The number of cases of coronavirus cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, currently quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, just about doubled late Sunday – to 135 cases.
The 3,711 people have been quarantined since Feb. 5 and Princess Cruises said there were 66 additional cases confirmed late Sunday by the Japanese Ministry of Health.
A Marysville woman, Susan Anabel, has been stuck in her interior cabin room. Her son, Jeff Anabel, said she is doing well – staying healthy, and trying to stay busy.
He shared photos of his mom in Diamond Princess-issued protective gear.
“They were all given face masks, gloves, disposable gloves,” Anabel said.
The picture shows her on the top deck of the cruise ship for the hour of daily outdoor time quarantined passengers are allowed.
“Her hour of freedom,” Anabel said. “And Japan authorities are out there monitoring in their hour of fresh air,” he said.
He is closely monitoring the situation from home in Snohomish County.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Anabel said. “How could you not worry? You want your mom back home in good health,” he said.
The cruise ship’s executive vice president addressed the problem in a YouTube video.
“It's unbelievably challenging for both our guests and our crew,” said Rai Caluori, the executive vice president at Princess Cruises.
What the company is going through had the King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Wells asking Seattle & King County Public Health about Seattle’s cruise industry.
“There’s a real nightmare situation going on with the cruise ship,” Kohl-Welles said.
“I'm very happy we don't have cruises coming in right now,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health Seattle & King County. “We'll be working with the CDC to understand if they're making any recommendations in the industry should it persist in the spring when our cruises begin,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anabel is counting down the days until Feb. 19, when the quarantine ends and his mom can come home.
“She’s a strong lady so that gives us a lot of hope. She’s in a good place and very happy right now, considering the circumstances,” Anabel said.
Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said Monday that the Japanese government was considering testing all 3,711 passengers and crew on the quarantined Diamond Princess for the new coronavirus.
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