Jaishankar assures help for Indians on quarantined Japan ship

New Delhi: With two Indians confirmed to have been infected with the deadly coronavirus aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Yokohama in Japan, the Centre on Thursday has assured all assistance.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday that the Indian embassy in Tokyo was providing assistance to the crew and passengers.

“Our Embassy @IndianEmbTokyo is in constant touch with the crew & passengers of #DiamondPrincess off Yokohama, Japan, rendering all necessary support & assistance. Passengers & crew are currently quarantined by Japanese authorities,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.

“2 Indian crew members have tested positive for #Coronavirus. Will keep you updated,” he added.

Sonali Thakkar, a security officer on the ship, has been sending out messages asking the Indian government to take them back home or at least send some medical experts along to expedite the coronavirus tests.

Thakkar was placed in isolation on Monday, a week after the ship docked at Yokohoma on February 3.

“We are scared that if the infection is spreading, it is spreading so fast that we could also become one of them. We don’t want to. We just want to go back home,” she said according to reports.

The British cruise ship with 3,711 people on board arrived at the Japanese coast early last week and was quarantined after a passenger who de-boarded last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the virus on the ship.

A total of 138 Indians, including passengers and crew, were on board the ship.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government on Thursday said that the total number of coronavirus cases on the ship has increased to 218, after the emergence of over 44 fresh cases.

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