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"Please save us": Indian crew on quarantined cruise ship as more passengers test positive for coronavirus

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 • Tamil Comments

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is carrying around 3700 passengers (including the crew) at the port of Yokohama, Tokyo, has been quarantined by Japan on Monday evening after it was determined that a male passenger who got off in Hong Kong late last month tested positive for coronavirus.

Among the 3700 people on board, 168 of them are Indian crew members and passengers. One of them has reportedly told a news agency that 66 more people have tested for coronavirus today, as announced by the captain of the ship. So far, nearly 200 people have tested positive for the virus, and more passengers are waiting to be tested. An Indian crew member, Binay Kumar Sarkar, shared a video on Facebook on Monday, explaining the fearful situation and urging PM Narendra Modi to intervene as soon as he could.

Sarkar mentioned in the video, "We are very scared. There are more than 60 positive cases today but an official announcement of how many of these are passengers and how many are crew is yet to be made. I appeal to the prime minister of India to intervene. Urgent segregation is needed of those who are healthy. What is the use of coming to our rescue after things get out of hand?" He further added, "So far, only 500 people have been tested. Right now, only those who are reporting more than 37.5 degrees C of body temperature are being tested. There are 160 Indians among the crew along with 8 Indian passengers."

Of the 66 cases tested positive for coronavirus today, 45 are from Japan. Citizens from Canada, Australia, USA, Philippines, Ukraine, and England are also among the infected individuals. "We are following guidance from the Japan Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases. Since it is early in the quarantine period of 14-days, it was not unexpected that additional cases would be reported involving individuals who were exposed prior to the start of the quarantine," Princess company, the company that operates Diamond Princess, reportedly stated.

Scientifically known as 2019-nCoV, the virus originates from the central Chinese city of Wuhan and has claimed over 1000 lives in China and infected nearly 43000 people. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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