“Public Health and Ethical Considerations on the Quarantine of Diamond Princess”

Japan experienced a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with the case of the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked at Yokohama. The Japanese government decided to take the massive quarantine measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. However, the quarantine measure must be justified from an ethical point of view since it imposes threats to human rights. We used an analytic tool for public health ethics to discuss the case with ethical considerations, focusing on burdens of people on board and ways to minimize them. Although the quarantine on the ship was proved to be effective in controlling the virus, it is important to further discuss and seek the intervention that is evidence-based, fairly implemented and socially acceptable.

Reina Motegi, Junko Kiriya and Masamine Jimba
CBEL Report. 2021 March;3(2):1-12.