HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - At least four Hawaii residents who were on board a cruise ship where hundreds of people were sickened by the coronavirus are now hospitalized in Japan.
Japan is being heavily criticized for how it’s handled the outbreak onboard the Diamond Princess.
On Wednesday, two passengers who were infected with the virus died.
The four Hawaii residents who fell ill are among more than 600 on the cruise ship that was quarantined off Yokohama that were confirmed or suspected to have the coronavirus.
That’s roughly 1 in 6 people onboard.
And now that the quarantine is over, Japan is facing new questions for allowing passengers without symptoms to leave the ship and fly home.
The U.S. evacuated citizens onboard the vessel last week and placed them in a 14-day quarantine.
Honolulu resident Dan Tyson was among those who fell ill on the ship. He was hospitalized along with his mother-in-law while his wife stayed on the ship.
She decided not to evacuate because she didn’t want to leave her family.
Then, she started to feel sick. And on Wednesday, with a rising fever and aches and pains, she grew increasingly worried. She said a doctor hadn’t been to see her despite her symptoms.
“People could die on the ship and it’s insane,” Dan Tyson said, from his hospital room.
His 57-year-old wife, who asked not to be identified, said the situation was scary. Overnight, she was evacuated to a hospital.
“I was very concerned and worried because I’m by myself and isolated,” said Tyson’s wife.
Dan Tyson has been in an isolation unit in a hospital in Saitama, Japan since Feb. 11.
“My wife is next door and we are happy. Now we’ll focus on getting well,” said Tyson in a text to Hawaii News Now.
An infectious disease expert who visited the cruise ship says infection control onboard was completely inadequate.
“There was no single professional infection control person inside the ship,” said Kentaro Iwata, professor of infectious diseases at Kobe University.
"The bureaucrats were in charge of everything," he added.
Meanwhile, there are no confirmed cases of the illness in Hawaii.
One person remains in mandatory quarantine at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, but there are no indications that he has any symptoms of the virus. He’s expected to be released Saturday, if he remains healthy.
Another 41 people are self-monitoring at homes and hotels.
Authorities also say they’re still trying to track down all the details about a Japanese couple who visited Maui and Oahu, fell ill with and then flew back home.
The two were both diagnosed with coronavirus in Japan.