A cruise passenger quarantined on a coronavirus-stricken ship is now wondering if the best way off is just to get sick
Some of the unluckiest people caught up in the coronavirus outbreak are passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise liner. The ship has been quarantined off Japan after 64 infections, and will be there for weeks more. Its 14-day quarantine resets every time a new case is confirmed. One passenger told The Washington Post that she's starting to think that getting the virus might not be so bad because at least she could leave. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
An American trapped on a quarantined cruise ship off Japan is starting to wonder if getting the virus might be the easy way out. Speaking to The Washington Post, she wondered whether the only good way off the ship would be among the infected. As of late Friday, 64 people on the Diamond Princess have tested positive. The other 3,500 or so people on board are stuck in a 14-day quarantine, which starts again from the beginning every time a new case is found. Vana Mendizabal is on the ship with her husband. She told the Post that her travel insurance won't evacuate her unless she gets sick. "We just want to get off the ship," she said.
The cruise was supposed to end on February 4, and has now lasted three days more than scheduled. The earliest the general ship's population will be let go is February 19. Mendizabal and other passengers are now left to find ways to pass the time, while running out of snacks, water and clothes. In the first few days, many trapped on board took to social media to share their experience. One passenger, who spoke to Business Insider and asked that she be referred to only as Shannon, said the quarantine is becoming less bearable as time passes. According to the Post, many on board worry that the quarantine is just multiplying the chances that they will eventually get sick. Mendizabal told the Post that her desperation to get off the ship really hit when a friend on board found out her mom died, but couldn't go to her. The Daily Telegraph reported that the World Health Organization will reset the two-week quarantine every time a new case is confirmed on the ship.
"At the moment every time there's a new case the quarantine extends 14 days, so we need to find a way to break that vicious cycle and find a way of organising the patients on board in a way that we can get people off the ship in due course, " Dr Michael Ryan, executive director at the WHO Health Emergencies Programme told the newspaper.
Read more: Passengers on the cruise ship quarantined off Japan over the coronavirus are 'stir crazy' in cramped rooms and say they're being fed stale bread Coronavirus is spreading fast on a cruise ship of 3,700 people quarantined off Japan, where 61 people have tested positive so far The Wuhan coronavirus has killed at least 720 people and infected more than 34,500. Here's everything we know about the outbreak. Japan quarantined a cruise ship with 3,700 people onboard after one passenger contracted the Wuhan coronavirus. Here's what it's like onboard. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 9 items to avoid buying at Costco
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Yet another Princess Cruises line ship is testing crew members for the new coronavirus, the Associated...Yet another Princess Cruises line ship is testing crew members for the new coronavirus, the Associated Press reported. The Caribbean Princess is not allowed to dock in Fort Lauderdale until the CDC clears it. Two of the crew members were transferred from the Grand Princess, where there are now multiple confirmed COVID-19 cases. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The Caribbean Princess cruise ship will not be allowed to dock until crew members on board are tested for the novel coronavirus, the Associated Press reported. Two crew members were transferred from another Princess Cruises ship, the Grand Princess, which is currently docked in Oakland, California. The Grand Princess had to wait off the coast of California for several days as people on board were tested for the new coronavirus. Last week, at least 21 people tested positive, including 19 crew members. A previous passenger died from the virus, which forced the ship to cut the planned course and begin testing people on board. The Center for Disease Control has put the Caribbean Princess on a "no-sail order;" it has to stay on the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, until further notice. The transferred crew members do not currently show any symptoms but are being isolated in their own rooms as a precaution. It's not yet known how many passengers and crew are on this ship, but they wont be able to disembark until the ship is able to dock. This weekend, the Regal Princess was finally able to dock in Fort Lauderdale, after two crew members who came from the Grand Princess cruise ship tested negative, according to the AP. The Diamond Princess was quarantined off the coast of Japan for almost a month in February. More than 700 people on the ship contracted the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. Six people who were aboard the Diamond Princess died. Passengers who disembarked from the Diamond Princess were either sent to hospitals for treatment or were quarantined for an additional two weeks. Those who disembarked on Monday from the Grand Princess will also go into quarantine or be treated for the virus. The State Department advised Americans not to go on cruise ships amid the coronavirus outbreak, on Sunday. The CDC also warned against people with underlying health conditions or the elderly from going cruises. As of Monday, the US reported 26 deaths among more than 750 cases. Globally, more than 113,000 people have been infected and more than 4,000 have died. Read more: The coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship just docked in Oakland. Crew members will stay onboard, while passengers are quarantined on military bases. 6 people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died from the coronavirus The State Department says people shouldn't go on cruises amid the coronavirus outbreak Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reportedly just spent $165 million on a Beverly Hills estate — here are all the ways the world's richest man makes and spends his money
Trump said he wants to keep Grand Princess cruise passengers on the ship so that US coronavirus numbers don't 'double.' That strategy failed in Japan.
