The Japanese government recently distributed about 2,000 free iPhone units to passengers aborad a coronavirus infected cruise ship. The ship named Diamond Princess is currently a quarantine zone for about 3,700 people. The phones were provided to the stranded passengers so they can get in touch with medical professionals, book appointments and accept drug requests. Also Read - MWC 2020 canceled due to Coronavirus outbreak: Tech firms weigh options
According to a report by Macotakara, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare together with the Ministry of Private affairs and Internal Affairs provided the iPhones. The devices come with the Line application preinstalled. The app will be the connection channel for the stranded passengers. The government has ensured that every cabin in the ship has at least one iPhone for communication. Also Read - Apple shuts down all stores in China over coronavirus outbreak, will continue to run online store
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There was a reason for choosing iPhones. This was because phones with the Play Store registered outside Japan may not be able to download Line, reports 9to5Mac. Passengers were also provided with an instruction manual on how to operate the iPhones and the Line application.
Quarantined on Japan’s Yokohama port, the iPhones will also help the passengers stay updated with what’s happening around them and news on the coronavirus outbreak in general. Further, a report from BBC states that a chartered plane carrying some US citizens stranded aboard the ship recently left the country. About 40 US citizens were tested positive in the ship and these people will be treated in Japan. The passengers who test positive are segregated from the rest of the crew to avoid further spread of the coronavirus. The imposed quarantine on the ship will reportedly end on February 19.
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Meanwhile in China, the center of the epidemic, the coronavirus has so far claimed over 1,700 lives in the country. The government has reported that over 70,000 people are infected by the virus as of now. The virus was also responsible for the yearly MWC 2020 event where tech companies from around the world announce their new devices and innovations. Meanwhile in India, the government has decided to examine villages along Nepal to test for the infection.