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Coronavirus: Japan will send army to ship, Indian crew asks for help | India News


NEW DELHI: Japan is likely to deploy its army at Diamond Princess, a luxury cruise ship that has been in quarantine near the Yokohama port for several days and is now the largest known group of coronavirus infection outside of China, crew members said TOI on Saturday.

A total of 138 Indians, 132 employees and six passengers, are among the 3,700 passengers aboard the ship that was quarantined after a man who had landed in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

With two more positive tests on board, the number of confirmed cases has increased to 63, but none of them are Indian. The army was being called to “handle” things in the Diamond Princess or to be evacuated, said a staff member.

A luxury cruise ship, World Dream, with 73 Indian crew members has been quarantined in Hong Kong, reports Saurabh Sinha. The ship has 3,688 people on board (1,871 passengers and 1,817 crew), and all are being tested for coronaviruses. Another cruise, Westerdam, is struggling to find a place in the port after Taiwan and Japan refused to dock.

There is no confirmation of any Indian on this ship.

The staff member added: “The army is likely to be called to manage things and ensure that security protocols are followed.” The news came even when another Indian aboard the ship asked for help on Saturday.

A 26-year-old man employed as a butler on the ship made a desperate call to his family in Karnataka, urging them to seek help from the government. Carnival Corporation & plc, the company that owns the ship, has assured its parents that there is no need to panic and the Indian embassy also sent them a statement by email that it was in constant contact with the local Japanese authorities.

On Thursday, the call for help on Facebook from another crew member, Binay Kumar Sarkar, had gone viral. He told TOI that now everything is on deck. “We are all contributing – in the kitchen, with supplies, cleaning,” he said.

Sarkar added that “talking out of turn” may not have been prudent. Until Friday, he was a chef. As of Saturday, he is a telephone operator. Back home in Kolkata, its appeal caused a great activity.

West Bengal Minister Go lam Rabbani sent a team to his home in northern Dinajpur to gather details. The quarantine period for those on board ends on February 19.

Original source