The Grand Princess cruise ship is sitting off the coast of San Francisco, waiting for the...The Grand Princess cruise ship is sitting off the coast of San Francisco, waiting for the CDC's next instructions after 21 passengers and crew tested positive for the new coronavirus. President Trump said Friday that despite what experts tell him, he wants to keep passengers and crew on the ship so that coronavirus cases in the US don't "double." One passenger responded: "He can come on board if he wants and serve us our food and bring me my towel." Japan kept thousands of people onboard the Diamond Princess, another cruise ship from the same company, in a failed quarantine that may have helped the virus spread. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The Grand Princess cruise ship hangs in limbo off the coast of San Francisco after 21 of its passengers and crew members tested positive for the new coronavirus. It is unclear what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plan to do next, or whether the California state government will allow the ship to dock. In the meantime, the 2,422 passengers onboard have been asked to stay in their rooms. The ship also holds 1,111 crew members, many of whom continue to bring meals to passengers' rooms. During a tour at the CDC on Friday, President Donald Trump said that the experts he consults, including Vice President Mike Pence, want to take people off the ship. However, Trump said that he didn't want the passengers raising the total case count in the US. "I like the numbers being where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault," Trump said in a Fox News interview. But Trump said that he left the decision to the experts even though he disagreed with them. "It wasn't the fault of the people on the ship either, ok? It wasn't their fault either, and they're mostly American, so I can live either way with it," he added. "I would rather have them stay on personally, but I fully understand if they want to take them off. I gave them the authority to make the decision." Debbi Loftus, a current passenger on the Grand Princess, responded to Trump's comments in an interview with CNN. "He can come on board if he wants and serve us our food and bring me my towel," Loftus said. "I like the numbers being where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship" -- Trump explains that he doesn't want to let people off the Grand Princess cruise ship because he doesn't want the number of coronavirus cases in the country to go up pic.twitter.com/ELhZDjiZW9 — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 6, 2020 An on-ship quarantine in Japan led to over 700 coronavirus cases The Grand Princess cruise ship is from the same line as the Diamond Princess, which hosted one of the largest outbreaks of the new coronavirus outside of China. More than 700 people who were on the Diamond Princess tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus. The ship sat in the port of Yokohama, Japan, for two weeks in February as the local government placed everyone on board under quarantine. Experts have criticized the Japanese government's decision to keep passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess, and some have said the quarantine procedures may have even helped the virus spread. "I'd like to sugarcoat it and try to be diplomatic about it, but it failed," Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told USA Today. "People were getting infected on that ship. Something went awry." Other experts said that quarantine was unethical and violated human rights. "The quarantine was not justified, and violated the individual rights of the passengers while allowing the virus to literally pick them off one-by-one," Dr. Amesh Adalja with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security previously told Business Insider. He added, "the whole idea of the cruise ship quarantine was ill-conceived, and the resultant slew of infections it spawned was completely predictable." Crew members were especially at risk on that ship, since they still had to share cabins, bring food to passengers, and eat together in a mess hall. Dr. Norio Ohmagari, director of Japan's Disease Control and Prevention Center, told CNN that the quarantine "may not have been perfect" and that "scientifically speaking," crew members should have been isolated just like passengers. But given the conditions on the ship, crew members could not be completely isolated, Yosuke Kita, a senior coordinator at Japan's Ministry of Health, said in a press conference on February 24. "I admit, our isolation policy was not perfect," Shigeru Omi, another health adviser to the Japanese government, said in the conference. "No place is perfect except in a hospital." Do you work for Princess Cruises? Are you on the Grand Princess? Contact this reporter at email@example.com. You can also reach out securely on Signal at 646-768-4730. Read more: 2 US grad students who were on the Diamond Princess cruise share harrowing details and photos from their quarantine and 'zombie movie' evacuation How the 'failed' quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship started with 10 coronavirus cases and ended with more than 700 What to do if someone in your home has the coronavirus, from leaving meals outside their door to finding a dog-sitter Limited coronavirus testing in the US has meant its death rate appears alarmingly high — but it will likely drop Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 myths about the coronavirus, including why masks won't help
