National

Virus-hit Diamond Princess exits quarantine in Yokohama

Jiji

The Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that captured headlines after an outbreak of COVID-19 among those on board, left a pier in Yokohama port Wednesday after nearly two months of quarantine.

The ship is scheduled to be put into service again in mid-May, according to the Japanese unit of Carnival Corp., the world-leading cruise company headquartered in Miami.

The ship's departure was possible after disinfection work was completed and Yokohama Quarantine Station issued a quarantine certificate the same day.

The British-flagged cruise ship entered the port on Feb. 3. Of a total of 3,711 passengers and crew members, including passengers who got off the ship earlier, 712 have tested positive for the virus and 10 have died.

According to Carnival Japan Inc., after leaving the Daikoku pier the ship will stop by another pier in the port to receive the items necessary to resume luxury cruise services — such as mattresses, linen supplies and interior accessories — from a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. factory there.

On May 16, the Diamond Princess will begin an eight-day cruise visiting the cities of Kochi, Hiroshima, Matsuyama and Miyazaki in western Japan, as well as Busan in South Korea. The tour will start and end at Kobe port.

"The service restart is only a plan, depending on the situation," a Carnival Japan official said, declining to disclose the number of bookings made for the cruise.

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