Princess Cruises confirmed that the Japanese Ministry of Health found 169 new cases of coronavirus on the Diamond Princess over the past two days, bringing the total number of cases to 451.
The cruise line also said that additional governments, including Canada and Australia, are repatriating its citizens and permanent residents via chartered aircraft. The U.S. government on Feb. 16 took more than 300 Americans off the ship, including 14 who tested positive for Covid-19, to military bases in California and Texas.
Other countries who have repatriated its citizens onboard the ship include Italy, the U.K. and Israel.
More than 2,600 passengers have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess since Feb. 3 due to a Covid-19 outbreak on the ship.
In Princess' latest video update on Twitter and Facebook, executive vice president Rai Caluori said Princess is continuing to focus on the well-being of those onboard.
Princess had said previously that said it is looking for "the most effective ways to
help keep guests healthy, which includes mental health. Telephone access has
been arranged for guests experiencing mental stress with trained counselors who
can provide support."
Princess president Jan Swartz said in a previous video update that she had been in Japan and that Princess has shifted additional resources
to the country. She also explained what Princess is doing for the ship's
passengers and the coordinated response between the line, various governments
and global health organizations to confront "this unprecedented situation.”
Princess also said it has enhanced in-room television
programming, including an additional 50 movies and fitness and exercise videos such
as tai chi and yoga. It is distributing newspapers to guests in 30 languages.
Many people on the ship uploaded videos to Twitter showing
them walking the decks of the ship with masks on, getting fresh air and
Princess said that it would refund the full
cruise fare for all passengers, including air travel, hotel, ground
transportation, prepaid shore excursions, gratuities and other items. Passengers are not being charged for any
onboard incidental charges during the additional time onboard, the line said.
Princess will give passengers a future cruise credit
equal to the cruise fare paid for the cruise which ended on Feb. 4.
The company said crew members will receive their designated
gratuities for the work performed. In
Twitter posts, passengers praised the ship’s crew cruise for their
"We truly appreciate all of the support," Caluori said in a prior video message, "and particularly the support for our teammates who are working so hard and doing so much in a particularly challenging environment. Your words energize our team, so please, keep them coming."
Update: The report was updated Tuesday, Feb. 18, to update the number of confirmed cases onboard and to add additional information from Princess.