5 S'poreans on Diamond Princess allowed to disembark

The Diamond Princess, which has been docked off the coast of Japan since Feb 3, is the largest single cluster of coronavirus outside of China.
The Diamond Princess, which has been docked off the coast of Japan since Feb 3, is the largest single cluster of coronavirus outside of China.PHOTO: AFP

The five Singaporeans quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess in Yokohama, Japan, have decided to remain in the country for 14 days before returning to Singapore, after being allowed to disembark.

"The Singaporeans will be quarantined if they return to Singapore within 14 days from the date of their disembarkation as an additional precautionary measure according to our current public health protocol," a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesman said yesterday.

More than 600 passengers have tested positive for the Covid-19 disease.

This makes the ship, which has been docked off the coast of Japan since Feb 3, the largest single cluster outside of China.

The World Health Organisation has said that the cases on the Diamond Princess are "cases on an international conveyance" and should not count towards Japan's total.

Two Japanese passengers in their 80s have died from the coronavirus. Around 970 passengers have been allowed to leave the ship as of yesterday, as quarantine operations begin to wind down.

Dr Yosuke Kita, senior coordinator for global health at Japan's Health Ministry, told The Straits Times that foreigners who choose to stay on in Japan have been asked to undergo "voluntary home isolation" by staying in hotels.

Staff from the embassies in Tokyo will check in with them daily on how they are doing and whether they develop a fever, he added.

"If they need to go out, they can, but if they can stay in hotels, please do so as much as possible," he said.

 

MFA said the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo will continue to provide help to the five Singaporeans.

The ministry also thanked the Japanese government for its help rendered to the Singaporeans during the quarantine.

• Additional reporting by Walter Sim

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2020, with the headline '5 S'poreans on Diamond Princess allowed to disembark'. Print Edition | Subscribe