In early February 2020, the Diamond Princess cruise ship was quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, Japan. Hundreds of passengers tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and fourteen people died. As Chinese authorities were just beginning to deal with the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan, the Diamond Princess became the largest site of infection outside China. The viral outbreak tore through the ship as authorities desperately scrambled to curb the spread of the infection by confining over 2,500 passengers to their rooms. Within two weeks, passengers and crew members were pleading with their governments to be taken off the ship. This is the story of how a luxury cruise liner turned into a floating epidemiological disaster- taking an in-depth look at how the authorities responded to an unprecedented situation when there were still so many unknowns.
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