As the number of cruise ship passengers ill with coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess grew to 454 on Monday, health officials are speculating that something must have gone horribly wrong with the ship’s quarantine of ill passengers.
USAToday quotes Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, as saying that the quarantine “was very ineffective in preventing spread on the ship.” Anyone monitoring the spread of coronavirus aboard the ship could have deduced as much. What started off as an initial 10 passengers ill with the virus has grown to over 40 times that number in scarcely two weeks.
With the initial quarantine scheduled to end on February 19, many are asking what will happen next. The U.S. evacuated hundreds of American citizens from the ship today, likely in response to the continuing spread of the virus. USA Today reports that 14 of those evacuated tested positive for coronavirus.
Thousands of passengers and crew members remain on the Diamond Princess, under a quarantine that seems not to be working. Their fate at the moment is uncertain.
“People were getting infected on that ship. Something went awry in the process of the quarantining on that ship. I don't know what it was, but a lot of people got infected on that ship," Fauci said.