This floating nightmare on the "coronavirus cruise ship" has degraded the enjoyment of sailing in comfort, passengers are now carriers and fear who will be infected next is the question. The ship is the scene of the second-worst outbreak outside China, it has occurred in Japanese territory, on the Diamond Princess owned by Princess Cruises.
Patient zero on the ill-fated cruise is an elderly passenger about 80-years old, tested positive on Feb.1 when they left Hong Kong. On Feb.4, the 3,700 passengers with its crew were quarantined in Japan at the Yokohama port. To stay indefinitely unless allowed to leave by Japanese authorities, under controlled quarantine.
Infected patients have risen to 175 individuals with COVID-19 or the coronavirus. Only the positively tested were allowed to leave the ship, but the remaining passengers have to stay there till Feb. 19.
More than one cruise ship is stuck in port another is the MS Westerdam though with no cases reported. Cruise ships are under watch by maritime authorities for possible outbreaks and contamination for the COVID-19.
Besides the cruise ship carrying the disease, about 14 Americans are infected by the virus in the US. The source is exposure from victims who are not aware they are carriers.
Questions have been raised if quarantining ships are safe for the passengers in particular. Does it help in keeping the coronavirus at bay or makes it worse? This is everything that we know.
Also read: MWC 2020 Cancelled Over Coronavirus Fears
1. What is quarantine for cruise ships?
The act of quarantine is when authorities disallow the ship to leave their waters until the infected and possible carriers are under control. To safeguard their local citizens from the outbreaks spread they keep passengers on board.
2. Does it aggravate the spread of infections more?
By quarantining those in close quarters, the spread of disease might get worse. One instance is the use of common areas that everyone shares together, an example is the mess hall areas where food is handled.
3. How are the people affected on the ship?
Passengers are afraid and are under stress from the possible infection. They are also anxious about how they can survive COVID-19 once infected. The isolation adds to the anxiety that makes the situation worse for them.
4. Does it impinge on the rights of people?
A quarantine applies for those already infected, but it gets hazy for those not positive for any COVID-19 infection. If anyone is suspected and detained without proof of infection, that makes it a violation of human rights.
5. How does it reflect on the COVID-19 outbreak?
The question of how the virus works and everything about it, is not clear and quarantine measures are the best options now. Obtaining a cure for the contagion will be the only option, to lessen draconian measures to control its spread.
6. Should these cruises be banned for potential outbreaks?
Circumstances of the coronavirus cruise ship show that these cruises may be a hotbed for viral infection and transmission. A lot of thought and study should be done based on the case of the coronavirus cruise ship and go from there.