When retiree Linda Ip booked a 10-day voyage on board the Diamond Princess with her husband and a group of friends, she hoped the party’s toughest decision would be whether to dine on sushi or steak.

The 62-year-old Hong Kong resident knew of the mysterious coronavirus that had taken hold in the Chinese city of Wuhan — Hong Kong declared a state of emergency on January 25, the day before they departed — but her group was in good spirits as they boarded the luxury cruise ship and set sail for the Japanese port of Yokohama.

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