The Japanese government has provided 2,000 free iPhones to quarantined passengers and crew members aboard the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship. On February 17, the total number of confirmed cases on the quarantined ship shot up to 355 with an overall 419 confirmed cases in Japan.
The iPhones were distributed on the cruise to let the stranded passengers get in touch with medical professionals, book an appointment, and discuss the trauma with psychologists. According to media reports, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare provided 2,000 people on the quarantined ship in cooperation with the Ministry of Private Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Masuda Jun, Director of CSMO for LINE, took to Twitter to confirm that 2,000 iPhones with pre-installed LINE app were distributed among the people on board the cruise which enables them for online consultation with psychological counsellors and doctors. The iPhones have been distributed in a manner which ensures at least one iPhone is available in every cabin of crew and passengers.
Meanwhile, 40 US citizens, who were infected with the deadly virus, have been evacuated using two chartered flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Around 380 Americans were present on the ship of which 340 were transported from Yokohama port to the airport on 14 buses, informed Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono.
According to the latest report, 2,048 new cases of coronavirus infections and 105 more deaths have been confirmed, taking the total death toll because of the deadly virus to 1,770. While most of the cases are from Hubei province of China and the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, other countries, including Japan and the Philippines, have also now reported deaths related to COVID-19.
The latest cause of concern has been the deaths of people with no travel history to China. On February 13, Japan confirmed the death of an 80-year-old woman who was not even the part of the quarantined cruised off the Japanese coast.