Thousands are confined to their cabins on the Diamond Princess, docked in Japan, and some fear the quarantine is putting them at risk.
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An alert about a coronavirus infection sat in an unmonitored inbox. A cruise doctor saw “no...An alert about a coronavirus infection sat in an unmonitored inbox. A cruise doctor saw “no point” in disinfecting the ship. And Japan disregarded medical guidelines to contain an outbreak.
More than three days passed before Japan imposed a quarantine. That delay and other missteps helped...More than three days passed before Japan imposed a quarantine. That delay and other missteps helped produce the largest outbreak of the virus beyond China.
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