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‘Floating prison’: Life on board coronavirus cruise ship

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been placed under quarantine following an outbreak of coronavirus.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been placed under quarantine following an outbreak of coronavirus. © Reuters / France 24

What was supposed to be a luxury cruise has turned into a "floating prison" for passengers on board the Diamond Princess. The ship has been placed under a two-week quarantine following an outbreak on board of the deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 630 people in China.

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Passengers have been confined to their cabins, left to fight off a mix of anxiety and boredom. Some have been posting updates on conditions on board the ship on social media.

“It’s not going to be a luxury cruise, it’s going to be like a floating prison," passenger David Abel said in a video posted on Facebook.

“How do we cope with it? We can either be creative and thinking positive things or we can be dragging ourselves down into the gutter."

Other passengers posted images of sparse meals, crew in face masks and once bustling common areas now eerily deserted.

On Wednesday night the ship was allowed to dock at the Japanese port city of Yokohama and take on much needed supplies.

Medical teams on board have been screening passengers for signs of the virus. So far, 20 passengers diagnosed with the coronavirus strain have been removed and taken to hospital.
 

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