39 more coronavirus cases reported on ship
Another 39 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan, with one quarantine officer also infected, bringing the total to 175, Japan’s health ministry said yesterday.
The Diamond Princess was placed in quarantine for two weeks on arriving in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on February 3, after a man who disembarked in China’s Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.
About 3,700 people are on board the cruise ship, which usually has a crew of 1,100 and a passenger capacity of 2,670. Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said in parliament that he wanted to expand testing to all passengers and crew on board, and that authorities could muster resources to do more than 1,000 tests a day, according to national broadcaster NHK.
The British-flagged Diamond Princess is managed by Princess Cruise Lines, one of the world’s largest cruise lines and a unit of Carnival Corp.
Kyodo news agency, citing the health ministry, said that of the 39 cases, 10 were crew and 29 were passengers.
Ten were Japanese nationals and the others were from 11 countries, including the United States and China. Four were in serious condition, Kato revealed.
People who test positive for the virus are taken off the ship to hospital.
The quarantine officer who was infected had been handing out questionnaires checking the health of passengers and crew and had been following rules that require the wearing of a mask and gloves but not a full protective suit, according to the Nikkei business daily, quoting the health ministry.
A health ministry official had no immediate comment, but Nikkei said the ministry was checking the officer’s contacts with colleagues and family members.