In a recent incident, thieves in Japan reportedly managed to steal around 6000 hygiene masks from a hospital as the country faces a mass shortage and soaring up of prices online amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Four boxes full of face masks disappeared from a locked storage facility at the Japanese Red Cross hospital in the western port city of Kobe, according to the authorities. An official reportedly said that they still have a large number of masks to continue their daily operations at the hospital. Police have initiated an investigation into the matter as they suspect the thieves intend to resell the masks, as per the reports.
In a bid to take preventive measures, masks have been sold out at many drug and discount stores as the infections have risen in Japan. At least 88 more cases have been confirmed of coronavirus on February 18 in the cruise ship Diamond Princess quarantined off the Japanese coast. The Japanese authorities had quarantined the cruise ship in Yokohama on February 4 after a previous passenger was tested positive for deadly coronavirus.
The government had reportedly said earlier that all passengers on the Diamond Princess had been tested for the coronavirus as the countries started repatriating their onboard citizens. Recently, South Korea has also announced that it would evacuate its citizens from the cruise ship in Japan. Meanwhile, the Japanese authorities have faced criticism for its handling of the situation with dozens of new cases being discovered every day since the ship had arrived in early February. However, the Japanese health minister, Katsunobu Kato had reassured again on February 18 that the passengers who tested negative of the coronavirus, will be allowed to leave the Diamond Princess from February 19. He further told the reporters that the medical officials have “done tests for everyone”.