Cruise ships have a long history of illness outbreaks. In fact, some experts have called them veritable floating Petri dishes. The largest known cruise ship outbreak infected nearly 700 people with gastrointestinal illness. So, it seems that it was only a matter of time before coronavirus would appear aboard a cruise ship and potentially spread among the passengers and crew.
Yesterday we blogged that the Diamond Princess cruise ship reported the first confirmed cruise ship case of coronavirus over the weekend. Now, Princess reports that 10 passengers have tested positive for the virus, resulting in a quarantine of virtually the entire ship.
As a result of the contagion, Princess announced Tuesday that it had quarantined 3,700 passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, along with the ship’s crew. The ship will remain under mandatory quarantine for two weeks.
Princess said that the contagion was started by a previous guest who did not show any symptoms of illness while aboard the ship. The passenger only tested positive for coronavirus nearly a week after leaving the ship.
“These 10 persons, who have been notified, will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shoreside Japanese medical professionals,” CNBC.com quoted the company as saying.
Princess said that the ship will provide guests with food and other provisions, along with complimentary internet and phone services.
Worldwide officials have reported over 24,300 people infected with coronavirus. 490 people have lost their lives to the virus.