The infection control measures taken at the Cruise ship “Diamond Princess”(provisional translation)

February 20th 2020 The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

The Cruise ship “Diamond princess” arrived at the port of Yokohama on February 3rd, and is currently undergoing quarantine measures. Since the morning on February 5th, all passengers have been required to stay put in the respective guest rooms in order to minimize the spread of the virus, and the infection prevention measures have been taken ever since.
With regard to the countermeasures against the new Coronavirus, from the very beginning, the Disaster infection Control Team(DICT) under the Japanese Society for Infection Prevention and Control, which comprise of infection control experts including approved infection control doctors and approved infection management nurses, as well as experts from university hospitals and other institutions, have engaged in the training of medical staff who are responsible for taking infection prevention measures and medical care for those who returned to Japan from China using chartered flights and underwent quarantine in accommodation facilities.
In taking infection protection measures on the cruise ship, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has continually asked the DICT and infection control experts from university hospital and other institutions to provide appropriate consultation and make rounds on infection control within the cruise ship to avoid the spread of the virus in various situations taking into account the limited space within the ship. While receiving training on the work procedure and on concrete improvement measures including creating a hygienic environment, and by gaining the understanding of passengers and efforts by self-sacrificing crews, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has taken the following infection prevention measures.

1 On Infection management including zoning within the cruise ship

In terms of infection management including the appropriate implementation of the zoning within the cruise ship (*), the doctors of the infection management support team conducted consultation and made rounds everyday within the ship, and measures were taken on the same day as when the doctors pointed out the need for improvement.
* There is a designated area to remove the infection prevention gears, including gowns that were contaminated due to taking samples, and the area is clearly separated from other working areas.

2 On Infection Protection of the Quarantine officer and medical staff

A team of experts on infection control have been giving consultation and making rounds in an appropriate manner to provide training on public health improvement activities by the medical staff and crew on the cruise ship.

With regards to the passengers, guidance was given through the in-cruise announcement repeatedly, and the video on the appropriate ways to remove masks and to sanitize fingers, created by the DICT, was delivered to the smart phones provided to each passenger for public awareness.

With regards to the crew, a course was given to almost all of them. For the crew working who had no symptoms, it was ensured that they put on masks and gloves while working, carry out sanitary measures by sanitizing fingers, take meals with a certain distance, and implement maintenance for the hygienic environment inside the cruise, including the setting up of disinfectant alcohol in the rooms for the crew.

As for the medical staff getting onboard the cruise, they received courses on wearing personal protective gears before getting aboard at the terminal under the supervision of infection medical specialist including certified infection control doctors, and certified infection management nurses. With regard to the infection management at the terminal, the Ministry worked with health specialists and conducted hygienic control in an appropriate manner at the entrance of the building.