2,000 iPhones have been given to people stuck on a cruise ship near Japan because of coronavirus

Coronavirus Iphone Ship
Coronavirus Iphone Ship (Image credit: @masujen)

What you need to know

  • The Diamond Princess cruise ship is being kept at sea.
  • A confirmed case of coronavirus was found.
  • 2,000 iPhones have been handed out to those on the ship.

There's currently a Princess cruise ship in the ocean near Japan and it's being kept there after a case of coronavirus was confirmed. According to a new Macotakara report officials have handed out 2,000 iPhones to those stuck on the ship.

But those iPhones haven't been handed out so passengers can pass the time by playing the latest Apple Arcade hit. Instead, all iPhones have been given access to the Softbank cellular service so they can use the Japanese Ministry of Health app. And all of that has done just so those on the ship can be in contact with a doctor.

Interestingly, it seems that iPhones were given to people instead of Android phones because of a logistical issue – namely, it's thought that people wouldn't be able to download the required app from the Google Play Store registered in a country other than Japan.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has confirmed the case of coronavirus at the Diamond Princess cruise ship, now isolated onboard the sea. We will provide approximately 2000 unit of iPhone operated by Softbank, and there will be one unit of phone per cabin in every passengers cabins and crew rooms.Access the special app by The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to ask by chat about medication or any other things that may concern you.T he app will book a consultation session with a medical doctor.

Hopefully these people will be allowed ashore soon.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.