Cruise Ship Alters Itinerary Due to Norovirus Outbreak

Wednesday, 12 Feb, 2020

More passengers aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus since last week, raising questions about whether Japanese authorities are doing enough for the people on board.

The Cruise Lines International Association - which represents around 90% of global cruise capacity - says around 10 of its 272 member ships are now in Asia.

In a statement, US company Princess Cruise Lines Ltd, operator of Diamond Princess ship said that of the 66, 45 are Japanese, 11 are Americans, four are Australians, three are Filipinos and one each from Canada, England, and Ukraine.

Virus patients are being moved to hospitals on the mainland while the 2,500 remaining passengers are confined to cabins. We didn't get much information, except that one man had been sick and got off in Hong Kong.

"Princess stepping up its game with food service", wrote passenger Matthew Smith under a photo of plates of food - including what appeared to be heaps of smoked salmon and several large pieces of chocolate cake.

Two of the 13 Kiwis on board a quarantined Japanese cruise ship have been infected.

An Israeli woman who is on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship has contracted a fever, a statement by the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The first secretary in the consular division of the Indian embassy in Tokyo said on Monday that there are no Indians among the 70 passengers who tested positive till Sunday.

"The Japan Ministry of Health has been the lead public health authority defining the testing protocols for all guests and crew on Diamond Princess". "I think this was done without a lot of thought to consequences of ongoing transmission within the ship and the mental health of the passengers", Smith said. Also, it is kept separate from other ships at the port.

The outbreak has nothing to do with the Chinese coronavirus outbreak that has impacted other cruise ships around the world. "Some of the passengers are in touch with us directly through email", Mr Kalra said.

In a Princess Cruises promotional video highlighting "a day in the life of a crew member", workers praise the company, the opportunity and the excitement of their jobs - but also reflect the hardship of life on board. Passenger David Abel has described the ship as a "floating prison". Princess Cruises has cancelled 12 cruises through March 20.

The man said that he had not been tested for the virus, but that he fears more will soon fall ill. There are thought to be 160 Indian national among the staff, and eight among the passengers.