The Smiths had been scheduled to fly from Tokyo to Shanghai for a few days after disembarking, but were forced to cancel their trip to China for fear of the outbreak. However, a sudden change disrupted their new plan.
On Monday (February 3), the day before we were scheduled to get off the ship, the captain told us that the cruise ship would not return on Tuesday, but would speed up to arrive at Yokohama on Monday night, so that everyone could come back early for virus detection. Matthew Smith, 57, told interface news.
The Smiths boarded the Diamond Princess from Yokohama, Japan, on January 20, along with a man from Hong Kong, China. After disembarking from Hong Kong on January 25, the man was finally diagnosed with the new coronavirus on February 1.
It is understood that the 80 year old Hong Kong passenger had cough symptoms before boarding. During the trip, he entered the sauna and restaurant area of the cruise ship. After the cruise ship stopped at Kagoshima, he joined the bus tour with 39 other passengers.
After passing Kagoshima, Hong Kong, Da Nang and Huian of Vietnam, Keelung of Taiwan and Naha of Okinawa, the Diamond Princess returned to Yokohama on February 3, and the quarantine team was close to the enemy. About 3700 passengers and crew were left on board.
Smith said that from February 3 to 4, all passengers took their temperature and some had blood tests. At 7 a.m. on February 5, the captain told us that because 10 people were positive for the virus, Japanese officials would quarantine us for 14 days, during which time we had to stay in the cabin.
Since the departure of Princess Diamond, the number of confirmed cases in mainland China has increased from 291 on January 20 to 24324 on February 4. During this period, the United States, Europe, Australia and the Middle East have successively reported the first confirmed cases, and more than 20 overseas countries have confirmed hundreds of infected persons.
Princess Cruise said in an email reply to the interface news that there were 2666 guests and 1045 crew members on the Diamond Princess on January 20. Nearly half of the guests were from Japan, and the rest were mainly from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), New Zealand, Russia, Italy and other countries.
On February 5, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, in the face of multiple infections in large passenger ships, in order to prevent proliferation, all measures must be taken.
From that day on, Smith, like the other 3700 people on board, began a two-week quarantine, which meant that people would not land until February 19.
At first, the cruise ship and passengers were at a loss. Some passengers complained about the delay in the release of cruise information and the insufficient supply of daily necessities.
Tyler Torres, 24, said the ships initial announcement was vague and didnt say how to help, just to keep everyone in their cabins and ask for cooperation.. A female passenger left the room shouting that she could not be locked in, but was finally invited back by the crew. He said.
Torres and his wife, who caught the flu before and after boarding the ship, became the first passengers on the cruise ship to be tested for the virus because of their cough and fever. Fortunately, they were not infected.
On the morning of February 6, after learning from the news that the total number of patients on the cruise ship had risen to 20, Torres called the service desk for information, but was told that he did not know the situation. At the same time, there were four or five helicopters and a dozen ambulances on the wharf outside the ship.
It was hours after I saw the news that the cruise ship told us, he wrote on the reddit forum, that the crew seemed to be exhausted, and many of the crew members were as ignorant as the passengers.
Torres also mentioned that all notices on board are in English and Japanese, but he does not know how the cruise ship will inform passengers who do not know the two languages in the future.
In addition to dissatisfaction with the lag of information, there are also passengers who are worried about the medical staffs busy mistakes. U.S. tourist Milena cerullo told the interface news that when taking her temperature, the in ear thermometer handed to her by the medical staff was very unclean, there was no protection for disposable use, no disinfectant, or even no washing under water..
At that moment, our health may be threatened. She said not without worry.
As of the morning of February 8, at least 279 people who had respiratory problems and fever had been tested for the virus, 63 of whom had been diagnosed, nearly half of whom were Japanese. There are also patients from China, the United States, Australia, Canada and other countries. Princess Cruises said the third batch of tested samples completed on February 7 was the last batch of samples initially tested.
It was supposed to go into rest but temporarily extended operation, which also tested the cruise ships response ability. Torres said that after the quarantine, the cruise ship did not provide new sheets and towels, nor cleaning and laundry services. It would cost another $3 to buy the mouthwash for traveling clothes, but the good news is that they have added more movies on TV and free internet access..
The order of return
However, after the panic of the first day, life is gradually on the right track. Cruise ships began to provide food to passengers in a planned way and meet other daily needs. Huang Ya, an entrepreneur from Hong Kong, told interface news, three meals and pastry drinks will be served from 9:30 to 6:30 p.m. every day. There is enough toothpaste and mouthwash, and the Internet speed is much faster.
Smith also said the food supply was as good as during cruise. We received new towels, sheets and all the amenities we requested, he said. The difference is that room attendants cant come in every day to clean up the room. The only difficulty is that you cant leave the cabin, but its not a big problem for us.
