Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Japan confirms 39 new virus cases, 174 total on cruise ship

Japan confirms 39 new virus cases, 174 total on cruise ship

Diamond Princess is still quarantined off the coast of Japan, and now 39 more people have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

The ship has been quarantined off Yokohama, Japan, since Tuesday.

When the boat arrived off Japan, authorities initially tested almost 300 people of the 3,711 aboard for the virus, gradually evacuating dozens who were infected to local medical facilities.

Sarkar put out the appeal a day after the number of infections aboard the Princess jumped from an initially-reported 70 to 135 after more people tested positive.

The couple also said that officials started screening passengers on Monday with an ear thermometer without a disposable tip.

According to an AFP report, people on board the ship are facing difficulty due to the quarantine measures, particularly those in windowless interior cabins and others who require medication.

Princess Cruises confirms there are 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew now onboard Diamond Princess, covering a range of nationalities.

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Standing in the ship's kitchen alongside five of his countrymen wearing masks, Sarkar demanded that those without the virus be allowed to leave "immediately". Sarkar, in a video recorded from the ship, appealed to the Indian government and the United Nations to segregate the Indians on board on urgent basis. "We need to find a way to break that vicious cycle and find a way of organizing the patients onboard so we can get people off the ship in due course", Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Program, said at a news briefing Friday.

In recent days, testing has expanded to 492 people, mostly those showing symptoms or who have had close contact with a confirmed positive case.

All passengers - including 223 Australians - are being quarantined on the ship off the coast of Japan, docked in the port of Yokohama.

In a statement, it said: "The Japanese Ministry of Health has confirmed this is the last batch to be tested and the quarantine end date will be February 19, unless there are any other unforeseen developments".

"We are kind of anxious because we've still got two weeks on here assuming that works out in our favor and we still have to get onto American soil", Cerullo told the outlet.

Japan has sent four chartered flights to China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, for its citizens there to return, and plans a fifth.

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