Virus spreads on ship

Cruise company says 160 Indians are on board the liner.

Hyderabad: The situation aboard the cruise liner Diamond Princess that has docked off Yokohama in Japan, is dire, according to one of the Indian crew members aboard the ship.

In a video posted by him on Facebook page, Binay Kumar Sarkar, the crew member, said the ship had 160 Indian crew members.

“Day by day it’s (the disease is) spreading out rapidly.....and risking everyone's life” Sarkar said. He also appealed to the government to help the Indians on board to leave the ship and get to safety.

Princess Cruises, the company that runs the ship, had previously said that there were six Indian passengers.

On Friday, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar tweeted that there were many Indian crew and some Indian passengers are onboard the ship. “None have tested positive, as per the latest information provided by our Embassy in Tokyo,” he said.

Princess Cruises in its latest bulletin on Saturday, said it was notified of two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus, from the original sample set, tested by the Japanese ministry of health on Diamond Princess. One is a US citizen and the other is from China. Both have been since taken to a shoreside medical care at a local hospital.

With the ship docked at Yokohama since February 4, the company said that on Saturday morning local time, Diamond Princess went out to sea “to perform normal marine operations, including the production of fresh water. The ship will beat sea for approximately 24 hours.”

It said that that Japanese public health authorities approved the ship’s protocol to service rooms. The service will take place while guests are outside their rooms.

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