Another 44 on Japan cruise ship have virus

Forty-four more people have tested positive for the coronavirus known as Covid-19 on board a quarantined cruise ship off Japan.

The country’s health ministry said 218 people of the 713 tested on board the Diamond Princess have been infected by the virus.


The ship, which is still carrying more than 3,500 passengers and crew members, returned to the Yokohama Port on February 3 and has been in quarantine since.

Including the above, Japan has 247 confirmed cases of the new disease that apparently started in Wuhan, a city in central China, in December.

Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters that five of the patients sent to hospitals earlier have severe symptoms, are on artificial respirators or under intensive care.

He also said the government has decided to allow passengers older than 80 to get off the ship if they wish to do so, after testing negative for the virus.

Results of tests on about 200 eligible passengers are underway, and those with chronic health problems or in cabins without operable windows will be given priority.

Kato said the measure is to reduce health risks of passengers stuck in rooms under difficult conditions. Those who are released will be asked to stay at a designated facility through the end of the quarantine period.

© PAA 2020