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Japan Gives 2,000 Free iPhones to Ship Passengers Stranded Because of Coronavirus

The government wants to improve the communication between passengers and doctors.

Mark Andrew

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  • Diamond Princess has been docked in Yokohama, Japan but passengers are still not allowed to disembark.
  • Authorities discovered that 1 of the guests have been infected by coronavirus.
  • The ship has since been quarantined for 14 days.
  • Now the Japanese government has made the move to give the passengers iPhone units that they can use to make communication with medical professionals much easier.

Luxury cruise ship Diamond Princess has been placed in quarantine by health authorities after it has been discovered that some passengers have been infected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). So far, the reports tell us that the ship already has around 200 confirmed cases.

Now the Japanese government has given away 2,000 iPhone units to the stranded passengers in an effort to improve the communication between them and the doctors.

More than 3,700 passengers have been quarantined in Diamond Princess for a period of 2 weeks.

With the iPhones, the passengers would be able to download an app that makes it easier for them to contact physicians. Through it, they can request needed medicine and even ask questions or set appointments with medical professionals.

According to a Business Insider article, the passengers’ personal smartphones probably could not download the app since they are registered to app stores from different countries.

Passengers received 1 iPhone per cabin or crew quarters.

The mobile phone units were distributed by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare along with SoftBank, a Japan-based telecommunication firm.

Life on the quarantined ship is not easy, according to some passengers who have documented their experiences online.

For example, one of the guests wrote on Twitter:

“I keep hearing painful coughs from a foreigner in a nearby room. I might get infected today or tomorrow.”

The luxury ship originally left Yokohama last January 20 and was scheduled to end its cruise on February 4. 

Here’s a recent video report by CTGN:

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