Monday, 30th October 2017

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Indian crew members leave ship hit by novel coronavirus

Binay Kumar Sarkar is among the 122 Indian crew members of cruise liner Diamond Princess

By Kousik Sen in Raiganj
  • Published 27.02.20, 1:26 AM
  • Updated 27.02.20, 1:26 AM
  • a min read
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Binay Kumar Sarkar on the bus from Yokohama port on Wednesday Telegraph picture

Over 120 Indian crew members disembarked from a cruise liner at the Yokohama port in Japan and started their return journey to India on Wednesday after they had been left stranded on the ship for two weeks as some passengers had tested negative for coronavirus.

Binay Kumar Sarkar, a resident of Hatipa village in Kanki near Chakulia, North Dinajpur, is among the 122 Indian crew members of cruise liner Diamond Princess.

“The ship was quarantined for some days and last week, our blood samples were collected to check whether anyone of us was infected with coronavirus. On Tuesday, the test results came and all the samples were tested negative. It was then that the Japan government and our company have taken the initiative to send us to India,” Binoy said via a WhatsApp call from Yokohama on Wednesday.

Ever since the ship had been anchored at the Japanese port, Binoy and some other Indian crew members had sought help from the Indian government through social media for their disembarkation.

On Wednesday, the crew members got off the ship and boarded six buses to reach the Haneda airport in Tokyo from where they would take an Air India flight. They are scheduled to reach New Delhi around 5am on Thursday.

Once they reach Delhi, they will be kept in isolation for 14 days.

“In some cases, although a person had initially tested negative for coronavirus, tests conducted later showed opposite results. That is why we have been told that once we arrive in Delhi, we will be kept in isolation for 14 days. After a fortnight, further tests would be conducted and if the tests are negative, we would be allowed to go home,” said Binoy.

Chandi, Binoy’s mother, said: “It is good that they would finally start for India. We were worried about him as several cases of coronavirus infection were reported from the ship where he had been working all these days.”