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Coronavirus: 3,700 quarantined on cruise ship after tourist catches killer bug

ASIA
By Mirror | Feb 4th 2020 | 3 min read
The cruise ship is being held in Yokohama Bay with 3,700 onboard. (Image: REUTERS)

Thousands of holidaymakers are trapped on a cruise ship after a former passenger tested positive for coronavirus.

Japan is refusing to allow the 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew off of the quarantined Diamond Princess, which is being held in Yokohama Bay.

 Passengers and crew were being tested for the SARS-like virus, and eight people have shown symptoms such as fever, although the test results have not come back yet.

Doctors wearing hazmat suits boarded the vessel which is to remain in quarantine at the port of Naha until all of the results are known.

Passengers have been told to stay in their rooms and avoid contact with others as a precaution.

Photos posted on social media show medics wearing protective suits and masks walking the corridors, as well as deserted lounges and decks.

No-one will be allowed to disembark the 952-ft longship, which has a capacity for 2,670 passengers and 1,100 crew until officials are satisfied that everyone is free of coronavirus.

A quarantine operation on the eighth deck of the cruise ship (Image: via REUTERS)

An 80-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus in Hong Kong after leaving the Diamond Princess last month.

Health officials are trying to find all of the people who had close contact with the man and alerting passengers who disembarked in Hong Kong.

He flew to Japan and boarded the ship in Yokahama on January 20, remaining on board until January 25.

Katsunobu Kato, Japan's health minister, said "everyone on board... will stay there" until the test results are known.

Carnival Japan, which owns the ship, said the 80-year-old man did not visit the onboard medical centre during his holiday.

Family members who sailed with him have not tested positive, the company added.

A holidaymaker who is trapped on the Diamond Princess told TBS that passengers have been told to self-isolate in their rooms and wait for the results of the tests.

The ship's casino, shops and photo studio had been shut as other activities operated normally.

About half of those on board are Japanese, said Carnival Japan.

Cruises scheduled to depart from Yokohama on Tuesday and Kobe on Thursday have been cancelled.

Flu-like coronavirus has now killed at least 427 people.

Hong Kong announced its first death from coronavirus on Tuesday, the second outside mainland China.

The other person who died outside China was a man in the Philippines. He caught the virus during a visit to Wuhan.

Most of the deaths have occurred in the city of Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province.

More than 20,000 others in China have been infected.

There were at least 151 cases in 23 other countries and regions, including two cases in Britain.

The virus spread to humans at a market in Wuhan, where live animals and illegal wildlife were sold, in December.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the virus a global emergency and experts say much is still unknown about the pathogen, including its mortality rate and transmission routes.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

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