The coronavirus crisis bred onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama created a stigma that makes some local governments fear the possibility of spreading the disease through potentially-infected passengers.
Costa Mesa Blocks Passengers from Diamond Princess
The southern city of Costa Mesa in California has started blocking passengers from the Diamond Princess to be transferred to an almost-empty hospital in Orange County.
The said passengers are people being tested for potential coronavirus infection after they disembarked from the cruise ship. They are supposed to be transferred from an Air Force base in the Bay Area, Business Insider reported.
The Fairview Developmental Center was used in the past for patients with intellectual and development conditions. Costa Mesa said in a press release that the reason for its move of blocking Diamond Princess passengers was due the failure of federal officials to work formally with local government leaders.
Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley reiterated that the city did not receive necessary data on how the hospital will be prepared for the reception of Diamond Princess passengers. She added that the top priority of the city is the health security of its community.
Some Crew Members will Remain in Japan
The Diamond Princess' operator confirmed on Thursday that all guests have finally disembarked from the cruise ship. However, several crew members will not be allowed to go home yet. Instead they will have to stay in Japan for quarantine.
According to USA Today, Princess Cruises said crew members who will not get on board chartered planes will be arranged for quarantine at medical facilities in Japan. The cruise line said it will work with the Japanese Ministry of Health for the arrangements.
As part of the efforts to ensure that crew members remaining in Japan will be tested or treated accordingly, Aspen Medical was hired by Princess Cruises to provide the necessary care for team members.
The crew members were already quarantined onboard the Diamond Princess but the second quarantine has to be followed through to ensure that those disembarked are treated if they developed the novel coronavirus.
CoVID-19 Positive Ukrainian Crew Receiving Treatment
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry revealed on Thursday that four crew members originally from Ukraine have started receiving treatment in Japanese medical facilities after they tested positive of the CoVID-19 strain.
The ministry further revealed that the Ukrainian consul in Japan has been in close communication with the patients to ensure that they taken care of as necessary.
Head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's crisis management department Maksym Kovalenko was quoted to have said the said Diamond Princess crew members were generally doing fine despite having contracted the coronavirus.
Top Japanese Government Adviser Admits Flaws in Quarantine Process
Director of the Disease Control and Prevention Center at the National Center for Global Health Medicine Dr. Norio Ohmagari said in an interview with CNN that the quarantine methods used on the Diamond Princess "may not have been perfect."
Ohmagari, who is also among the expert panel providing coronavirus outbreak advise to the Japanese government, noted that it was a "tough decision" for Tokyo to allow crew members to stay onboard despite CoVID-19 infection risks.
He went on to explain that while they were already considering that some cruise staff may have already contracted the infection, they still had to deliver meals to passengers and do the necessary work inside the Diamond Princess.
Another government adviser, Dr. Shigeru Omi, added that the government was "very grateful" to Diamond Princess cruise staff who provided their services even under fear of getting infected with the novel coronavirus.