As the chart below shows, after growing at a modest pace, the number of people infected outside of the mainland is now accelerating at an alarming pace.
But one rather stunning fact when analyzing the offshore progression of the disease, is that there are now more cumulative coronavirus cases on just one cruise ship – the infamous Diamond Princess which has been quarantined in Japan for the past two weeks – then there are in all other localities outside of China (which begs the question just how many people are infected around the globe and have so far avoided detection).
As a reminder, the Princess Cruises ship was carrying 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew when it set sail and was quarantined after 10 cases of coronavirus were reported Feb. 4. Since then the number of cases on board has exploded, and on Monday alone, Japan announced an additional 99 infections on the Diamond Princess, raising the ship’s total number of cases to 454. And since most of the people on the ship have yet to be tested, the real number of infections may not be known for days.
Where things gets problematic, is that whereas until now most of those on board the cruise ship had remained in isolation, the self-imposed quarantine is now over, and on Sunday, fourteen evacuees from the Diamond Princess were allowed to fly back to the United States Sunday despite testing positive for coronavirus, the U.S. State Department and Health and Human Services said in a joint statement. Why were they released? Because supposedly they were not symptomatic, and in a very ominous twist, they had tested negative initially!