Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Japan quarantines 3,700 on cruise ship as man onboard tests positive to coronavirus

Japan has quarantined a cruise ship carrying 3,711 people and was testing those onboard for the new coronavirus Tuesday after a former passenger was diagnosed with the illness in Hong Kong.

Eight people on the vessel, which arrived at Yokohama Bay on Monday, have symptoms such as fever, top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said.

Television footage showed several quarantine officers boarding the Diamond Princess cruise ship at the port of Yokohama on Monday evening to check all 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew.

The move comes after an 80-year-old passenger who disembarked on January 25 in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus, which has killed 425 people in China.

The man "did not visit a medical centre inside the ship while he was sailing with us," cruise operator Carnival Japan said in a statement.

According to the hospital where he is staying, his condition is stable and infection was not found among his family members who sailed with him," the statement said.

A woman in her twenties who was sailing with her mother on the ship told private broadcaster TBS on Tuesday that all passengers "were asked to stay in their rooms to wait for virus tests".

She said they had been waiting since Monday and had no word of when they would be tested as of early Tuesday.

The vessel's departure from Yokohama would be delayed by at least 24 hours to Wednesday or later, Carnival Japan said.