Diamond PrincessIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Some 135 people traveling on board Diamond Princess cruise ship have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the latest update from the Japanese Ministry of Health shows.

The ministry is continuing to conduct medical screening of the crew and personnel on board the ship,  quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, until at least February 19.

“Positive results were confirmed in 135 of the 439 patients tested,” the ministry informed on February 10.

The update comes just a day after 66 new cases were recorded on board the cruise ship.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all individuals testing positive are being disembarked and admitted for medical care in infectious disease hospitals in the Yokohama area.

“Close contacts of the infected passengers are asked to remain in quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with a confirmed case. Thus, the quarantine period will be extended beyond the February 19 as appropriate only for close contacts of newly confirmed cases,” the organization said.

The cruise company said earlier that there were 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew on board the cruise ship covering a range of nationalities. Approximately half the guests onboard are from Japan.

Due to the ongoing situation, Princess Cruises had to cancel two Diamond Princess cruises departing Yokohama, which were scheduled for Feb 4 and Feb 12.

World Maritime News Staff

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