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20 people on cruise ship off Japan have nCoV: Local media

13:49 | 06/02/2020

Ten more people on a cruise ship off Japan have tested positive for the new coronavirus (nCoV), local media said on Thursday (Feb 6), following news a day earlier that 10 passengers had been infected and taken to hospitals.

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20 people on cruise ship off japan have ncov local media
People are transferred from cruise ship Diamond Princess to a patrol ship, after ten people onboard the cruise have tested positive for coronavirus, in Yokohama, Japan on Feb 5, 2020. (Photo: Kyodo/via Reuters)

According The Japan Times, authorities have tested 273 people among the approximately 3,700 passengers and crew on the ship after an 80-year-old man who got off the boat last month in Hong Kong tested positive for the new virus.

The new cases were reported as the Diamond Princess, which was placed in quarantine off the Japanese port city of Yokohama on Monday night, docked to allow resupply and the removal of sick passengers.

As the massive cruise ship docked, passengers who have been told they may have to stay aboard for 14 days even if they test negative for the virus, came out onto balconies, some waving to assembled media or taking pictures.

20 people on cruise ship off japan have ncov local media
Passengers, one wearing a surgical mask, looks out from their cabins as the cruise ship Diamond Princess, Feb 6, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-hoon)

People on board have described confusion and boredom after being confined to cabins following the decision by Japanese authorities to quarantine the vessel.

More than 20 countries have confirmed cases of the virus, which has infected more than 28,000 in mainland China and killed more than 560 people.

The outbreak has prompted the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency, several governments to impose travel restrictions, and airlines to suspend flights to and from China.

Japan has now confirmed 45 cases of the new coronavirus - including the cruise ship infections - among them citizens returning from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.

There have been several incidences of apparent person-to-person transmission in Japan, including a tour guide and bus driver who contracted the virus after coming into contact with visitors from Wuhan. Neither had visited China in recent months./.

VNF/Japan Times