LISTEN | About 60 more novel coronavirus cases on Japan cruise ship

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, with more than 3,000 people on board, is pictured anchored at Yokohama port on February 7 2020.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, with more than 3,000 people on board, is pictured anchored at Yokohama port on February 7 2020.
Image: STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP

About 60 more people on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off Japan have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus, national broadcaster NHK said on Monday.

Other local media also reported that about 60 more cases had been confirmed, raising the number of infected passengers and crew to about 130. Health ministry officials declined to comment immediately.

The Diamond Princess has been in quarantine since arriving off the Japanese coast early last week, after the virus was detected in a former passenger who disembarked from the ship last month in Hong Kong.

When the boat arrived off Japan, authorities initially tested nearly 300 of the 3,711 people on board, gradually evacuating dozens who tested positive to local medical facilities.

In recent days, testing has expanded to those who had close contact with other infected passengers or crew, and several more cases were reported at the weekend.

Those who remain on the ship have been asked to stay inside their cabins. They are allowed out briefly onto open decks.

They have been asked to wear masks and keep a distance from each other when outside. They have also been given thermometers to regularly monitor their temperatures.

The ship is expected to stay in quarantine until February 19, 14 days after the isolation period began.

The quarantine has made life on board the ship difficult, particularly for those in windowless interior cabins and a significant number of passengers who require medication for various chronic conditions.

The health ministry said on Monday that about 600 people on board were in urgent need of medication. About half received supplies at the weekend.


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