SINGAPORE: Five Singaporeans who were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have been allowed to disembark, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Friday (Feb 21).
The cruise ship had been quarantined off Yokohama over the spread of COVID-19 among its passengers. A total of 634 passengers have been infected, with two fatalities.
“We appreciate the assistance rendered to the Singaporeans by the Japanese government and relevant authorities during the quarantine period,” said an MFA spokesperson.
The spokesperson added that the Singaporeans will be quarantined if they return to Singapore within 14 days from the date of their disembarkation as an additional precautionary measure according to Singapore's current public health protocol.
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“The Singapore Embassy in Tokyo has been in touch with the Singaporeans, who have indicated that they will remain in Japan for a further 14 days before returning to Singapore.”
MFA said the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo will continue to maintain contact with and provide consular assistance to the Singaporeans, who have been advised to monitor their health closely during this period.
Passengers began disembarking the cruise ship in stages from Wednesday, following the Diamond Princess' two week quarantine period.
The two deaths, a Japanese man and woman in their 80s, were taken off the cruise ship last week and died in hospital.
The man had a pre-existing condition of bronchial asthma and a history of angina treatment, the Japan health ministry said in a statement, but the woman had no known pre-existing conditions. The direct cause of her death was pneumonia.
Mainland China has reported a total of 75,465 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday morning, with at least 2,236 deaths from the coronavirus.
To date, more than 25 other countries have reported 1,076 cases to the World Health Organization. Other than the cruise ship, South Korea has reported the largest number of confirmed cases outside China at 156.