At least 14 more cases of the novel coronavirus have reportedly been detected onboard Italian vessel Costa Atlantica docked in Japan bringing the total cases of COVID-19 to 48, local officials confirmed on April 23 in a live-streamed news conference. Among those that tested positive are the cooks, and the staff members who were in charge to serve food onboard the ship.
According to reports, Nagasaki officials revealed that the latest cases increased the concerns for the health safety of the Nagasaki residents after reports of some crew leaving the restricted area despite assurances from the ship operator emerged. One of the staff members who was transferred to the local medical facility was now in a serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit on a ventilator, they said.
Earlier in a news conference, Nagasaki’s governor Hodo Nakamura said that the country wasn’t equipped with an effective medical system to combat the spread, as there were “a lot of cases” onboard the vessel. Furthermore, he added, that an effective transportation system was needed to evacuate the patients and admit them to the nearest healthcare facilities and that his city could not work without the central government’s support, thereby, making an appeal to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
According to international media reports, Costa Atlantica, operated by Costa Cruises SpA, was taken into a shipyard in Nagasaki city by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the repair work late in February.