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I am concerned about the apparent lack of a suitable framework of international co-operation for dealing with a case like the one discussed in “Quarantined cruise ship or virus incubator?” in the Feb. 20 edition.

Japanese medical teams involved in the Diamond Princess operation do not seem to have had full command of the foreign languages needed to deal with the difficult mental health care problems of passengers and crew that were bound to occur during the fairly long period of quarantine.

The Diamond Princess is a British cruise ship owned and operated by Princess Cruises, a company incorporated in Bermuda and with headquarters in Santa Clarita, California. Some 3,700 passengers and crew were of various nationalities.

My advice since the outbreak of the crisis has been that this cruise ship should have been harbored at a port of Guam and that all passengers and crew should have been in quarantine under the care of an international team of medical experts from the countries concerned and that the World Health Organization should have been a key body for coordinating such an international operation.

If my advice had been adopted, at least U.S. passengers would not have to be in quarantine on American soil for two more weeks after a two-week quarantine at a Yokohama port.

Coordinated international efforts are needed to contain the global spread of 2019 novel coronavirus at this time.

KUMIHARU SHIGEHARA
FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE SETAGAYA WARD, TOKYO

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.