Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: A young Odia engineer stranded in a cruise ship at Yokohama port in Japan for the last 17 days amid coronavirus outbreak, has requested the government to help him return home.

The engineer, Shivasis Nayak hails from Berhampur in Odisha and was working in the ship.

The ship ‘Diamond Princess’, with some 3,700 passengers and crew, has been in quarantine at Yokohama port since 3 February.

Till now, 174 people onboard the ship including three Indians have been tested positive with the deadly COVID-19. However, Nayak has reportedly tested negative of the deadly virus.

He alleged that the people onboard the Diamond Princess ship are not allowed to go out. Nayak informed that he along with six other crew members are staying in one cabin due to shortage of space in the ship.

Nayak also alleged that they are being only served non-vegetarian food and therefore, they are not getting sufficient diet.

Nayak further stated that although the Indian Embassy in Japan has contacted them, he has raised concerns on his rescue from the cruise ship.

The family members of Nayak have also requested the State as well as Central government to help their son return.

“It’s been more than 15 days, he is stranded in the ship and I want my son’s return. He is not getting sufficient food and relying on fruits and noodles. He is not being allowed to come out of the ship,” alleged Nayak’s father.

“Though concerned Embassy told us he along with other Indians will be airlifted, but no such steps have been taken in this regard so far. The American government has rescued around 1,200 of its citizens from the ship. But the Odisha and Indian Government are yet to take steps to bring back my son. We are in immense pain and request the governments to rescue my son,” appealed Nayak’s father.

Sources said, the ship sailed on 20 January and arrived at Yokohama Port on February 3 carrying about 3,700 passengers and crew members. However, a passenger who disembarked from the cruise ship in Hong Kong has contracted coronavirus following which the Japanese government kept the ship in quarantine at the port.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in China crossed the 2,000-mark on Wednesday while the overall confirmed cases climbed to 74,185, said official reports.