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Diamond Princess.jpeg FILE PHOTO: PRINCESS CRUISES
There have been at least 705 coronavirus cases from Diamond Princess, and four deaths

As reported deaths go to six, all guests off Diamond Princess, shore quarantine starts for remaining crew

All passengers have now disembarked from Diamond Princess, and fewer than 500 crew remain on board. Some await government charter flights home.

For those who are not being repatriated by their respective countries, Princess Cruises finalized plans with the Japan Ministry of Health for a shoreside quarantine facility. 

Aspen Medical to oversee shoreside facility

The line hired Aspen Medical, a World Health Organization-certified company with extensive experience delivering public health services, to look after the crew during their quarantine. Princess said the Australia-based company will deploy as many as 60 professionals including clinically certified doctors, nurses and environmental health officers.

They will provide services at the quarantine facility such as daily health checks, laundry services, meal service, housekeeping and assistance with recreational activities.  

This secondary quarantine is required by the Japan Ministry of Health, and Aspen Medical will be operating under the Ministry's direction. 

705 coronavirus cases and six deaths

Some 705 people have contracted COVID-19 in connection with Diamond Princess and six have died, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which is tallying global coronavirus cases, deaths and recoveries. The BBC on Friday said one of the six was the first Briton to die of COVID-19.

Of the infected, at least 150 were crew, CNN in Japan reported Thursday. 

Japan acknowledges quarantine was flawed

During a news conference earlier this week, Japanese health officials acknowledged the quarantine was ‘not perfect,’ since they took the decision the crew needed to support the passengers on board. So it wasn’t possible to isolate the crew, they said.

That is likely how additional transmissions continued.

However, Dr. Shigeru Omi, president, Japan Community Healthcare Organization maintained, the bulk of the infections occurred before the ship got to Japan and prior to the official order on Feb. 5 that passengers stay in their rooms.

Diamond Princess was quarantined on its arrival at Yokohama Feb. 3, carrying 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew from a range of nationalities. About half the passengers were Japanese.

The shipboard quarantine was lifted Feb. 19 although some countries have mandated a further 14-day isolation shoreside.

The United States, for example, said people must wait two weeks without having symptoms or a positive coronavirus test result before they are permitted to board flights to the US.

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