- The Diamond Princess cruise ship developed one of the world’s largest outbreaks of the new coronavirus. Over 700 passengers have gotten sick.
- The ship was quarantined for two weeks in the port of Yokohama, Japan.
- Two American graduate students who were on the Diamond Princess have been repatriated to the US and remain under federal quarantine in California, along with the other US passengers.
- They shared their story and photos from the quarantine and evacuation flight.
- For the latest case total, death toll, and travel information, see Business Insider’s live updates here.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Spencer Fehrenbacher set sail on the Diamond Princess cruise on January 20. He had no idea he was about to be exposed to one of the world’s largest coronavirus outbreaks outside of China.
After a passenger who’d previously disembarked tested positive for the coronavirus, the cruise docked in Yokohama, Japan, and was put under quarantine. In total, more than 700 passengers who were onboard have now tested positive for the coronavirus.
“The quarantine process failed,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told USA Today. “I’d like to sugarcoat it and try to be diplomatic about it, but it failed. People were getting infected on that ship. Something went awry.”
At the end of the 14-day quarantine, the US evacuated over 300 people from Japan, but 14 individuals who’d tested positive for the virus were put on the same flight as others who were healthy. All those repatriated residents are currently completing another two-week quarantine at military bases in California and Texas. At least 30 more of them have tested positive for the virus.
Fehrenbacher and his friend Gordon Christoph, who was also on the cruise, spoke to Business Insider about their experience while finishing their quarantine at Travis Air Force Base in California.
“I keep hearkening back to all these zombie movies that have been made over the last decade,” Fehrenbacher said. “Nobody wants to be deemed as infected.”
His photos show what it was like on the quarantined cruise ship, the 11-hour evacuation flight to the US, and their 14-day isolation on the military base.