Photos inside the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where thousands of passengers have been quarantined for a week due to the coronavirus outbreak
Hilary BrueckFeb 12, 2020, 02:06 IST
AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
Journalists work near the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship sitting at the Yokohama Port, February 10, 2020.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been under quarantine since February 4, after several guests were diagnosed with the novel Wuhan coronavirus, COVID-19.
There are more than 3,500 passengers and crew stranded on board the ship, which was scheduled to dock a week ago.
The number of people from the ship who've been diagnosed with COVID-19 has ballooned to at least 135. Many have been let off the boat for treatment, while for others who are healthy, the quarantine is scheduled to last until February 19.
People aboard have mixed reactions, with some loving the room service treatment, and others desperate to get off and find more booze.
The Diamond Princess has become a floating home to 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew in the port of Yokohama, Japan.
The cruise line suspects the contagion started some time after January 20, when a man from Hong Kong boarded the ship in Japan.
Since the ship has been in quarantine, at least 135 of the roughly 3,700 passengers and crew have tested positive for the new virus.
People aboard have been unfurling signs that read "lack of medicine!" and "thank you media" in recent days.
The medical staff on board now includes "45 doctors, 55 nurses, and 45 pharmacists, most of who are volunteers," a crew member announced to passengers on Tuesday.
Passengers have been tweeting pictures of their meals, and giving the room service mixed reviews.
One passenger, Matthew Smith, has taken to photographing just about every meal he is served aboard the ship on Twitter, and he has few complaints.
Shannon, however, was less than thrilled about her distribution of Cup Noodles.
She is stockpiling water.
But running out of alcohol options.
In addition to the food and drinks, passengers are also being supplied with face masks.
Crew members are wearing them too.
The masks are not great at preventing wearers from contracting the novel coronavirus, but they may help protect others from being exposed, if a mask wearer is sick.
Passengers in interior staterooms on the Diamond Princess are allowed to step out on deck for some precious fresh air, but only if they wear masks.
Public health experts advise maintaining a 6-foot distance between people to keep the virus spread at bay. But that can be difficult in the close quarters of a cruise ship.
Most of the time, passengers are stuck in their rooms.
Sick passengers have been taken ashore for medical care.
"We have to remember that quarantines protect those outside the quarantine, not those within," John Lynch, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Washington told the New York Times.
The ship has added 8 more TV channels to the rooms, and started offering care packages to kids.
"We're also offering our guests and crew specialized telephonic mental health counseling," Princess Cruises executive vice president Rai Calouri said in a YouTube video on Friday.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the sun has set on us once more, and we have only 8 days to go," a crewmember announced to the ship Tuesday evening.
Public health experts still stress that because the illness is chiefly transmitted through virus particles in a sick person's mucus and spit, one of the best things to do to stay healthy is wash your hands.