10 test positive for novel coronavirus on quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Test results show that nine passengers and a crew member on a cruise ship quarantined off the coast in Japan are infected with the novel coronavirus, the Japanese health ministry said Wednesday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

After a passenger on board from Hong Kong was found to be infected with the pneumonia-causing virus, the ship, the Diamond Princess, has been kept in quarantine off the port of Yokohama, a city south of Tokyo.

The 80-year-old passenger flew to Tokyo in mid-January and boarded the cruise ship in Yokohama on Jan. 20.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference that of the roughly 3,700 passengers and crew on board the ship, 273 had been tested for the virus so far, with the results of 31 yet unknown.

Of the tested, 120 have displayed symptoms including a cough and fever, and 153 have had close contact with at least one infected passenger, according to the ministry.

The ten passengers to test positive, who are aged between 50 and 80, were sent to hospital, though none appear to be showing signs of severe symptoms, the minister said.

By nationality, the ten infected include three Japanese, three Chinese, two Australians, one American and one Filipino, according to Carnival Japan Inc., the operator of the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

A request was made by the government on Wednesday for all passengers and crew to remain on the ship for a further 14 days, Kato said.

The number of people confirmed to be infected with the virus in Japan increased to 34 after another case was reported in Chiba Prefecture on Wednesday evening.

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