A Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, has been under quarantine for over 10 days, due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
In an effort to allow passengers and crew to communicate with The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the Japanese government has issued nearly 2,000 iPhone 6s models to those stuck on board.
According to Macotakara, the Softbank-issued phones will have an app installed to let passengers and crew communicate their health status, get information and more about the coronavirus outbreak onboard:
The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has confirmed the case of coronavirus at the Diamond Princess cruise ship, now isolated onboard the sea. We will provide approximately 2000 unit of iPhone operated by Softbank, and there will be one unit of phone per cabin in every passengers cabins and crew rooms.
Access the special app by The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to ask by chat about medication or any other things that may concern you. The app will book a consultation session with a medical doctor.
Volunteers setting up Apple iPhone 6s models
— 舛田 淳（Masuda Jun）／LINE (@masujun) February 14, 2020
The cruise has had 3,500 passengers and crew stuck on board, with 255 Canadians part of those quarantined.
Yesterday, the Government of Canada announced it would be evacuating Canadians stuck aboard the Diamond Princess cruise, bringing them home via a chartered plane. Canadians will fly to Canadian Forces Base Trenton, then transferred to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall, Ontario, for a 14-day quarantine period.
There are 15 Canadians infected with COVID-19 onboard the cruise, with two passengers confirmed to be from Gatineau, Quebec.