Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess has been held after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus six days after leaving the ship. There are 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew onboard.
“The safety, security and well-being of all guests and crew is our absolute priority,” the cruise line said in a written statement. “The review of the arriving guests and crew, by Japanese health authorities, is standard practice after a guest tested positive for coronavirus and we are working closely with the local authorities to provide detailed records to facilitate their review.”
The Diamond Princess had arrived in Yokohama early from a 14-day round trip itinerary, which had departed on January 20 and had been scheduled to return February 4. On that voyage, a guest from Hong Kong had embarked in Yokohama on January 20, sailed one segment of the itinerary and disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25. On February 1, he visited a local hospital in Hong Kong, where he tested positive for coronavirus.
“While on the ship he did not visit the ship’s medical center to report any symptoms or illness,” Princess said. “The hospital reports that he is in stable condition and the family members traveling with him remain symptom-free.”
The ship’s turnaround has been delayed for approximately 24 hours to allow Japan public health authorities to review the health status of all guests and crew onboard.
Like all CLIA-member cruise lines, Princess Cruises has implemented a number of screening procedures since the onset of the outbreak. Guests who have traveled from or through mainland China (including Hubei Province) within the past 14 days are not permitted to board, and the line carries out pre-boarding medical evaluations, including temperature checks, for anyone who appears to be exhibiting respiratory or fever symptoms. Additionally, all guests who visit the line’s onboard medical centers with symptoms of respiratory illness are screened for the virus, and the line is carrying out environmental disinfection onboard in addition to its regular cleaning and sanitation protocols.
According to the latest update from the World Health Organization, there are now over 20,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus in 24 countries. There have been 362 deaths from the disease thus far, one in the Philippines and the rest in China.