A Japanese infectious disease specialist has harshly criticized the way Japan’s government has handled the COVID-19 crisis aboard a luxury cruise ship docked in Yokohama. Conditions on board the Diamond Princess were “violating all infection control principles” and “completely chaotic,” the scientist, Kentaro Iwata of Kobe University, said in a YouTube video posted on Tuesday evening.
His claims are inflaming an already intense debate over Japan’s handling of the crisis. Scientists have also faulted the slow release of epidemiological data about the ship that could help control efforts elsewhere.
Iwata released the 12-minute video (below), along with a version in Japanese, just hours before the official end to a quarantine that has kept some 3700 passengers and crew confined on the ship since 5 February in an effort to limit the entry of the virus into Japan.