Two Blue Point residents and at least two other Long Islanders are among thousands of passengers trapped this week aboard a quarantined cruise ship in Japan, according to news reports.
GreatSayville.com has learned today that a Blue Point couple is on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which will remain harbored off Yokohama, Japan, for two weeks. Eleven Americans are among the 61 passengers diagnosed with coronavirus on the ship, Princess Cruises confirmed.
The number of people on the ship diagnosed with coronavirus tripled late Thursday, with 41 new cases. It’s the largest known cluster of infection outside China.
It’s unclear how many Americans were among the 3,700 passengers and workers aboard the ship when it was initially quarantined this week. In a video call, CNN has interviewed a Garden City couple trapped aboard the ship — indicating there are at least four Long Island residents on the vessel.
With her newlywed husband and Patchogue-Medford High School alumnus Gaetano Cerullo by her side, Milena Basso Cerullo spoke candidly from the couple’s cabin aboard the Diamond Princess.
“We just don’t feel like we’re safe,” she told CNN. “If they’re really concerned and worried, we should be quarantined … in a sanitary environment environment that’s safe, not on a cruise ship that’s already infected.”
The couple had saved for this honeymoon cruise for two years, said Basso Cerullo, who added a plea to President Trump:
“Donald Trump save us,” she said in the CNN interview. “Get us a government-based airplane. Get us off the ship.”
On Tuesday, the cruise line confirmed “the first phase of health screening of all guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess, by the Japanese Ministry of Health” indicated that 10 people have tested positive for coronavirus. The group included one guest from the United States.
Another 10 people on board were diagnosed with coronavirus on Wednesday. This group included two Americans.
The coronavirus has killed nearly 500 people in China, and has sickened thousands of others. In the United States, there have been 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Medical authorities quarantined the cruise ship when it was revealed that an 80-year-old man who disembarked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25 was infected with the coronavirus.
In a statement, Princess Cruises explained what led to the quarantine:
“On the previous voyage, a guest from Hong Kong, embarked in Yokohama on January 20, sailed one segment of the itinerary, and disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25,” the cruise line stated “He visited a local Hong Kong hospital, six days after leaving the ship, where he later tested positive for coronavirus on February 1.”
A British passenger who had been celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary aboard the Diamond Princess described the cruise ship in a Facebook posts as a “floating prison.” Another passenger Tweeted that they kept “hearing painful coughs from a foreigner in a nearby room.”
Below are some of the many Tweets and Facebook posts from quarantined Diamond Princess passengers. They provide a glimpse of what the days are like aboard the cruise ship.