Japan ends 'failed' coronavirus quarantine on cruise ship | DW NewsFeb 20, 2020
Passengers who tested negative for the corona virus can finally leave the Diamond Princess. Questions are now being asked about how the floating
quarantinefacility became a disease incubator. An infectious disease control expert was invited on board to inspect the
ship's response to the outbreak. The outbreak was completely chaotic and some crews had fevers. They went to the medical center with an n95 mask, but there was no protection between their room and the medical room. He says he was worried about contracting the virus while he was aboard the
ship. and saying that staff had not taken adequate measures to stop its spread within Princess Diamonds.
He was very afraid. He was very afraid of receiving copy 219 because there was no way to know where the virus is. There is no green zone, there is no red zone everywhere Paris could have and Not everyone was careful when the ship first arrived in Yokohama. Ten passengers tested positive for the virus. Two weeks later, more than 500 have been infected. Japan has defended its response to the urgency of the current situation. Japan has taken all measures to ensure prevention. of the spread of infection taking into consideration human rights and humanitarian needs cooperating with relevant nations and taking appropriate measures some on board have described it as a floating prison a British couple shared their experience via social media we are doing well, we are really conditioning is It still makes us depressed, we turn off the humidifier and leave the door open, but we close it.
It's now freezing outside shortly after they announced they tested positive for
coronavirusand would be transferred to a hospital shortly. Thousands still remain on the Diamond Princess for those evacuated, the trips are not over yet, they still face up to two weeks of
quarantinein their home countries and to find out more about this story we can talk to Simon Dan Year, he is the head of the Washington Post Office in Tokyo. Hello. Simon, thanks for joining us here at DW, we saw there that the ship is called a floating prison, a floating petri dish, what's behind the decision by health officials to keep people on board despite the risks.
You already know Japan at that time. It was taken that Japan did not have many cases of the virus, it wanted to keep people who had the virus out of the Japanese mainland and considered quarantine to be the right strategy since it turned out that they had not done it right. I think to us. US officials are now openly saying that the quarantine
failed, and in fact, as we look and learn more about the way the quarantine was applied, we are beginning to discover that it was actually not done in a medically sound way and that the conditions on board the ship were not adequate to keep so many people on board the ship and in particular a Japanese doctor who came on board yesterday has released an absolutely damning video of the conditions on board the ship which he claims are chaotic, scary and No wonder a lot of people got sick.
Yeah, I mean, we've heard a lot of reports about total chaos on board and there are still hundreds of people on this ship. What is happening to them? Well, they are releasing them, like you said. Foreigners being brought back to places like the United States and Canada are being given another 14 days of quarantine because those governments don't believe the quarantine on board the ship worked. Japanese patients who test negative for the virus are being allowed in. get out of there being that they will be allowed to board public transportation this afternoon and go home, so Japan really doesn't want to admit that the quarantine
failed, even when other governments basically made that decision, the quarantine was not effective and that the People The infected on board the ship were still affected, it was a difficult decision for Japan because they did not have facilities for 3,600 people on the first day, but as time went by it became increasingly clear as the number of people who were infected increased. quarantine was not enough. the right strategy and I think many people felt that Japan was slow to react to the changing reality.
Yeah, I mean, what does this tell us about the Japanese authorities and their ability to deal with this kind of crisis? Don't they have the capacity to deal with them? a burst of sighs, you know the doctor's testimony, he said there was no infectious disease expert running the show on board the ship, it was entirely bureaucrats running the show, there were no procedures he covered, he treated people in Abela in Africa , SARS in China in cholera he knows how to protect people and protect himself he has never been afraid before said he was afraid of the conditions on board the ship and put himself in a 14 day quarantine as a result of being on board the ship that keeps you away from your family, keeps you away from your patients, so I was absolutely shocked, so yes, the bureaucrats in control, the scientists are being sidelined, it's a case where I think the politics of the situation took priority over science at Simon, which quickly houses everyone.
This is happening in Japan, what do people there think about how the government has treated us well? The doctors' video the last time I checked had already been viewed 750,000 times yesterday. Opinion polls showed that the popularity of the Prime Minister, our BAE, had fallen significantly by five percentage points. and more and more people are questioning its handling of the crisis, so yes, there is a real political cost for the government: it wanted to avoid bad
newsbefore the Olympics, but now it has bad
newsand big questions about who is driving it and it has to cope. with them, all good, Simon's day near the Washington Post bureau chief in Tokyo.
Thank you very much for speaking with us.
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