Tokyo: The Japanese government gave away more than 2,000 free iPhones to passengers and crew stranded on a cruise ship quarantined due to the Wuhan coronavirus. The cruise ship has been docked off the Japanese port city of Yokohama, since February 3, after over 350 passengers tested positive for the virus. Also Read - Coronavirus: After 17 Days in Quarantine at ITBP Camp, 200 Wuhan Evacuees Walk Out, Second Batch to be Discharged Today
According to reports, the 2,000 devices were handed out to ensure that each cabin had one unit. The phones are courtesy of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, as well as the Japanese telecom company, SoftBank. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: 200 People Head Home From ITBP Quarantine With No Symptoms But Mixed Feelings
As for the reason why, the iPhones were distributed to help passengers consult with doctors and psychological experts. The phones which come pre-installed with Line app will help stranded passengers get in touch with medical professionals, book an appointment, accept drug requests, and discuss the trauma with psychologists. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: Two More Indians on Quarantined Japanese Cruise Ship Test Positive; 6 Affected in Total
According to a report by 9to5Mac, the iPhones were distributed because phones with App Store or Google Play Store registered outside Japan might not be able to download the Line app.
Reportedly, the ship Diamond Princess arrived near the Japanese coast earlier this month with more than 3,700 people on board from over 50 countries and had to be placed under quarantine after a passenger who left the vessel in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus.
The quarantine imposed on the cruise ship is set to end on February 19. Meanwhile, it’s not clear unclear whether the passengers and crew will get to keep the iPhones.
With 105 new deaths reported on Sunday, the death toll in China’s coronavirus crossed 1700 on Monday.