March 26 ------ The coronavirus was found on a variety of surfaces in cabins of infected passengers on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship up to 17 days after cabins were vacated and before being disinfected, a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. The study said that the data, communicated by Takuya Yamagishi, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, could not be used to determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces. However, CDC said a further study of fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 aboard cruise ships was justified.
The report findings further show that more than 800 cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases occurred during outbreaks on three cruise ship voyages, involving Diamond Princess and Grand Princess cruise ships, as well as cases linked to several additional cruises reported across the United States. Transmission occurred across multiple voyages from ship to ship by crew members affecting both crew members and passengers. A total of 10 deaths associated with these two cruise ships have been reported to date. During February 3–March 13, in the United States, approximately 200 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among returned cruise travelers from multiple ship voyages, including the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess, accounting for approximately 17% of total reported U.S. cases at the time. Cases linked with cruise travel have been reported to CDC in at least 15 states, according to the study.