Was the Diamond Princess Quarantine Flawed?

How the Coronavirus pandemic has played out and how we continue to respond to it tells us a lot. The effects of this outbreak have taught us how prepared each country is as a nation, how well or how inappropriately the media spreads news, and how adaptive and strong our healthcare systems are or aren’t.

At this time, it’s critical that we observe how each country is handling sick patients and informing the public on taking extra precautions. By considering their successes and mistakes in dealing with this pandemic, we can figure out how to best protect regions that are just now receiving the worst threats of the virus.

But it’s not just nations or even entire states that must remain on edge during this time. It’s also individual store-fronts and restaurants, school campuses, airlines, and even cruise ships that must enact a plan to keep the public safe from the outbreak.

Unfortunately, the recent Diamond Princess cruise that set sail January 20, 2020 commanded an unsuccessful quarantine period that was believed to cause more on-board guests to get infected than expected.

Here’s why we believe the Diamond Princess quarantine was flawed:

It Was Assumed that the Risk of Catching the Virus was Minimal.

The biggest flaw with the Diamond Princess quarantine was the fact that they failed to understand how serious the pandemic was at the time (and how serious it continues to be). Their assumption was that because the sick patient on their ship had already disembarked, the rest of the passengers would be safe. Wrong.

The Company Only Stuck to Low-Level Protocols.

Many businesses around the world are opting to engage in higher-level protocols, even if the risk is considered low where they’re located. Unfortunately, the Diamond Princess did the opposite, only sticking to low-level protocols because they mistook the risk of the virus as being minor. The company ignored alerts regarding disinfection and failed to clean the ship thoroughly.

There Wasn’t Really a Solid Plan Put into Place.

While American officials scrambled to put a good plan into place regarding what measures to take for cruise ships entering the country, Diamond Princess employees remained uncertain for days. Finally, the cruise decided to dock near Oakland, so those on board could either go to the hospital or be sent into on-land quarantine.

It’s Already Scheduled to Set Sail Again in April.

The Coronavirus is expected to last at least another couple of months. There’s no telling for certain if the outbreak will end permanently or temporarily as the weather heats up. It’s also uncertain if people who already were infected may get the virus again. But one thing’s for sure: the virus hasn’t yet hit its peak in many countries just yet.

Unfortunately, the team behind Diamond Princess is failing to contain the spread of the virus by canceling their next trip, which is one of the best protocols to stop the rapid outbreak.


Many individual businesses and even countries on a large scale are handling the Coronavirus scare quite well. However, the Diamond Princess cruise ship had multiple flaws in how it handled the virus. What we can learn from them is never to assume the risk of the virus is low, stick to higher-level protocols, put an emergency plan in place, and devise restrictions.