Cost of quarantine? 2 coronavirus patients in Diamond Princess die; 29 in critical state

The travellers who died in Diamond Princess are a woman and a man in their 80s, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

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Japanese media have reported that two elderly coronavirus patients quarantined in the cruise ship Diamond Princess have died. At least 29 patients are critically ill. The travellers who died on Thursday are a woman and a man in their 80s, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

The deaths were reported a day after the long-standing quarantine was eased and as many as 600 passengers left the cruise liner. Several hundred more of the passengers are expected to leave the ship on Thursday. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had earlier raised doubts about the quarantine policy, saying it "may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship,"

Meanwhile, the latest reports said 621 people have been tested positive for coronavirus, officially named Covid-19. The cruise liner with nearly 3,700 passengers has been held off Yokohama terminal south of Tokyo since February 3. The Japanese health ministry has not confirmed the Kyodo news agency report that nearly 30 people are in a critical state.

Diamond Princess
Diamond Princess Wikimedia Commons

Rising criticism

As weeks passed by, experts raised questions about the wisdom of keeping such a huge number of people inside the quarantined ship. Even as more passengers tested positive for coronavirus each day, some experts said the cruise liner was becoming a virus incubator.

"The quarantine process failed," Fauci said. "I'd like to sugarcoat it and try to be diplomatic about it, but it failed. People were getting infected on that ship. Something went awry in the process of the quarantining on that ship. I don't know what it was, but a lot of people got infected on that ship," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told the USA Today.

Coronavirus update Feb 19
Coronavirus status as of 19 February, 2020 GISAID

China toll hits 2118

However, the Japanese health ministry has fended off criticism saying that it has conducted consultations on appropriate infection control in the ship" with experts and taken a range of measures.

The overall death toll in China touched 2,118 on Thursday while the number of overall infections reached 74,000. With the death of two passengers in Diamond Princess, the death toll from the Wuhan virus outside mainland China touched 10.

Related topics : Coronavirus