88 more coronavirus cases found on Diamond Princess cruise ship

Another 88 cases of the coronavirus were detected Tuesday on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan — as experts blasted authorities’ handling of the situation, saying “obviously the quarantine didn’t work.”

There have now been 542 cases among the 3,700 quarantined passengers and crew members, making the ship docked in Yokohama the site of the most infections outside of China, according to Japan’s health minister.

“Given how the virus has continued to spread, we have to presume everyone leaving the ship is potentially infected, and therefore they have to go through another two-week quarantine period,” said Dr. Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia in England.

Dr. Nathalie MacDermott, an outbreak expert at King’s College London, criticized officials’ implementation of the quarantine, saying “there’s no reason this should not have worked it if had been done properly.”

“Obviously the quarantine hasn’t worked, and this ship has now become a source of infection,” MacDermott said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, also acknowledged that “something went awry” when isolating the passengers.

“I’d like to sugarcoat it and try to be diplomatic about it, but it failed,” Fauci told USA Today. “People were getting infected on that ship. Something went awry in the process of the quarantining on that ship. I don’t know what it was, but a lot of people got infected on that ship.”

Passengers on the ship were required to stay isolated in their suites or cabins, but around four or five people were being infected for the virus every hour, the outlet reported.

The cruise has been under mandatory quarantine since Feb. 3 after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong tested positive for the infectious disease.

With Post wires

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