In a more curious example of how iPhone is involved with the coronavirus outbreak, the Japanese Ministry of Health is set to hand out over 2000 iPhones to passengers stuck onboard a Princess cruise ship near Japan.

Reported by Macotakara, Japan is giving out the iPhones so that “there will be one unit of phone per cabin in every passengers cabins and crew rooms.”

The reason for handing out the iPhones with Softbank service is to give passengers access to the Japanese Ministry of Health app that will allow passengers on the cruise ship to chat with a doctor.

So far, over 100 people on the ship that has been quarantined since last week have been confirmed to have coronavirus.

The reason that passengers would need an iPhone given to them to access the health app is that there are many that wouldn’t be able to download it from an iOS App Store or Google Play Store registered in a different country than Japan.

It seems likely the passengers will have to return the iPhones at some point but considering the contagious scenario involved here, who knows…

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour 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, Labour and Welfare to ask by chat about medication or any other things that may concern you. The app will book a consultation session with a medical doctor.

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Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.