Tokyo - Around 3,700 people are facing at least two weeks locked away on a cruise liner anchored off Japan 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 coastguard to hospitals on the mainland, the rest of the passengers and crew on board the Carnival Corp (CCL.N) ship were placed in quarantine and given health screenings. The 10 cases were among 31 results received so far from 273 people tested.
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 off Yokohama port near Tokyo.
They took to social media to detail their predicament, posting photos of officials in masks and gowns conducting health checks, room service meals and empty corridors and decks.
British passenger David Abel said 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.”
A 43-year-old Hong Kong resident on the ship with six family members said they had been given coffee and water, but no food, by lunchtime on Wednesday. They were hungry but had snacks of their own, he said.