Another 41 people on a cruise ship quarantined off Japan have the new Coronavirus, the country’s health minister said Friday, confirming more on board will now be tested for the illness.
The newly diagnosed infections mean at least 61 people from the ship have contracted the virus, which has killed hundreds of people, most of them in China, and infected more than 30,000 on the mainland.
There were more than 3,700 passengers and crew on the ship when it arrived off Japan’s coast on Monday evening.
Japanese authorities have so far tested 273 people on board the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined after a former passenger, who disembarked in Hong Kong last month, was diagnosed with the virus.
“273 out of the total number of passengers have been tested so far”, said a health official.
The newly diagnosed include 21 Japanese, as well as Americans, Canadians, Australians, an Argentine and a Briton.
There were more than 3,700 passengers and crew on the ship when it arrived off Japan’s coast on Monday evening. It docked in Yokohama on Thursday to resupply for a quarantine that could last until February 19.
Twenty people who were earlier diagnosed with the virus have already been removed from the vessel, including one who is in serious condition, a health ministry official said, without providing further details.
Japanese authorities have said the ship’s quarantine may last until February 19, with passengers required to stay inside their cabins in a bid to prevent new infections.
Those with inside cabins, which have no windows, have been allowed onto decks in small groups to get fresh air, but under strict conditions, including wearing a mask at all times when out of their rooms.