What it's like to be quarantined for the coronavirus

Meanwhile... passengers of a cruise ship where 218 people became infected with coronavirus have spent over a week quarantined off Japan's coast. They spoke to Brut. about what their day-to-day has been like.

Coronavirus: a cruise liner in quarantine

Since February 5th, 3711 people have been confined on board the "Diamond Princess" off the port of Yokohama, in Japan. David Abel has been isolated in his cabin with his wife for 11 days. "We are definitely no longer on a luxury cruise", laughs the British man. Every day, he films himself with his smartphone to document the evolution of the coronavirus epidemic on the cruise liner with limited food options, rare walks on the bridge, and more. Distractions are rare for David, who is waiting to be tested.

"If it was a movie, it would be rather boring"

David is one of 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members of a Japanese cruise ship quarantined since February 3 due to the discovery of a man who contracted coronavirus. Since the start of the quarantine, 218 people have been infected with the virus on board the ship. He left Tokyo on January 20 and returned from a two-week cruise between Japan, China and Vietnam. If the tests are positive - for David or for his partner - he says he is afraid of being separated from her for the first time in 50 years. Never mind, he consoles himself as best he can and is delighted to have been able - finally - to drink a glass of whiskey supplied by the Japanese authorities. "If it were a film, it would be rather boring," said Alice, a Canadian student who was also placed in quarantine on the ship.

Some passengers may have their stay extended

"We must act as quickly as possible to separate healthy people from infected people", said a very worried member of the crew. The Japanese authorities put the liner under quarantine the day they learned that a former passenger was carrying the coronavirus. The 80-year-old man had landed in Hong Kong nine days earlier. On this liner, half of the passengers are Japanese. There are also Chinese, Russians, English, Australians and four French on board. So far, only a fifth of the passengers have been screened by Japanese authorities. Four to six hours are required before the results can be delivered. Authorities have announced that quarantine is expected to last until February 19, but some passengers may have their stay extended if they have been in contact with recently detected cases.