Coronavirus: Quarantine officer infected as all Diamond Princess passengers disembark

Coronavirus: Quarantine officer infected as all Diamond Princess passengers disembark


All the passengers of the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess, which has been docked in Yokohama, Japan, for over two weeks, have disembarked the vessel as of February 24.

This is even as government sources disclosed that one quarantine officer, who responded to the outbreak of the virus on board the Diamond Princess, has also been infected with the coronavirus disease.

The quarantine officer has reportedly been hospitalized and is undergoing treatment.

The ministry added that it was going to conduct an epidemiological investigation into the matter and identify close contacts of the quarantine officer to rule out the potential spread of the virus.  

The ship had 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members on board, according to the owner of the vessel, Princess Cruises.

A spokesperson for the cruise liner said in an update on Monday the final charter aircraft is expected “over the next few days” to evacuate the remaining crew members. 

The update is being issued a couple of days after the cruise operator gave clearance to the crew to be repatriated and return home. All 1,004 crew from more than 40 nations, predominantly Indonesia and the Philippines, are expected to leave the vessel in coming days.

70 crew members on board Diamond Princess have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

“A voluntary team of new seafarers are ready to go on board,” said Francesco di Fiore, ITF inspectorate co-ordinator Italy. “A new master is already in Yokohama waiting in the hotel for instructions.”

The latest figures from the Japanse Ministry of Health indicate that around 691 people and crew of the ship were infected, and three deaths have been confirmed.