The deadly coronavirus aka COVID-19 has now reached the remotest parts of the world with several cases mushrooming from outside Mainland China where the first case of the disease was reported. After suspecting an outbreak of the virus on a 952-foot cruise ship Diamond Princess, around 3711 passengers and crew members aboard have been quarantined for more than a week off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, reported Business Insider.
Ever since the Japanese health officials found several cases of the coronavirus inside the ship when it was docked at the port, they decided to lock down the passengers in it to stop the contagious virus from spreading in the country. A report by The Guardian indicates that as of Sunday, around 355 people on board the ship have been tested positive for COVID-19 making the ship the largest cluster of the deadly virus outside China.
The two-week cruise that was supposed to end 10 days ago has left people restless. Hence, to provide relief to the stranded people, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in collaboration with the Ministry of Private Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications handed out over 2000 iPhones to them.
The iPhones that had a pre-installed health-application are intended to help the people in question seek medical assistance in order to deal with the infection. The particular application on the iPhones would help people to request medication, arrange an online consultation with psychological counsellors and doctors and receive information from health officials, suggest reports.
— 舛田 淳（Masuda Jun）／LINE (@masujun) February 14, 2020
These SoftBank-serviced iPhones were disbursed in the ship with one unit of phone per cabin in every passenger’s cabin and crew rooms because other devices registered to app stores via countries other than Japan may not be able to download the particular health app and seek assistance.
However, it is said that the passengers might have to return the iPhones at some point. Out of the 3,711 people on board the ship, 138 are Indians that includes 132 crew and 6 passengers. Several countries are trying to fly their citizens home from the quarantine ship, who have tested negative for the infection. Those displaying symptoms will not be allowed to board the plane while the passengers testing positive will be transferred to Japanese hospitals, said US officials.
According to China’s national health commission, the death toll from the coronavirus inside the country had risen to 1,765, with at least 70,400 infections. Remembering them in our thoughts, we hope the stranded passengers reach a safer abode, while those infected receive medical assistance at the earliest.