- Some of the unluckiest people caught up in the coronavirus outbreak are passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise liner.
- The ship has been quarantined off Japan after 64 infections, and will be there for weeks more.
- Its 14-day quarantine resets every time a new case is confirmed.
- One passenger told The Washington Post that she’s starting to think that getting the virus might not be so bad because at least she could leave.
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An American trapped on a quarantined cruise ship off Japan is starting to wonder if getting the virus might be the easy way out.
Speaking to The Washington Post, she wondered whether the only good way off the ship would be among the infected.
As of late Friday, 64 people on the Diamond Princess have tested positive. The other 3,500 or so people on board are stuck in a 14-day quarantine, which starts again from the beginning every time a new case is found.
Vana Mendizabal is on the ship with her husband. She told the Post that her travel insurance won’t evacuate her unless she gets sick.
“We just want to get off the ship,” she said.
The cruise was supposed to end on February 4, and has now lasted three days more than scheduled. The earliest the general ship’s population will be let go is February 19.
Mendizabal and other passengers are now left to find ways to pass the time, while running out of snacks, water and clothes.
In the first few days, many trapped on board took to social media to share their experience. One passenger, who spoke to Business Insider and asked that she be referred to only as Shannon, said the quarantine is becoming less bearable as time passes.
According to the Post, many on board worry that the quarantine is just multiplying the chances that they will eventually get sick.
Mendizabal told the Post that her desperation to get off the ship really hit when a friend on board found out her mom died, but couldn’t go to her.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the World Health Organization will reset the two-week quarantine every time a new case is confirmed on the ship.
“At the moment every time there’s a new case the quarantine extends 14 days, so we need to find a way to break that vicious cycle and find a way of organising the patients on board in a way that we can get people off the ship in due course, ” Dr Michael Ryan, executive director at the WHO Health Emergencies Programme told the newspaper.
- Read more:
- Passengers on the cruise ship quarantined off Japan over the coronavirus are ‘stir crazy’ in cramped rooms and say they’re being fed stale bread
- Coronavirus is spreading fast on a cruise ship of 3,700 people quarantined off Japan, where 61 people have tested positive so far
- The Wuhan coronavirus has killed at least 720 people and infected more than 34,500. Here’s everything we know about the outbreak.
- Japan quarantined a cruise ship with 3,700 people onboard after one passenger contracted the Wuhan coronavirus. Here’s what it’s like onboard.