The mood among passengers aboard a quarantined cruise ship in Japan began to shift today as dozens of more people tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
What was supposed to be a honeymoon cruise around Asia has turned into a nightmare for Cerullo and his wife, Milena Basso, who are among the thousands of people on board the Diamond Princess, which has been quarantined at sea since docking in the Japanese port of Yokohama on February 3rd.
At least 174 people aboard the vessel had tested positive for the new coronavirus up to today — with 39 new cases in the past 24 hours. One quarantine officer has also been infected, according to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
All those infected with the disease have been brought ashore for treatment, while the other passengers remain confined to their rooms onboard until the quarantine period ends, the ministry said.
Some experts questioned whether the cruise ship quarantine was doing more harm than good.
“The issue with quarantine remains the lack of ability in a closed environment like this to maintain infection prevention measures on a ship,” said Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York. “We are seeing numbers increase dramatically, which likely means that there is an ongoing spread of the virus on these ships. That’s concerning, as its creating a second epicenter of the infection, in a Japanese port.”