a coronavirus-infested cruise ship off the coast of the Japanese port of Yokohama continues going up to ever more preposterous levels.he number of infections discovered aboard
On Tuesday, Japanese officials confirmed that 88 more people on the Diamond Princess had tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of on-board infections up to 542.
The Diamond Princess easily represents the largest concentration of coronavirus cases outside of China. It’s now seen more diagnosed cases than any city outside of the epicenter of Hubei province, more even than the totals of all but 10 Chinese provinces.
Passengers have been under quarantine aboard the ship since February 3, a decision made by the Japanese government which has proven controversial with many believing that it has contributed to the virus’s spread rather than preventing it.
The quarantine period is technically supposed to come to an end on February 19, though it’s unclear if that period will be lengthened. Typically, individuals have been kept in isolation for 14 days following their last close contact with someone infected by the virus.
With new cases being reported every day on the vessel, it seems like the quarantine could go on in perpetuity, though the Japanese government has yet to announce any change in plan.
Meanwhile, various countries have been making plans to evacuate and repatriate their citizens stuck on board.
On Monday, two planes took off from Tokyo carrying hundreds of American passengers from the ship, including, controversially, 14 who have been diagnosed with the virus. The returnees will be quarantined for 14 days upon arriving back in the US.
South Korea is sending its presidential jet to evacuate its citizens while Canada has also secured a charter flight to get its citizens out. 256 Canadians were on board the ship, 32 have tested positive for the virus.