Quebec couple on cruise ship Diamond Princess diagnosed with coronavirus

Yolanda Curtis
February 16, 2020

Seventy more passengers and crew on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus.

From there, they'll be assessed and taken to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall located about an hour-and-a-half southeast of downtown Ottawa to undergo another 14-day quarantine. Others feared they could be exposed to the virus on the confined plane or were opposed to escaping one quarantine only to enter another, according to a Reuters report.

"The message from the Americans reinforces our feelings along with those of our relatives on the ship, that the quarantine on the boat is irrelevant, ineffective and unsafe", Yoni Levy, whose mother and sister are aboard the Diamond Princess, told the Ynet news site on Saturday. The ministry added that an expert physician has been sent to liaise with Japanese health officials.

A risk assessment will be completed for each cruise ship arriving into the harbour city before it berths and then a decision will be made by health authorities whether to disembark passengers. "Of those, 355 people tested positive", Kato told a roundtable discussion for public broadcaster NHK on conditions aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

But the offer comes with a catch - those evacuated from the Diamond Princess will have to spend another two weeks in isolation on Canadian soil to make sure that they don't carry the coronavirus that is now spreading through Asia.

"I am happy and ready to go", Ms Arana said before leaving the ship.

Canadians on board a cruise ship now under quarantine in Japanese waters have been provided an escape route, after the Canadian government announced it plans to bring them home due to the "extraordinary circumstances" faced by passengers.

Canada, Hong Kong and Italy said they were planning similar flights of passengers.

World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes the outbreak of COVID-19 is evidence the global community is poorly prepared for a medical pandemic.

Following the development, panic and resentment were spreading among the remaining Israelis aboard the ship. Passengers with confirmed cases were taken ashore for treatment.

In the USA, there are 15 confirmed cases, but none of the patients are said to be suffering serious symptoms.

Mainland China has recorded 1,523 deaths and one death recorded in Japan, Hong Kong, France and Philippines respectively.

In Taiwan, authorities reported the first death, a man in his 60s with diabetes and hepatitis but no recent history of overseas travel, according to the state-run Central News Agency.

Tam said there are eight people in Canada who have tested positive for the virus, following news on Friday that a new case was discovered in British Columbia.

The number of new cases across China, including in Hubei, have been falling, said Chinese National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng, who noted that doctors in the worst-hit province had broadened their diagnosis criteria for patients suspected of suffering from the disease and were able to treat them more quickly. "If there are secondary infections onboard, this is why".

"In light of the extraordinary circumstances facing our citizens on the Diamond Princess, we are taking action to return Canadians home from Japan, while ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to prevent and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus", Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a written statement. About 40 people in Japan now have the virus, with local authorities in the western prefecture of Wakayama announcing three more on Saturday.

Other reports by iNewsToday