Desperate crew members who have been quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship amid a coronavirus outbreak have begged to be allowed off the vessel before they get infected.
Binay Kumar Sarkar posted a video to Facebook on Tuesday pleading with the Indian government to evacuate 160 of its citizens who work among the vessel’s crew before it is too late.
Standing in the ship’s kitchen alongside five of his countrymen wearing masks, Sarkar demanded that those without the virus be allowed to leave ‘immediately’.
Binay Kumar Sarkar, a crew member quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise liner, has begged the Indian government to evacuate 160 of its citizens stranded on the vessel
Sarkar (left during quarantine, right with his wife) has said that those on board who are not infected with the virus should be allowed to leave before everyone gets sick
Writing on Facebook, Sarkar said: ‘Day by day this virus is increasing.
‘If our [un]infected people will be separated from Diamond Princess cruise they may survive.
‘Request to India government to rescue total 160 Indian crew from ship….. Please share this video. Please, please.’
Sarkar put out the appeal a day after the number of infections aboard the Princess jumped from an initially-reported 70 to 135 after more people tested positive.
In total the Princess is carrying 3,700 passengers and crew. There are thought to be 160 Indian national among the staff, and eight among the passengers.
It is not clear how many of those on board have coronavirus since the disease has a 14-day incubation period before symptoms show.
The vessel was initially quarantined on February 3 after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus. Quarantine is due to last until next week.
Passengers have been allowed on decks in shifts to get fresh air and encouraged to regularly take their temperature.
Sarkar issued his appeal a day after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the Princess jumped from 70 to 135 after more passengers tested positive
The princess has been quarantined at Yokohama in Japan since February 3 after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong tested positive for coronavirus (pictured, a quarantined passenger)
‘Lots of the passengers now are getting a bit of cabin fever,’ British passenger David Able said in a video posted on Facebook. ‘Depression is starting to set in.’
Another said he hoped assurances about the effectiveness of quarantine and ventilation on board would prove true.
‘I will get nervous if we pass 200,’ said the 43-year-old Hong Kong resident quarantined on the boat with his wife, child and several of his family.
‘Hoping best for those taken to hospital. At least two report back to us on Facebook that they are symptom-free,’ added the man, who declined to be identified.
Addressing some passengers concerned about the ventilation, the captain’s latest announcement said that they are supplying ‘100 percent of fresh air’ throughout guest rooms.
There are around 3,700 people on board the ship but the exact number of coronavirus cases is unknown because the virus has a 14-day incubation period before symptoms show
People who have been in close contact with newly confirmed cases on the ship face a longer quarantine than the originally planned period until Feb. 19, the World Health Organization said late on Sunday, without saying how many there were.
Japan’s health ministry is recording infection counts on the ship and evacuee flights from China separately from the official tally. Domestic cases stand at 21.
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Japan would send a fifth chartered flight to China’s central city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, to bring citizens home.
The disease has killed 908 people, chiefly in mainland China, and infected more than 40,000.
The U.K.-flagged Diamond Princess is managed by Princess Cruise Lines, one of the world’s largest cruise lines and a unit of Carnival Corp.