A staggering 542 passengers been diagnosed with COVID-19 on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship
Five-hundred forty-two people on the Diamond Princess have tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The...Five-hundred forty-two people on the Diamond Princess have tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The vessel is the largest site of coronavirus cases outside mainland China. Nearly two weeks ago, the vessel began a 14-day quarantine in the port of Yokohama, Japan, near Tokyo. The vast majority of the 400 American passengers aboard have been evacuated. Roughly 60 US citizens decided to stay behind. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. When the Diamond Princess cruise ship entered quarantine in Yokohama, Japan, only 10 passengers had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. On Tuesday, with a day left in its two-week quarantine, the figure has surged to 542, making the Diamond Princess the largest site of coronavirus cases outside mainland China. The quarantine was implemented after health officials found that a man who disembarked in Hong Kong in late January had the virus. There were early concerns among some passengers that the quarantine was ineffective — concerns that have now been magnified. "The quarantine process failed," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told USA Today "I'd like to sugarcoat it and try to be diplomatic about it, but it failed," he continued. "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." The World Health Organization's Dr. Mike Ryan, director of the health emergencies program, told the Guardian: "Clearly there has been more transmission than expected" on the vessel. From the first days of the quarantine, panic mounted as test results among the 3,700 passengers and crew kept coming back positive. On Sunday, the vast majority of the roughly 400 Americans aboard the vessel were evacuated and flown back to the United States. Other governments — those of Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and Canada — will evacuate their citizens. Australia will also evacuate an undisclosed number of New Zealand passport-holders. Of the American evacuees, 14 were found to have the virus "during the evacuation process," according to a joint-statement from the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services. "These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols," the statement said. In total, 44 Americans traveling on the Diamond Princess have contracted COVID-19. "I have no idea where they will send me from here and I'm told we don't get a choice," said Sarah Arana, one of the American evacuees, on Facebook. "But it doesn't even matter. I am back home." Three-hundred forty citizens flew to the US, traveling in two chartered cargo planes that were converted to carry passengers. On Monday they touched down in California and Texas. Passengers will be quarantined on military bases for an additional two weeks at the Fairfield, California, Travis Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. Some of the roughly 60 Americans who stayed on the vessel thought the Diamond Princess would be safer than traveling with potentially sick passengers. Matt Smith, who opted to stay aboard, tweeted Sunday that he saw two Americans talking closely, one of whom did not have a face mask. "If there are secondary infections on board, this is why: idiots who don't know any better," he said. "And you wanted me to get on a bus with her?" Although the quarantine officially ends Wednesday, February 18, any passenger who shared a cabin with someone who has the virus will be quarantined for an additional two weeks. As of Tuesday, there are 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. At the time of writing, there are 73,243 recorded cases of COVID-19 across the globe. The vast majority of the cases are in mainland China, where 72,436 have contracted the virus and 1,868 have died. Read more: The coronavirus death toll has reached 1,875, with more than 73,000 infected. Here's everything we know about the outbreak. Passengers on a coronavirus-infected cruise ship say the experience is a 'rollercoaster' — and authorities are keeping them in the dark A company in Vietnam has been making masks out of toilet paper amid the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities are considering the highest penalty possible for the offense. Chinese subways are using artificial intelligence facial recognition scanners to help detect whether people have coronavirus Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: I switched to Google Photos after using iCloud for 5 years and I'm never going back