Stalin seeks Centre's help to release Indians in China

Coronavirus: DMK seeks Centre's help in securing release of Indians onboard quarantined ship

DMK president M K Stalin on Wednesday sought the Centre's intervention in securing the release of around 100 Indians, including six from Tamil Nadu, from a cruise ship quarantined in Japan for nearly 10 days over the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

The "Diamond Princess" has been in quarantine at Yokohama since arriving off the Japanese coast early last week after the virus was detected in a former passenger who got off the ship in Hong Kong.

A total of 174 confirmed cases have been reported from among the 3,700-odd passengers and crew.

Stalin, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in this connection, saying a native of Madurai in Tamil Nadu employed in the ship has called for help.

In his letter, Stalin said the cruise ship was docked at the Yokohama harbour for the past nine days.

The stranded man, who is employed in the ship, has sent a message to his friends through WhatsApp, that about 100 Indians are working in the vessel, of whom six are from Tamil Nadu, Stalin said.

In his message, he has sought the Centre's intervention for the release of these hundred Indians from the vessel, the DMK said and urged Jaishankar to immediately intervene and ensure their safe return.

Passengers and crew in the ship are now halfway through a 14-day quarantine that is due to end on February 19 and have been mostly confined to their quarters, aside from being allowed brief periods on the deck while wearing face masks.

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