Some have been on the Diamond Princess since January 20th, and now, “…disembark and return to the United States for further monitoring.”…
(Silver Doctors Editors) Some good news, or some not so good news.
We’ve been following the plight of the Diamond Princess cruise ship for some time.
Here’s an example from February 10th.
From Princess.com, the website of the cruise line, we learn that some passengers on board the cruise ship have been there since January 20th (yellow highlight added for emphasis):
Today, we’re reporting on a new development: The US is evacuating the Americans.
From the US Embassy in Japan (yellow highlight added for emphasis:
Here’s reporting on the news, from CNN:
On Saturday afternoon, the US Embassy in Tokyo sent a notice to Americans on board the Diamond Princess laying out plans to evacuate nearly 400 Americans back home.
Once there, another 14 days of mandatory quarantine would begin. Anyone who chose not to get on the flight would have to wait another 14 days in Japan to ensure they were symptom-free before returning to the US.
Other than those who have family members who are in the hospital because they’ve been confirmed to have the Covid-19, it is hard to imagine that anybody would “chose not” to get on the flight, because, well, if they’re under US quarantine, that’s likely paid for with Uncle Sam’s dime, but if they “have to wait another 14 days in Japan”, who would pay for that?
CNN reports the Japanese government is set to test all of the passengers and crew who remained on board, beginning on February 18th, with staggered disembarkations beginning on February 21st.
For the Americans, however, it’s a different ordeal, and one thing comes through from the reporting – the US government is botching yet another response.
More from the CNN article:
“From tragedy to comedy to farce,” tweeted American passenger Matthew Smith, pulling no punches. “The US government instead wants to take us off without testing, fly us back to the US with a bunch of other untested people, and then stick us in 2 more weeks of quarantine? How does that make any sense at all?”
Those who decide not to board the flight will still have to spend two weeks in Japan before being able to head home.
For Karey Mansicalco, who owns a real estate company in Utah, the news yanked freedom from her hands at the 11th hour.
“It’s like a prison sentence for something I did not do,” she told CNN from her cabin. “They are holding us hostage for absolutely no reason.”
Mansicalco said another two weeks away from home would cost her upwards of $50,000. “It is financially devastating as well as emotionally devastating. I was in tears when I got the news and … I did not have the words to explain how I felt. And now I just feel angry,” she said.
The evacuation also puts the family of Americans who have tested positive for the virus in a tough spot. There are 46 Americans who have tested positive and anyone who has the virus or is showing symptoms won’t be able to board the chartered flight.
“We are spinning out of control again,” said Kent Frasure, whose wife Rebecca tested positive last week and was moved to a Tokyo hospital. “I would not get on a flight without Rebecca.”