As many as 60 new cases of the novel coronavirus have reportedly been confirmed among the crew members on the Italian cruise ship Costa Atlantica docked in Japan, according to local media reports. All crew members onboard the vessel have been tested that brought the total figures of the confirmed cases to 150 out of the vessel’s 623 crew members, public broadcaster NHK reported.
According to reports, some parts in Japan might already be running out of beds as the medical facilities are overwhelmed. Amid the grave situation, the cluster outbreak of COVID-19 onboard liner docked in Nagasaki has raised the government’s concerns. Among those that tested positive, only one crew member had been admitted to hospital, the rest of the patients that were mostly asymptomatic were quarantined on the vessel, local media reported. Japan has detected over 12,829 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, as many as 345 have succumbed to the disease since the pandemic hit.
With relatively lower cases in the southern port city, the cluster of coronavirus infection on the Costa Atlantica which was harboured for over two months for repairs has caused distress among the authorities, confirmed reports. Officials from Nagasaki and Mitsubishi Heavy Industry were in charge of the repairs and maintenance, and by the time the first symptomatic patient was detected onboard, 47 crew had already been infected from the malignant respiratory virus, a Nagasaki prefectural official Hironori Hashiguchi said. The ship has no passengers, only the crew and a Japanese translator, as per local media reports. The officials, however, refused to disclose the nationalities of those stranded onboard the vessel.
At least two other cruise liners, the Costa Serena and the Costa Neo Romantica are also reportedly docked in Nagasaki with 669 and 393 crew members on board. Nagasaki city official Kaori Matsuo said, “So far, there has been no report of anyone showing symptoms on board those ships.” The officials said that the “crew members of Costa Atlantica had to quarantine on board unless they developed serious symptoms. Those that turned negative will return to their respective countries”.
(With Agency inputs)