Daniel Halliday
Feb 29 · Last update 16 days ago.

Did Japanese government mishandle the Diamond Princess issue?

In early February, ten passengers were diagnosed with the 2019 novel coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japanese waters. The vessel docked in the Port of Yokohama, Japan and the ship was placed under quarantine by the Government of Japan for over two weeks. However rather than contain the issue the virus spread infecting 705 passengers and killing 6 of them. As more have died since leaving the ship some are criticising the handling of the quarantine and of the situation in general. So, did Japanese government mishandle the Diamond Princess coronavirus quarantine issue?
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What government has been without criticism in this disaster?
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The Japanese government acted to isolate the cruise ship and were in the end trying to protect the mainland Japanese citizenry, and the fact that the quarantine conditions were not of a high standard is not a direct result of government involvement. In defence of the Japanese government, this was not a clear situation in the very start of the COVID-19 outbreak, before it had even been declared a pandemic. Many of the people allowed to leave the ship were testing negative aboard the ship, but later displayed symptoms, indicating it is more difficult to accurately deal with the virus than most people are willing it acknowledge.

When Professor Kentaro Iwata publicly condemned the conditions on the ship the criticism went viral, but the professor quickly retracted his criticism citing he was “informed that significant improvement was done inside the cruise ship" [1] shortly after his inspection. Many unforeseen issues have cropped up during this crisis and continue to, even at this late stage in the pandemic, new symptoms, fatalities, and vulnerable demographics are beginning to present themselves, such as a new inflammatory disease in children in New York, could to be linked to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While it is easy to accuse the Japanese government of failure here, some reflection on the bigger picture of the pandemic is probably useful to put the situation into a more realistic perspective.

[1] english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/02/4bbd92cd4f91-breaking-news-japan-scholar-removes-videos-blasting-situation-on-virus-hit-ship.html ibtimes.com/british-passenger-virus-hit-japan-ship-dies-2930518 buzzfeednews.com/article/tasneemnashrulla/children-new-york-die-inflammatory-disease-coronavirus

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Daniel Halliday
May 11
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DH edited this paragraph
The Japanese government acted to isolate the cruise ship and were in the end trying to protect the mainland Japanese citizenry, and the fact that the quarantine conditions were not of a high standard is not a direct result of government involvement. In defence of the Japanese government, this was not a clear situation in the very start of the COVID-19 outbreak, before it had even been declared a pandemic. Many of the people allowed to leave the ship were testing negative aboard the ship, but later displayed symptoms, indicating it is more difficult to accurately deal with the virus than most people are willing it acknowledge.

What government has been without criticism in this disaster?

Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Boris Johnson, and even leaders of the World Health Organisation have all been subject to harsh criticism at various stages in the COVID-19 pandemic. From being slow to react, spreading misinformation, and even becoming infected due to their own stupidity, various leaders have come under much harsher criticism during the scramble to deal with the viral outbreak. The Japanese government may have been slow to deal with the diamond princess situation, and slower still to impose lockdown measures during COVID-19, but if they were slow to react then they join a majority of leaders internationally that have also struggled to deal with this worse health crisis in over century.

news.com.au/world/asia/how-chinese-president-xi-jinping-failed-to-manage-the-coronavirus-outbreak/news-story/1a06e142ed15bf4124a95b1c3f4533e7 bbc.com/news/uk-51677846 patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2020/04/09/sympathy-boris-johnson-is-either-stupid-or-got-exactly-what-he-wanted

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Daniel Halliday
May 10
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The Japanese government have effectively incubated the virus on the Diamond Princess, helped it spread within the ship and then released the passengers without an adequate quarantine plan during or after the incident. When leaving the ship people were asked to stay inside, but no formal measures were taken to ensure they don’t spread the virus further and to safeguard the Japanese public. In addition experts on board the ship have fiercely criticised the quarantine procedure, Kentaro Iwata, a professor from Kobe University, called the measures “completely chaotic” and “completely inadequate” in videos posted online. He pointed out that standard quarantine procedures were violated, with hygiene and zoning issues that were worse than the Ebola, cholera and SARS outbreaks he had worked on in the past. Both this and national school closures have just caused unnecessary panic, a complete mishandling of events.

msn.com/en-ph/news/world/health-expert-slams-japan-handling-of-virus-hit-ship/ar-BB10aj0H businessinsider.com/how-diamond-princess-cruise-ship-coronavirus-quarantine-went-wrong-2020-2 cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-diamond-princess-cruise-ship-passengers-allowed-off-japan-showing-symptoms

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 29
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