2000 iPhones doled out to quarantined cruise ship passengers

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Crew and holiday-makers quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship because of the coronavirus are being given iPhones for easy access to information, and online medical consultations.




Passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined on board because of the coronavirus, are to be given iPhones for communication and information about the situation. Some 2,000 iPhones with a new medical consultation app are being provided by Softbank, and will be shared with one phone per cabin or crew quarters.

The ship is currently stationary off the coast of Yokohama, Japan,. According to Japanese site Macotakara, passengers are using the medical app's chat feature to communicate with doctors.

"[You can] access the special app by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to ask by chat about medication or any other things that may concern you," says Danbo. "The app will also book a consultation session with a doctor."

The Princess Diamond originally left Yokohama port on January 20, and its cruise was due to end on February 4. Since then, however, one 80-year-old man disembarking in Hong Kong was found to have the coronavirus.

Consequently, the ship has since been refused permission to dock in Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Guam and Taiwan. The passenger complement is 2,666, while the crew number 1,045. As of Friday, February 14, allegedly only 700 people onboard have been tested for the virus, and 218 of those tested were found to have it.

The Japanese government is reported by The Guardian newspaper to have given the iPhones to passengers, rather than simply loaning them.

There have been no reported deaths from the coronavirus among the passengers and crew. Conflicting reports say that the Japanese government may allow some elderly passengers to disembark, but for now the iPhones appear to be the only change for the people under quarantine.

Separately, people returning to Beijing have been told to consider themselves under 14-day quarantine in their homes. This news comes as Beijing at least tries to return to normal with some limited opening hours for the city's Apple Stores.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,107member
    Nice promotion and all, but I would have thought passengers on a cruise ship would already have phones. 

    Also: only less than a quarter of the people have been tested? Priorities people!
    thtravnorodom
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,259administrator
    entropys said:
    Nice promotion and all, but I would have thought passengers on a cruise ship would already have phones. 

    Also: only less than a quarter of the people have been tested? Priorities people!
    More an issue of a lack of testing kits. This is one of the reasons why the criteria to count somebody as infected with Coronavirus opened up yesterday to "has pneumonia."
    netmageravnorodom
  • Reply 3 of 9
    entropys said:
    Nice promotion and all, but I would have thought passengers on a cruise ship would already have phones. 

    Also: only less than a quarter of the people have been tested? Priorities people!
    Apparently they wouldn’t be able to access iTunes to download the app since they’re probably in a different iTunes region then their Apple ID. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Please send this to Tim Cook. 

    Offer free Cruises to young Chinese workers and then lock them up in the ships under a quarantine. They can be assembling iPhones why they are quarantined in the international waters. That’s a perfect solution to resume iPhone manufacturing. 

    In fact, floating factories with Chinese workers seems like a perfect idea. They can even deliver the assembled iPhones to the US on the same ships. 
  • Reply 5 of 9
    Makes me wonder if the choice of an iPhone with a special app hints that Apple's connections to the medical industry are deeper than currently known. Could the iPhone of today morph into the "Medical Tricorder" of tomorrow?

    (Note: yes, I know other real medical tricorders are in the works but Apple needs something else besides cameras to expand the iPhone universe.)
  • Reply 6 of 9
    ivanhivanh Posts: 578member
    Apple and SoftBank are opportunistically clever in Big Data and medical data collection by taking the advantage of a disaster. But how are the privacy of those passages protected or agreed to give up.
    It’s like a human trial, like those 2 “hospitals” doing in Wuhan?

    learning fast from CCP!
  • Reply 7 of 9
    ivanhivanh Posts: 578member
    Apple should give every one in the Diamond Princess an Apple Watch too.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,467member
    Wgkrueger said:
    entropys said:
    Nice promotion and all, but I would have thought passengers on a cruise ship would already have phones. 

    Also: only less than a quarter of the people have been tested? Priorities people!
    Apparently they wouldn’t be able to access iTunes to download the app since they’re probably in a different iTunes region then their Apple ID. 
    That is not how it works.  The App Store is not limited by the physical location of the phone.  I download stuff when in Japan all the time from the US App Store as my main Apple ID is registered in the US, where I live.  I also have an Apple ID registered in Japan at my MIL’s address that I use in the US to download stuff from the Japanese iTunes/App store. 

    The Japanese Ministry who made the app could just make it available through all App Stores.  
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 9
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,467member
    Wgkrueger said:
    entropys said:
    Nice promotion and all, but I would have thought passengers on a cruise ship would already have phones. 

    Also: only less than a quarter of the people have been tested? Priorities people!
    Apparently they wouldn’t be able to access iTunes to download the app since they’re probably in a different iTunes region then their Apple ID. 
    That is not how it works.  The App Store is not limited by the physical location of the phone.  I download stuff when in Japan all the time from the US App Store as my main Apple ID is registered in the US, where I live.  I also have an Apple ID registered in Japan at my MIL’s address that I use in the US to download stuff from the Japanese iTunes/App store. 

    The Japanese Ministry who made the app could just make it available through all App Stores.  
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