Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Under Quarantine

Update on the status of the coronavirus outbreak


Courtesy of Travel Weekly

Veronica Preaskorn, Editorial Board

Recently, the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship has been in the news due to a coronavirus outbreak. The ship was stopped right outside of Japan. According to CNN, there have been at least 135 people infected, including 24 Americans. The quarantine was set to end on February 19th, but due to dozens of new cases it may stretch longer. Anyone who is diagnosed is transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. The cruise line released a list of rules for the passengers in order for them to get fresh air. The passengers are allowed out for an hour and a half but have to wear a mask and stay 40 inches away from each other.

The Diamond Princess Cruise Company has increased entertainment options and internet access. One passenger, Sunny Chen, is a magician who performs tricks on TV for the other passengers in order to keep them entertained and bring them joy. Many passengers have resorted to using various social media apps to check up on the other passengers and stay updated. Some tweet out updates or pictures from the ship. The Diamond Princess even has its own official hashtag, #HangInThereDiamondPrincess, which the cruise line is encouraging passengers to use. 

Recently, the Japanese vice minister for health, labor, and welfare visited the ship to see conditions and check on the passengers. He told everyone the Japanese government is doing what it can to help, including setting up phone lines in order to get passengers prescription medicine. Over three hundred Americans were evacuated on Sunday, January 16, 2020 and flown into either Travis Air Force Base in California or Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. However, 14 tested positive for the coronavirus. The 14 passengers were separated from the rest of the group and isolated for the rest of the flight.