National

Indonesian crew members of virus-hit ship in Nagasaki to be sent home

Kyodo

The Nagasaki Prefectural Government said Sunday that 44 Indonesian crew members from an Italian cruise ship who tested negative for the novel coronavirus will be sent back home.

A total of 148 out of 623 crew members aboard the Costa Atlantica, docked for repairs at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. plant in the city of Nagasaki, have tested positive for COVID-19. No passengers are aboard the ship.

Not all Indonesian crew members who have tested negative will be sent home. Some will remain on board to maintain the ship, according to the prefecture.

The 44 crew members will leave Tokyo’s Haneda Airport early Monday and arrive in Jakarta in the morning the same day, it said.

According to the operator Costa Cruises, the crew members that work on board the ship are from more than 30 nations, mostly in Asia.

The company is planning to send home those who have tested negative and is discussing the matter with the Japanese government among other parties.

The first infection among the crew members was confirmed on April 20. Two of the infected crew, a male and female, were hospitalized at a medical facility in Nagasaki after suffering severe symptoms.

The rest of the crew members, including those with mild symptoms of COVID-19, have remained on board.

The vessel was originally due to undergo repairs in China. But Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, eventually received the repair order due to the virus outbreak in China, which was first reported in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

Another cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, was quarantined in Yokohama in February with around 3,700 people on board after a passenger was found to be infected with the virus.

About 700 people on the cruise ship eventually tested positive, while 13 have died.

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