A Princess Cruises ship with 3,711 onboard is under mandatory quarantine for two weeks off the coast of Yokohama in Japan after 10 passengers on board tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus.
The Japanese Ministry of Health discovered the infected passengers during a health screening of all passengers and crew aboard the ship, the Diamond Princess, after a previous passenger was diagnosed with the virus, the company said in a series of press releases.
The 10 people who tested positive for the virus were escorted off the ship by the Japanese Coast Guard and transported to local hospitals in Yokohama, the country’s second-largest city, located about 17 miles from Tokyo.
Yokohama’s port is a hot spot for cruise ships and international travel.
The ship’s 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members will have to remain quarantined on the ship for at least 14 days. Approximately half of the guests onboard are from Japan.
Princess Cruises canceled two upcoming voyages leaving Yokohama, originally scheduled to depart Feb. 4 and Feb. 12.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship departed from Yokohama on Jan. 20 for a 14-day trip and arrived in Hong Kong on Jan. 25. A passenger, who is from Hong Kong, disembarked from the ship and did not return. On Jan. 25, he visited a hospital in Hong Kong and was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Feb. 1.
Officials from Hong Kong announced in a statement that the infected patient was an 80-year-old man from Hong Kong who had likely contracted the virus from another human, CNN World reported.
The patient first arrived in Tokyo via a flight on Jan. 17 with his two daughters and developed a cough. He boarded the Diamond Princess three days later.
The hospital reported that the man is in stable condition and the family members who traveled with him do not have any symptoms, Princess Cruises said on Tuesday.
The new strain of coronavirus originated in Wuhan in mainland China and has spread to numerous countries around the world, including the United States. Hong Kong has a total of 18 cases of the virus and reported its first death ― a 39-year-old man who visited Wuhan ― linked to it on Tuesday.
There are 20 coronavirus cases in Japan.
“The new coronavirus is having a major impact on tourism, the economy and our society as a whole,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an official response to the outbreak, according to The Japan Times. “The government will do its utmost to address the impact.”
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