Aerial footage shows the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, Wednesday, February 19, after the end of a two-week quarantine that failed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus among passengers and crew.
READ MORE: Hundreds of passengers have begun leaving the cruise ship that has been quarantined for two weeks at a Japanese port in a futile attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus that has claimed the lives of over 2,000 people in mainland China.
Around 500 relieved passengers were expected to disembark the Diamond Princess Wednesday at Yokohama, where it has been docked since its arrival on February 3. Japanese health officials placed the ship and its 3,700 passengers and crew under quarantine after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with COVID-19.
But the attempt to contain the spread of the virus backfired, as 542 people became infected, making it the largest cluster of confirmed cases outside of China.
Only those passengers who have tested negative for the virus and have not shown any symptoms are being allowed to disembark the Diamond Princess. About 300 Americans were evacuated Monday and immediately placed in another 14-day quarantine. Several other governments, including Britain, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong, are also making plans to evacuate their citizens from Yokohama.