NEW DELHI: Two more Indian nationals on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess, quarantined at Yokohama in Japan since February 4, tested positive for coronavirus infection over the weekend — taking the number of Indians infected on the ship to five. TOI had been in touch with one crew member who tested positive on Sunday.
“Two more Indian nationals have tested positive for COVID-19 among 137 new cases over Saturday and Sunday on board Diamond Princess cruise ship … Both have been sent to medical facilities for further treatment and quarantine,” a statement by the Indian Embassy in Japan said on Sunday. The number of coronavirus cases on the ship has gone up to 355.
The US government began evacuating its nearly 400 American passengers and crew members on Sunday, three days before the official quarantine period ends. “The decision was sudden. Till yesterday, no one knew the Americans would be evacuated,” said a crew member, adding that the quarantine for crew members may not end on February 19.
For passengers, the disembarkation process may be a staggered one — done in phases while tests are conducted and results come back. Only about one-third of the 3,700-odd who had been quarantined on the ship have reportedly been tested for the infection till now. “The numbers are probably going up faster now because more people are being tested now. It’s unlikely that people will be allowed to leave the ship without being tested. So release of people from the ship may take longer than the February 19 deadline,” the crew member added.


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