New Delhi: The Indian embassy in Japan has announced that a chartered flight is being arranged for Indians who have been stuck on the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship docked at Yokohama port near Tokyo. Several cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on the ship, including 14 Indians.
A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and six passengers, were among the 3,711 people, on board the Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3. The ship has the largest concentration of coronavirus cases outside of Japan, and three passengers lost their lives to the disease.
A quarantine was imposed on the ship after a passenger who disembarked at Hong Kong tested positive for the virus.
The Indian embassy, which announced on Monday that two more Indian crew members had tested positive for coronavirus, said on Tuesday morning that a chartered plane was being arranged for the Indians on board. There are three conditions for those who want to take the plane: they must consent, they must test negative for the virus and they must be cleared by the medical team.
A chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indian nationals onboard #DiamondPrincess, provided they have (a)consented; (b)not tested positive for #COVID19; (c) cleared by the medical team. An email advisory to this effect, with details, has been sent to them. @MEAIndia
— India in Japanインド大使館 (@IndianEmbTokyo) February 25, 2020
Indians on the ship who tested positive for coronavirus are responding well to treatment, the embassy said. The last lot of test results from passengers and crew members are expected in the next two days.
@IndianEmbTokyo hopes that the last groups of results expected to be announced tomorrow and day-after will not have any more Indian nationals included in it, enabling the Embassy to further facilitate Indian nationals onboard #DiamondPrincess. @MEAIndia
— India in Japanインド大使館 (@IndianEmbTokyo) February 24, 2020
An Indian crew member on board the ship had earlier spoken up about how the quarantine system was flawed. Passengers were being isolated in cabins, he said, but the crew was not. In addition, the crew had not been tested for the virus, he had said, adding that Japan should “get help” if they did not have the capacity to test everyone on board.
Japan’s quarantine methods are being questioned internationally, especially after two elderly ship passengers died.
Hong Kong has already evacuated some of its nationals from the ship.