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Indians on board coronavirus-hit cruise ship to be brought back on Wednesday

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people, on board the Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3.

February 25, 2020 / 09:20 PM IST

Indians, on board the cruise ship off the Japan coast, who have not tested positive for the novel coronavirus will be repatriated on February 26 by a chartered flight, the Indian embassy here said on Tuesday, as the number of infected Indians on the vessel rose to 16 after the completion of all tests.

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people, on board the Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3.

"PCR test results for all Indian nationals declared-02 more Indians tested positive to #COVID19, taking the total to 16. Those fulfilling conditions and consenting to repatriation to India on 26 Feb being facilitated by the Indian Government. Details shared with them," the mission tweeted.

"A chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indian nationals on board Diamond Princess, provided they have (a) consented, (b) not tested positive for COVID19, (c) cleared by the medical team," the mission tweeted earlier.

"An email advisory to this effect, with details, has been sent to them," it said.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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Passengers showing no signs of the deadly disease started deboarding the ship after the quarantine period ended last week. Over 1,000 passengers and crew still remain on board the ship after the disembarkations.

The ship was quarantined after a passenger who disembarked last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the disease.

The Indian embassy had on Saturday said that Indians, who are still on board the ship, will be tested for the virus infection along with others after all the healthy passengers have disembarked.

Seventy-one new coronavirus deaths were reported from China, the epicentre of the disease, taking the total number of casualties to 2,663, while the confirmed cases rose to 77,658.
PTI
first published: Feb 25, 2020 09:15 pm

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