After 11 days quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan amidst the coronavirus outbreak, select passengers are finally allowed to come ashore.
According to the Japanese Health Ministry, the only passengers allowed to leave are the elderly (80 years or older), those with a medical condition or have stayed in a windowless room on the ship. They must also have tested negative for coronavirus.
The 11 passengers who have disembarked this Friday will be quarantined at a government-designated facility until February 19.
As for the remaining passengers and crew members aboard the ship, 2,000 iPhones with special apps have been delivered to the rooms so that everyone aboard may easily get medical consultations.
Since Diamond Princess’s quarantine on February 3, 771 of the 3,700 people have been tested for the potentially lethal virus. Of those tested, 218 passengers and crew members have tested positive, and 10 of them are considered in “serious condition.” There have been no deaths among the guests and crew.
In a statement earlier this week, the cruise line’s Executive Vice President Rai Caluori stated that the company is doing all it can to ensure the comfort and safety of all those aboard. Princess Cruises will also be compensating all crew members aboard with a paid vacation.
Diamond Princess is not the only Princess cruise to be hit with a viral outbreak. Caribbean Princess was forced to return to port on Thursday after hundreds of passengers and crew fell ill with norovirus.
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