Cruise Ship Has the Highest Concentration of Coronavirus Infections

Diamond Princess quarantined in Japan has largest cluster outside of China

A cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, contains over one third of all the number of cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus outside of mainland China.

Of the 3,711 passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess, nearly 6% are infected with the virus. In Wuhan, China, approximately 33,000 cases have been identified. In a population of more than 11 million people, that translates into an infection rate of 0.3%.

The US Center for Disease Control says that confined spaces pose a high risk for transmission through droplets and contaminated surfaces. Due to the long duration of travel on a cruise ship, experts say it increases the risk over other forms of travel such as planes or trains.

The quarantine is to last 14 days. It began on February 5 and is scheduled to end on February 19.

As the number of cases on the cruise continues to rise sharply, passengers said they want everyone on board to be tested. Up till now, only those who have reported symptoms and who live in the same cabins as passengers who have been diagnosed with the virus have been tested.

But a shortage in test kits and the ability to process them has limited testing to the elderly and those in windowless rooms. These people will be tested first and allowed to disembark if they test negative, and Japanese health authorities will house them at designated lodgings when they are on land.

Globally more than 60,000 people have been infected with over 1,300 deaths, primarily in mainland China.

These numbers are from Thursday morning, and you can read more here at Time.