Health officials distribute iPhones to cruise ship hit with coronavirus

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iPhones for quarantined cruise passengers
Stranded passengers can get news and medical consultations with government-issued iPhones.
Photo: Jun Masuda/Twitter

Japanese health officials passed out some 2,000 iPhones to quarantined passengers stuck on board a cruise ship with an outbreak of coronavirus.

The iPhones will allow stranded passengers to consult with doctors, order medications and work through anxiety with mental health professionals.

The iPhones come loaded with an app that provides the latest news from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, according to Makotakara an Apple news site in Japan.

It is unclear if passengers will be allowed to keep the iPhones or if they are on loan from the government.

Coronavirus by the numbers

Health officials on Friday allowed 11 passengers aboard the Diamond Princess Cruise, docked near Yokohama, to disembark, NBC news reported. These passenger are elderly or have a medication condition and tested negative for the coronavirus, known as COVID-19

At least 32 Americans aboard the ship tested positive. The ship has around 3,700 passengers and crew. No deaths have been reported but as of Friday, 218 passengers and crew members tested positive.

The coronavirus has killed 1,400 people and infected more than 60,000, mostly in China.

Source: Makotakara and NBC