A panel of Japanese experts has reportedly stated that the quarantine on the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess was not perfect.

However, the panel defended the country’s decision to allow around 1,000 passengers to disembark after a 14-day quarantine period.

Japan Times quoted World Health Organization former regional director and panel member Shigeru Omi as saying: “The ship was not designed to be a hospital. The ship was a ship.

“Of course isolation was not as ideal as would be expected from a hospital, so in my view although the isolation was somehow effective, to a large extent it was not perfect.”

He added that it was not possible to transfer and test passengers to another location and that they did the best that they could do.

Omi urged for passengers that disembarked after passing the criteria to be treated normally. He added that the ship was a smaller version of the outbreak in other communities in Japan.

The country has confirmed 691 cases on the cruise ship with four deaths so far.

On 24 February, a quarantine official and a government employee who aided the process on the ship tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing total government official cases to six.

The epidemic has so far killed approximately 2,700 and infected more than 80,000 people around the world. Japan has 160 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with one death so far, excluding the cases on the ship.