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COVID-19 Outbreak: Indian Embassy in Japan Making Efforts to Disembark Indians from Cruise Ship After Quarantine Period Ends

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Diamond Princess Cruise Ship | File Image | (Photo Credits: AFP)

Tokyo, February 15: The Indian Embassy in Japan on Saturday said it is making efforts to disembark all the Indians on board the cruise ship moored off the Japanese coast after the end of the quarantine period as authorities confirmed that 218 people, including three Indians, have been infected with the deadly disease on the ship.

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people on board the quarantined ship that arrived at the Japanese coast earlier this month. It was quarantined after a passenger who de-boarded last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the COVID-19 on the ship.

The Indian Embassy is in contact with Japanese authorities, the ship management company and Indian nationals on board the ship.

“We have continued our efforts with all of them for early disembarkation of our nationals after the end of the quarantine period and subject to favourable results of their tests for COVID – 19,” an embassy official told PTI on Saturday.

A third Indian crew on board a cruise ship off the Japanese coast tested positive for the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of Indians infected with COVID-19 to three.

The embassy has contacted all three Indian nationals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently receiving treatment at medical facilities.

“Their health conditions have been confirmed to be stable and improving. Embassy is also in constant contact with the relevant Japanese authorities to ensure the well-being of all Indian nationals on-board the ship,” it said.

The embassy also sent an email to all Indian nationals on board the ship, assuring them of all help and assistance. They are also requested to follow the Japanese government’s health and quarantine protocols, the embassy said on its Facebook page.

The Japanese government on Thursday announced that passengers aged 80 or older will be given the option to disembark the ship if they test negative for COVID-19. Those who meet the age requirement and have pre-existing conditions or are staying in rooms without balcony will be prioritised for disembarkation. No Indian national falls under this category, eligible for early disembarkation, the statement said on Friday.

The death toll in China’s novel coronavirus epidemic climbed to 1,523 with 143 new fatalities reported mostly from the worst-affected Hubei province, while the confirmed cases jumped to over 66,000, health officials said on Saturday.

More than 580 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China and three deaths, one each in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan.

The coronavirus outbreak originated in central China’s Hubei province in December last year and has spread to several countries, including India.

Many countries have banned arrivals from China while major airlines have suspended flights to the country.