‘Operational error’: Passenger tests positive for COVID-19 after leaving cruise ship

A passenger who got off the Diamond Princess after completing the cruise ship’s quarantine this past week tested positive for the new virus Saturday, becoming the first known case of infection among those released at the end of the ship’s containment period, Japanese officials said.

The patient is a woman in her 60s from Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo, who was on the ship with her husband, Tochigi, Gov. Tomikazu Fukuda said at a televised news conference.

The woman had tested negative for the virus on Feb. 15, four days before she got off the ship with her husband, with neither showing any symptoms at the time. The couple took a train home, officials said.

Despite strong doubts raised from inside and outside the country, Japanese health ministry officials have insisted that any passengers who completed the 14-day quarantine, tested negative for the virus and showed no symptoms had nearly zero risk of becoming a virus patient.

“I would like to urge the government to take more thorough preventive measures,” Fukuda said sternly at the news conference.

Some experts and former passengers have criticized the quarantine, saying anti-infection measures were inadequate. The U.S., Australia and other governments that evacuated their citizens from the ship are requiring them an additional two-week quarantine.

Japan’s health minister, Katsunobu Kato, said Saturday that 18 Americans, six Australians and one Israeli passenger who were flown out of Japan by their respective governments before the end of the ship’s quarantine tested positive after returning home. He said the results were understandable because those passengers did not fully meet the stricter requirements for release from the ship.

Source: Read Full Article