Jose Andres, the celebrity chef with numerous local restaurants, is helping people who have been trapped in Japan on a cruise ship that’d been quarantined due to coronavirus concerns.
Andrés directed his nonprofit World Central Kitchen to the area where the Diamond Princess is docked, and the group is now delivering meals to passengers and crew members.
World Central Kitchen is known primarily for helping victims of natural disasters, in places such as Puerto Rico and Houston.
“We are preparing meals for the folks that are currently on the ship,” said Tim Kilcoyne, the group’s director of chef operations.
The group began its work on Tuesday and has been delivering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Pasta Primavera and Beef Stroganoff have been among the meals, so far, Kilcoyne said in a video posted online.
“Everybody here is amazing,” Kilcoyne said. “All these volunteers are working their butts off.”
The Diamond Princess, docked in Yokohama, a port near Tokyo, started letting passengers who tested negative for the virus off the ship Wednesday. That’s when the government-mandated 14-day quarantine ended.
On Thursday, hundreds of other passengers were also expected to leave in a massive process expected to last through Friday. Test results are still pending for some people on board.
UPDATE from WCK’s director of chef operations @cheftkilcoyne in our Tokyo kitchen. We are getting pasta primavera ready for tomorrow & Tim explains how the operation is running to support the #DiamondPrincess quarantine in Yokohama. pic.twitter.com/T1xpZ7WNqo
— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) February 20, 2020
Before the quarantine on the ship had ended, the United States evacuated more than 300 Americans and put them in quarantine in the U.S. for another 14 days. South Korea, Australia and Hong Kong evacuated their residents for quarantines as well, and Canada and Italy sent flights for their citizens.
Japan’s health ministry said Thursday that two infected elderly passengers died after they were taken off the ship. They were the first fatalities from the virus-stricken vessel.
The 621 cases confirmed among the Diamond Princess’s original 3,711 people on board are the most anywhere outside China.
The virus began in China late last year and has sickened tens of thousands of people, mostly in central China’s Hubei province.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.
© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.