New Delhi: In the latest development to the coronavirus disaster, the Indian Embassy in Japan on Wednesday said that two Indian crew members onboard a cruise ship off the Japanese coast have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The Indian Embassy in Japan further added that 174 people have been infected with the deadly disease. The cruise ship has been kept in quarantine at anchor, off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, till February 19.
The cruise ship Diamond Princess with 3,711 people on board arrived at the Japanese coast early last week and was quarantined after a passenger who de-boarded last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the novel virus on the ship.
As per the updates from the Indian Embassy, a total of 138 Indians, including passengers and crew, were on board the ship. However, an exception has been made for critically ill passengers/crew members, who have been allowed to be taken to hospitals/medical facilities, under supervision, for further treatment and quarantine.
“Due to the suspicion of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection, the ship has been quarantined by the Japanese authorities till February 19, 2020,” the embassy said in a statement, adding, “Altogether 174 people have been tested positive for nCoV, including two Indian crew members.”
Soon after the cases were confirmed positive, the infected people were taken to hospitals for adequate treatment, including further quarantine, in accordance with the Japanese health protocol.
The Embassy of India in Tokyo said it has been in constant contact with the relevant Japanese authorities to ensure welfare of Indian nationals on-board the ship as well as the possibility of their early disembarkation, in case they are not found to have tested positive for nCoV. Japanese authorities have confirmed that they are following the designated health protocols.
The Embassy further stated it has reached out to the Indian nationals (crew members and passengers) through emails and telephone calls. “The Embassy has explained to them about the health and safety regulations of Japanese authorities and have requested for cooperation. None of the Indian nationals have complained of discriminatory treatment meted out to them,” it said.
The Embassy also said it is in constant touch with the ship management company Princess Cruises (for the crew members) and the employer or the six passengers, to tie up their travel back to India.