More than 2,600 Princess Cruises guests face spending the next fortnight stuck on-board Diamond Princess ship quarantined off the Japanese port of Yokohama, after initial results showed 10 passengers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The Diamond Princess had been prevented from sailing on Monday after a passenger who had travelled on the vessel late last month tested positive after she arrived home in Hong Kong.
A further 273 people on board who have since been tested following health screenings, 31 results had come back – and of those 10 were positive, according to Japan’s Health Minister.
Commenting on the situation, a Princess Cruises spokesperson said:
“Princess Cruises can confirm that the first phase of health screening of all guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess, by the Japanese Ministry of Health, has been completed. We were notified that amongst the samples that have completed testing, 10 people have tested positive for Coronavirus. This includes two Australian guests, three Japanese guests, three guests from Hong Kong, and one guest from the U.S. in addition to one Filipino crewmember.
“These 10 persons, who have been notified, will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shoreside Japanese medical professionals. It has been confirmed that the ship will remain under quarantine in Yokohama. The length of the quarantine will be at least 14 days as required by the Ministry of Health.
“The ship plans to go out to sea to perform normal marine operations including, but not limited to, the production of fresh water and ballast operations before proceeding alongside in Yokohama where food, provisions, and other supplies will be brought onboard.
“Guests will continue to be provided complimentary internet and telephone to use in order to stay in contact with their family and loved ones, and the ship’s crew is working to keep all guests comfortable.
“Princess Cruises will continue to fully cooperate with and follow the instructions of global medical authorities and the Japanese government.
We will also be cancelling the next two Diamond Princess cruises departing Yokohama (Feb 4 and Feb 12) and will begin notifying guests today.”