Twenty virus infections on cruise ship in Japan; passengers confined to cabins

(Reuters) – Ten more people on a quarantined cruise liner in a Japanese port have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Thursday, taking the number of infected passengers to 20 with test results on more than 170 still pending.

About 3,700 people are facing at least two weeks quarantine on the Diamond Princess ship in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, after 10 people were initially confirmed with the virus and moved to medical facilities.

The total number of coronavirus patients in Japan is now 45. Test results on around 171 people from the cruise ship are still pending. The 10 new cases included four Japanese, two Americans, two Canadians, one person from New Zealand and one from Taiwan.

Carnival’s Diamond Princess was caught up in the global coronavirus epidemic after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man tested positive for the virus after disembarking late last month. The ship arrived in Yokohama on Monday after a 14-day round trip.

Clyde and Renee Smith, a U.S. couple who are both 80 and on the cruise with two adult grandsons, said they were on a bus trip with the man in Kagoshima, southern Japan, but both tested negative for the virus.

They were enduring their second day in a stateroom that, as Renee told Reuters by phone from the ship, “is tiny, we don’t have a window, there are four of us – and only one chair.”

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