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10 out of 3,700 on cruise ship tested positive for coronavirus in Japan

10 out of 3,700 on cruise ship tested positive for coronavirus in Japan

Posted February. 06, 2020 07:50,   

Updated February. 06, 2020 07:50


Ten people on “The Diamond Princess” have tested positive for the new coronavirus from China. The cruise ship has been anchored at the Japanese port of Yokohama since Monday after a passenger’s infection was confirmed.

On Wednesday, the NHK quoted Japanese Health Minister Katsunoby Kato as saying in a statement that “Medics screened all 3,711 on “The Diamond Princess” including crew, and 10 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus.” This is the first group infection in Japan amid the outbreak.

“Three out of the 10 infected people are Japanese, and the rest are different nationals,” said the Japanese minister. “They are between 50 and 80 years old with no severe symptoms.” The Korean Embassy to Japan reported that none of them were Korean.

With people from 56 nationalities onboard, the cruise ship embarked on a 2-week cruise along Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan from the Japanese port on January 20. The Hong Kong health authorities announced that an 80-year-old man who disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25 tested positive for the virus. In response, Japan’s Health Ministry screened everyone onboard on Saturday in Naha, Okinawa and conducted another round of tests on Monday, which is unusual.

After 273 passengers with symptoms such as fever or coughing got rescreened, 10 out of the 31 passengers who have received their test results have tested positive for the virus. The number is likely to increase as there are still 242 people who are waiting for their test results. On the cruise ship, there are 2,666 passengers including nine Koreans and 1,045 crew members.

The 10 patients were immediately transferred to a hospital in Kanagawa. The Health Ministry ordered the remaining passengers and crew not to leave the ship for two weeks considering the incubation period of the contagious virus.