 41 patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV in Wuhan. 13 ended up in the ICU, 6 didn't make it.

Median age of ICU-admitted patients was 49, but there have been report of younger people ending up in the ICU as well (a couple in France, the patient in the USA from the Lancet report, etc.)

Also that being the case, then China have built enough temp isolation facilities (for now) then?

Given the reports of many people being sent home for lack of hospital space, I very much doubt it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Their is no treatment only stabilization of vital, with ventilators or others artificial means

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Read it right folks:

Everyone on board the Diamond Princess had received initial health screening, Kato said, a process that identified 273 people for testing. Of that smaller group, 31 results had been received so far, revealing the 10 confirmed cases.

i.e. only 31 of 273 have had their results back and of that 10 are confirmed!

Now that's nasty!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There will likely be more.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The cure may be hot whisky and honey..

A 25-year-old teacher from the United Kingdom who’s said to be the first known case of coronavirus in Great Britain reportedly beat the disease by swigging a “glass of hot whisky and honey.”

Connor Reed, who was diagnosed as having coronavirus in Wuhan, China, roughly two months ago, serves as proof (assuming his story is legitimate) that natural remedies really can, and do, beat even the worst of illnesses.

After being rushed to the hospital with breathing problems, as well as a severe cough – both classic signs of coronavirus – Reed had to stay admitted there for two weeks.

“I was stunned when the doctors told me I was suffering from the virus,” Reed, a Welsh lad who’s lived in China for three years, told the media. “I thought I was going to die but I managed to beat it.”

“I used the inhaler which helped control the cough and drank a hot whisky and honey until that ran out. It’s an old-fashioned remedy but it seemed to do the trick.”

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Please post side by side this year's influenza stats next to these Corona stats.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Please post side by side this year's influenza stats next to these Corona stats.

Jeez, you want facts, but a side by side comparison of the facts is probably misleading.

Influenza is more dangerous because more people are infected and as a result more people die.

Still, the CV appears to be easier to transmit than the seasonal flu and appears to have a higher mortality rate. So, if left to run unchecked, CV could be worse than the seasonal flu.

That said, people should be using the same hygiene to protect themselves.

Wash your hands. Don't touch your face. A mask is more likely to be helpful by stopping you from touching your face.

Most masks are only partially effective since there are gaps that let air in, and the majority of virus particles from coughing will settle on a surface. So, if you are wearing a mask and someone coughs on you (not especially likely), you are probably still going to get infected.

There is a lot of fear out there.

Yea, I don't have a lot of confidence in compo prescribing doctors.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So was this cruise supposed to be a 3 hour tour...?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Breakdown by passport of the 10 confirmed infected passengers just been released. (J Yahoo news.)


2 Australian, 3 Japanese, 3 Chinese, 1 US, 1 Philippines.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hey Japan Today and fellow readers. I'm almost sure I read or heard a news report yesterday that said a number of passengers disembarked in Okinawa prior to coming to Yokohama. I'm not trying to spread any fear but can anyone out there confirm this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Part 2

I just found the story on NHK, yes 10 people got off in Okinawa. I wonder what happened to them?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That American dad joke at the end lifted my spirits a bit. A bit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From NHK yesterday:

When the ship docked in Naha, Okinawa, nobody was found to have symptoms, and about 10 passengers got off. Officials plan to look into whether any of them had close contact with the Hong Kong resident.

Might want to hurry up with those plans, officials. Better yet, please ask them very kindly to be tested, regardless of whether they were sipping cocktails on the deck with our coughing friend from Hong Kong or not. I'm heading to Okinawa soon and would like to know whether I should pack swim shorts or a hazmat suit, cheers.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

only 31 of 273 have had their results back and of that 10 are confirmed!

Now that's nasty!

I don't think it means that a third of everyone on the ship is infected. I imagine they sped up the results for the people considered more likely to be infected (ie with clear symptoms, or close to people with clear symptoms), and it's those results that are coming back first. At least, I hope that's the case.

The pinot noir will be good for keeping hydrated, but if it were me I think I'd be trying the hot whisky & honey.

Invalid CSRF

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Only 31 results of 273 tests have been received so far, revealing the 10 confirmed cases.

This is more than serious, it's scary. 273 tests done, 31 results out and out of that, 10 results positive. 10 out of 31 is 33% infection rate! Scary!!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Cruise ships are notorious for spreading things like this

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The ship looks like kinda very densely populated island. More passengers probably would be infected. I imagined a long time ago what if a passenger brings unknown virus/bacteria into such cruise ship.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Passengers are restricted to their cabins and only very basic meals are being served. Their cabins are not being serviced and cleaned. Hell after paying to go on a cruise. No info about what is happening except they have been told they must remain for 14 days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the guy originally infected was hanging out in kanagawa, they better get a lead on that...

i recommend stocking up on food, masks and protection against the sick virus zombies to follow.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Given the reports of many people being sent home for lack of hospital space, I very much doubt it.

Again, not disputing you.

I got these figures in my head:

24k infected × 20% = 4.8k

China built 3 temp hospitals + converted 1 existing = approx 4.5k isolation beds for critical patients. Not far off 4.8k, but of course, another day, another few ks infected....

China also converted a convention centre into a hospital/quarantine centre for infected but not critical patients, I'm guessing it's not hard to convert other facilities.

So at this stage, looks like they either are a critical juncture, or they better build more temp isolation hospitals.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi, you should join em for spirit lifiting

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ChristopherSmith thank you so much for posting basically what I was going to say before you beat me to the punch. And I just did the math, at current numbers, it’s only one in 4 million that have the virus. So yeah, enough of the doom and gloom already.

And with the way they’ve been really cracking down as of late, It shouldn’t spread too much further. And just because someone could get the virus, doesn’t mean that it’s likely that they well. Just keep that in mind before posting doomsday predictions.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The authority just confirmed an additional 10 cases (total 20) on this cruiseliner, I dread to think with more test results in coming days if more cases will be added.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It seems some posters have missed a crucial part of this article. It stated:

“Only 31 results of 273 tests have been received so far, revealing the 10 confirmed cases.”

So, that means 10 people out of 31 tested positive for the new corona virus. Not 10 out of 273. 30% of the people whose test results were finished have tested positive.

And today, another 10 positive results.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apologies, I didn’t see that B Jay posted essentially the same thing since I last read these comments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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