On the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”, which is under quarantine in Japan, the number of detected infections with the novel coronavirus has again increased significantly.
The virus was detected in 88 other people on the ship, Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato announced on Tuesday. According to the report, 65 of them showed no symptoms of respiratory disease Covid-19. An astounding 542 infections on the ship have been detected. That is by far the most cases in a place outside of China.
Originally, about 3700 people from 56 countries were on board the “Diamond Princess,” about 3000 people are still on board the ship. All people on board have been tested for the novel coronavirus, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health. Since not all test results are available yet, the number of infected people could increase further.
The “Diamond Princess” had been quarantined on February 5th because of the novel coronavirus, and passengers were asked to stay in their cabins since. The two-week quarantine period ends on Wednesday. People in whom the virus has not been detected and who have not had close contact with infected persons will then be allowed to disembark. However, according to the Ministry of Health, this should last from Wednesday to Friday. For the others, the quarantine will be extended. Those who are proven to be infected will be isolated in hospitals.
The U.S. had already flown about 300 US passengers of the “Diamond Princess” to their home country on Monday without waiting for the end of the quarantine in Japan. In the United States, however, they will remain in quarantine for another 14 days. The 40 US passengers who were proven to be infected had to stay in hospitals in Japan. Other countries, including Australia and Canada, have also announced that they will repatriate civilians on the ship. The United Kingdom announced on Tuesday that it also wanted to pick up people by plane. Contact would already be made with Brits on board.
Apart from the “Diamond Princess”, 74 more cases of infection have been registered in Japan, and there has been one fatality so far. The victim was an 80-year-old woman in the Kanagawa Prefecture bordering on Tokyo. According to the authorities, almost 1900 people in mainland China have died of the novel coronavirus. More than 72,000 infections have been detected there since the outbreak of the epidemic in December.
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