Princess Cruise said guests on board will continue to enjoy free Internet and telecommunications services, and the food and drink selected on the daily menu will be sent directly to the isolated cabin. The crew passing the inspection of the Ministry of health, labor and welfare of Japan will still perform their duties according to the regulations. In addition, the company also works closely with authoritative health institutions to take measures to minimize the import and spread of infectious diseases on board and increase the frequency of environmental disinfection.
The Japanese government has taken temperature measurements for everyone, including asymptomatic passengers. By February 7, each room has received a thermometer and gloves. Passengers can go to the deck in batches for ventilation, but they must wear gloves and masks on the open deck and record the temperature regularly - report when the temperature is higher than 37.5 u2103.
Princess Cruise said the Japanese government has provided 7000 protective masks and a professional team of 16 doctors, 12 nurses and medical receptionists.
However, Huang Ya is worried that older passengers will not get the chronic medicine they need. According to Japans NHK, the cruise ship issued a form to fill in what kind of drugs it usually takes, saying it would provide them free of charge. The contents to be filled in include: the name of the necessary drugs in the next 14 days, the amount of drugs taken each time and the number of times taken each day.
On February 7, Huang Yas father didnt get the blood pressure pill. Alana Donaldson, an Australian passenger, also told interface news that she had difficulty buying drugs for her fellow passengers. Japans Ministry of health, labor and welfare said 147 people had been delivered drugs as of February 7, but many had not received them.
According to Kyodo news agency, people from the World Health Organization (who) said on February 7 that it was understandable that the Japanese government had taken measures to keep the diamond princess in isolation, but it was a very painful situation for the people on the ship and asked the Japanese side to take care of the physical and mental health of the passengers.
This person pointed out that cruise ships belong to a large number of people in the same confined space special environment, and the infection rate may also rise.
A boring life
Torress heart is blue because he didnt take his laptop and Nintendo switch on board - and hell have two weeks to go. For those who boarded the ship on January 20 and could not leave on time, the trip until February 19 was equivalent to a honeymoon with Diamond Princess.
Torres, who boarded the ship on January 20, originally planned to travel to Kyoto and Tokyo after returning on February 4. Now he is trapped on the ship. He can only pass the time by watching movies and replying to netizens on the reddit forum. His wife is planning parties and bridal gifts for his cousins.
As for the delayed schedule and work, Torres said he was lucky to have a good boss. He told the interface news reporter that the boss understands what happened to him, is paying close attention to the situation, has also replaced him from the schedule, and his wifes boss has also delayed her return to work.
If only young people can stand loneliness, there will be more troubles to consider for some old people and small family members. Unlike Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who booked a 555 square foot suite with a balcony, the Wong family lived in a smaller, windowless room.
Mr. and I work online on the ship. My son watches TV or books he brings. Fortunately, the crew would bring toys to my son every two days, said Huang.
Her husband coughed when he got on the ship, went to the medical center on the ship to see a doctor, and then the family were tested, but no formal notification was received afterwards. After learning that the confirmed case has been sent to many medical institutions in Japan, Huang Ya believes that she and her family should be OK.
My husband and I are both younger and more optimistic, so we arrange time to do regular work every day to kill time, said Huang Ya. But the older generation is more difficult. They have nothing to do. My mother is more vulnerable. She told me today that she was a little depressed when she woke up at night.
In response, Princess Cruise said it had added eight live TV channels, added 60 movies to the TV entertainment system, and provided entertainment activities suitable for the cabin. In addition, the Japanese government is providing additional support for ships. A new supply will soon be available on board, including masks, medical medicine and food for guests.
I know what Im going to do, and Im trying to deal with an accident thats beyond my control, said Mitch, an Australian tourist who was soon going to do it himself because he didnt have a laundry service.
I spend time every day watching the news, watching documentaries, posting on social media for peace, checking email, watching movies, sleeping and having a few more drinks, he said. I bought some extra wine from the mini bar, and we were allowed to take it on board - fortunately, we didnt drink it before.
But Mitch also admitted that although he was able to pass the time, there were a lot of people who are very anxious about isolation, such as people who still have pets to take care of at home.. Donaldson said, there is a bit of claustrophobia in the cabin. I hope the Australian government can let us go home.
However, there are many tourists who enjoy sharing isolation life on social media, among which twitter user daxa is one. He released many photos of food and cabin interior, and recorded the announcement broadcast on board.
Everyday life is comfortable. I want to go back early, but Im ok now. In an interview, he repeatedly stressed to reporters, its just boring. I want to go home early.
More than 3700 people are being quarantined on the Japanese Diamond Princess luxury cruise ship. On June 6, the ship was once again detected 10 patients with pneumonia infected by the new coronavirus, the total number of patients increased to 20, including 3 Hong Kong Chinese and 1 Taiwanese Chinese.
The customer service of the Diamond Princess replied that the guests would be isolated in their box. Through the daily menu, food and drinks will be delivered to their rooms; in addition, we offer many indoor activities and entertainment options.