Two Indian crew members are among the 39 more people who tested positive for coronavirus infection on the Diamond Princess, anchored at Yokohama over the past week, on Wednesday. A Japan health official who had collected forms from those on board the ship also tested positive after he got off the ship.
“As of February 12, 2020, altogether 174 people have tested positive for nCoV, including two Indian crew members. All 174 have been taken to hospitals for adequate treatment – including further quarantine – in accordance with the Japanese health protocol,” an update by the Indian embassy stated on Wednesday in reply to a query by TOI.
The embassy said that it is in touch with Japanese authorities on “the possibility of their disembarkation”. There are 138 Indians — 132 crew members and six passengers — among the 3,711 people on board. “Every morning, the captain of the ship announces how many have tested positive for the virus. Passengers can’t get out, can’t ask for more information than they are given. They can only listen to these numbers, which get bigger and worse by the day,” a crew member said.
Every crew member is given a safety kit at the beginning of the day — a mask, a pair of gloves, alcohol pads and hand wash. They eat in batches of eight, instead of 20 like they did earlier. But for those holding fort on the quarantined ship, the risk is one they haven’t been able to do much about.
“That the quarantine officer tested positive is not surprising. Who would want to do this job?” asked another crew member. The ship has 1,045 crew members, of whom more than 200 are waiters and stewards — which means they have to step into every room. “We have to go deliver food to people who are not allowed to come out of their own rooms because of the exposure risk. But what about us?” he added. Of the 39 who tested positive on Wednesday, 10 were crew members.





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