Hyderabad: With reports of another 66 passengers on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess testing positive for coronavirus on Monday, taking the total to 136, Indian crew members issued an urgent appeal to the Centre to rescue them.
In a video shared on Monday, Binay Kumar Sarkar, a crew member who first took to Facebook days ago explaining the fear that has gripped the ship, said “we are scared. There are more than 60 positive cases today”.
“I appeal to the Prime Minister of India to intervene. I urge the United Nations for help. Urgent segregation is needed of those who are healthy,” he said in the video that also showed some of his Indian crew colleagues.
“What is the use of coming to rescue after things get out of hand?” he asked.
“Please save us. Life is more important than a job,” he told Deccan Chronicle via a phone message.
Meanwhile, First Secretary Anil Kumar Kalra of the Indian Embassy’s consular wing at Tokyo told Deccan Chronicle on Monday that there were no Indian passengers that tested positive.
“We are in touch with the Indians on board through the Foreign Ministry and the Japanese Health Ministry. Some of the passengers are in touch with us directly through email,” Mr Kalra said.
Reports in Japanese media quoting Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the government was considering testing all crew members and passengers. The ship has about 3,700 passengers and crew.
“So far only 500 people have been tested,” Sarkar said. “Right now, only those who are reporting more than 37.5 degrees of body temperature are being tested,” he said.
In an update, Princess Cruises confirmed an additional 66 cases of Coronavirus from Australia (four), Canada (one), England (one), Japan (45), Philippines (three), Ukraine (one) and USA (eleven).
“We are following guidance from the Japan Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases. Since it is early in the quarantine period of 14-days, it was not unexpected that additional cases would be reported involving individuals who were exposed prior to the start of the quarantine,” the company said....