Japan cruise virus cases jump to 218 as elderly offered escape

Updated: Feb 14, 2020, 08:12 IST | Agencies | Yokohama

Thousands of passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess the single largest cluster of infected people outside China - face several days more of quarantine, with many taking to social media to voice their concerns

A man fishes behind the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship on Thursday. Pic/PTI
A man fishes behind the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship on Thursday. Pic/PTI

Yokohama: Japan on Thursday said it would allow some elderly passengers off a quarantined cruise ship and into government-designated lodging, as the number of new Coronavirus cases on the vessel jumped to 218.

Thousands of passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess — the single largest cluster of infected people outside China - face several days more of quarantine, with many taking to social media to voice their concerns.

Those ship crew has been reluctant to speak to reporters for fear of losing their jobs, but two crew members broke their silence in a video broadcast by Indian media Thursday. "The situation on board is getting worse day by day," 24-year-old ship security officer Sonali Thakkar told AFP. "This morning they told us that 44 people have been infected and everyone is really scared and want to get off as soon as possible," she added.

"All we want is tests to be done and to be separated from those who are positive. We don't want to stay on board." With passengers mostly confined to their cabins, crew members have to go door-to-door to deliver food and other supplies, and some fear this has reduced the effectiveness of the quarantine.

Japan confirms first Coronavirus death

A woman in her 80s became the first person to die due to Coronavirus in Japan, the country's health minister said on Thursday, cautioning that it was not clear if the
virus caused her death.

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