A cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, recorded 41 new cases of the novel coronavirus today, taking the total number of infected passengers to 61.
The number of cases on the Diamond Princess now far exceeds that of any country outside of China, where the outbreak began. As of today, Singapore has 28 cases, and Thailand and Japan (excluding the numbers on the cruise) both have 25. Japan’s health ministry said 21 of the 41 people infected on the cruise are Japanese nationals.
China has reported over 31,100 cases of the illness with 636 dead.
The Diamond Princess has been under quarantine in the Japanese port city since Monday (Feb. 3) with over 3,700 people on board. A man who disembarked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25 was found to have the virus, prompting the quarantine. Japanese health workers have been screening people for symptoms. Until yesterday, the number of infected passengers stood at 20. The ship is operated by Princess Cruises, part of the Carnival Corporation, one of the world’s largest cruise companies.
A second cruise ship in Hong Kong is also under quarantine. The World Dream, with about 3,600 people on board, has been docked in the city since Wednesday (Feb. 5) after it was turned away from Taiwan.
Hong Kong authorities said eight people who had been on the ship had tested positive for the illness, and are appealing to people who took the cruise on the ship in January to get in touch.
They estimate that more than 5,000 passengers on three cruises have potentially been exposed to the virus. The ship is operated by leisure conglomerate Genting Hong Kong.
Not all passengers are viewing the quarantine as a doomsday scenario. One passenger is tweeting daily updates of Quarantine life on board in humorous way.
Princess stepping up its game with food service on #DiamondPrincess. Don't believe the honeymooners who would rather be in an American hospital. You might have to drag me off the ship when the quarantine ends. pic.twitter.com/JA4fb2C54S— Matthew Smith (@mjswhitebread) February 7, 2020
Surprise knock at the door. Hooray! Quarantine surprise on #DiamondPrincess pic.twitter.com/j304o3Dls3— Matthew Smith (@mjswhitebread) February 7, 2020
A feast on our time (breakfast on Day 3) #DiamondPrincess pic.twitter.com/JSTt2YErly— Matthew Smith (@mjswhitebread) February 7, 2020
Quarantine leads to new experiences, like Japanese yogurt with aloe vera. Not bad at all, despite tasting a little like yogurt mixed with suntan lotion. #DiamondPrincess pic.twitter.com/xc7KnLBzyv— Matthew Smith (@mjswhitebread) February 7, 2020