Two passengers who were quarantined onboard the Diamond Princess have died after contracting the coronavirus. The ship had been quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, since early February after a guest tested positive for coronavirus.
As reported in the New York Times, Japanese broadcaster NHK said that the passengers were an 87-year-old Japanese man and an 84-year-old Japanese woman. Both had underlying health issues.
According to the latest update from Princess Cruises, approximately 600 guests onboard the ship were the first to be cleared by the Japanese Ministry of Health and released to disembark the ship. All of them had been cleared after a COVID-19 test by the Ministry. Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz met the disembarking passengers in the Yokohama cruise terminal.
Working in coordination with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Princess Cruises will be monitoring the progress of guests who have contracted the coronavirus and offering them travel assistance upon their recovery and certification by Japanese health authorities. Additionally, all guests onboard the ship will be refunded their full cruise fare, including air travel, hotel, ground transportation, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities and other items. Additionally, guests have not been charged for any onboard incidental charges during their additional time onboard. Finally, the cruise line will provide guests with a future cruise credit equal to their cruise fare.
Earlier this week Princess had announced a number of cruise itinerary cancellations and modifications due to the quarantine, as well as ongoing port restrictions in Asia due to the outbreak. Sailings on the Diamond Princess out of Yokohama have been cancelled through April 20, with the ship scheduled to return April 29 for the start of Japan’s annual Golden Week celebrations. The Sapphire Princess will redeploy to Australia six months earlier than planned; bookings for that ship’s new program will open Thursday, February 27. Sailings on the Majestic Princess and Sun Princess have been modified to replace calls to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Pago Pago with calls to Incheon (Seoul) and Jeju, South Korea, and Moorea.
Guests booked on a cancelled Asia cruise who have cancelled their booking on or after January 20 will receive details on a compensation package in the coming weeks, Princess said.
According to the latest situation report from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently over 75,200 cases of the coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, in 26 countries worldwide. There have been 2,006 people killed by the illness thus far, three of whom were outside of China.