The World Health Organization(WHO) has urged all countries to respect the principle of proper care for all travelers and the principle of "free pratique" or permission for ships to enter a port, in relation to a quarantine cruise ship in Japan.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the plea on Wednesday during a press conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The WHO chief said that of the 48 new cases of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, confirmed outside China the previous day, 40 were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is currently quarantined in Yokohama.
Tedros said that the WHO is in constant contact with the Japanese government, the International Maritime Organization, and the owner of the ship to protect the health of all passengers.
He noted that three cruise ships have experienced delayed port clearance or have been denied entry to ports, often without an evidence-based risk assessment.
The WHO chief then said that together with the IMO, his organization will issue a communique to all countries to respect the principle of "free pratique" for all ships and the principle of proper care for all travelers, in accordance with the International Health Regulations.