Crew of Diamond Princess ship at greater risk of COVID-19 infection
The crew of the quarantined Diamond Princess faces an increased risk of coronavirus infection as they continue to live and work aboard the ship.
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN — As quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship continues, crews may be facing a greater risk of coronavirus infection.
The New York Times reports that at least 219 people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship currently docked in Yokohama port have been infected with the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Those who tested positive for the virus have disembarked and been sent to local hospitals.
CNN reports that passengers and crew have been quarantined on the ship since February 4.
Passengers are asked to wear masks and stay in their cabins. Meals are delivered to their rooms. They are also permitted to walk the decks for a few minutes each day, but must keep a distance of at least six feet from other passengers.
The ship's crew, meanwhile, continue to live and work in close proximity to each other and the passengers, which can mean potential contact with those who are infected.
Harvard University professor of immunology Eric Rubin told CNN that keeping everyone on the ship poses a greater infection risk for the crew. 10 crew members who recently tested positive for the virus stayed in shared cabins and ate meals in the mess hall alongside other employees.
According to the New York Times, it isn't clear how many people on the ship have the virus, because Japanese officials have only tested 439 of the 3,700 passengers for infection, reasoning that there is a shortage of testing supplies.
The current quarantine period is scheduled to end on February 19, unless there are any "unforeseen developments."
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