Passengers begin disembarking from coronavirus-stricken ship

Passengers begin disembarking from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Among them are 12 Israelis who will return to Israel on Friday.

Elad Benari ,

Diamond Princess
Diamond Princess

Passengers began disembarking on Wednesday from the Diamond Princess cruise ship after spending two weeks in quarantine off Yokohama, near Tokyo, due to an outbreak of the coronavirus aboard the ship.

Around 500 people were expected to disembark on Wednesday with the entire process to be completed by Friday, local broadcaster NHK reported.

The ship, which is operated by Carnival Corp, was quarantined since arriving in Yokohama February 3.

Among the passengers on the ship are 12 Israelis who are expected to evacuated from the ship on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.

The Israelis will return to Israel on a special flight organized by the insurance companies, which will depart on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. (local time) and is expected to land in Israel on Friday morning. Upon landing in Israel, the Israelis will be under quarantine at the Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer.

Three other Israelis who tested positive for the coronavirus are hospitalized in Japan. They will return to Israel independently once they are cleared to do so.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities announced that the death toll from the coronavirus epidemic jumped to 2,000, after 132 more people died in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

In its daily update, the province’s health commission also reported 1,693 new cases of people infected with the virus.

With the latest figures, the total number of cases in Hubei is 61,682.