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Americans Affected With the New Coronavirus Trapped On a Cruise Ship in Yokohama

“We should be quarantined in a sanitary environment that's safe, not on a cruise ship that's already infected.”


On Monday, Princess Cruises, a cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation, said that at least 24 Americans infected with the new coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan.

Of 135 people infected with the new virus, 24 are Americans. However, Princess has not released the nationalities for six patients.

People infected with the virus face 14-day quarantines as public health officials across the world are trying to combat the outbreak, which has so far killed more than 1,110 and sickened over 45,100.

Nearly 3,000 people, including 428 Americans, have been stuck on the cruise ship, which became a floating quarantine zone after some people tested positive for the new coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV.

Among the people affected by the virus is an American citizen Spencer Fehrenbacher, who is a student in Tianjin, China. He wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year with his friends on the cruise. Currently, he is confined to his cabin.

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Earlier this week, Fehrenbacher said his mood was pretty good. However, “by the third day of the quarantine, the ship’s captain had laid out rules allowing passengers in interior cabins to get some fresh air,” said Fehrenbacher.

The passengers have been asked to wear masks and maintain a distance of one meter from each other.

Honeymooners Gaetano Cerullo and Milena Basso are also on the ship, who are worried about staying healthy and being trapped for more than 14 days.

Basso told CNN, “We just don’t feel like we’re safe. We should be quarantined in a sanitary environment that’s safe, not on a cruise ship that’s already infected.”

“Get us a government-based airplane. Get us off the ship,” Basso urged to US President Donald Trump.

American writer Gay Courter, who is on the ship with her husband, Phil, said she is having nightmares about people she has been in contact with and may have been infected.

Courter said the Japanese government has said they can leave the ship on February 19, but she is not optimistic.

“I’m not going to trust that statement, because so many more are getting sick,” Courter said.

She told CNN, “Watching ambulances come and go from her cabin’s balcony and seeing people running around in hazmat suits –  it’s like I’ve landed in a B movie, and I can’t wake up.”

“I don’t know what they’re going to do with us,” added Courter. “Our wish, our fervent hope, is the United States government is working on a plan to get the 400 Americans out of here.”