More than 40 new cases of the deadly coronavirus have been confirmed on a quarantined Princess Cruises ship where dozens of passengers are trapped.
A total of 61 cruisers aboard Diamond Princess have been infected so far - and 20 of them have already been escorted off the luxury cruise ship for further treatment.
The vessel is being held for 2 weeks in Yokohama harbour, Japan with around 3,700 people onboard.
According to health minister Katsunobu Kato, the remaining 171 test results had shown 41 coronavirus cases, taking the total to 61 out of 273 who had been tested. The health minister said that today they would be sent to hospitals in a number of prefectures.
The twenty people who were earlier diagnosed with the coronavirus have already been removed from the ship and taken to hospitals. One of them is in a serious condition, according to a health ministry official. Further details have not been provided.
The tests could now be expanded to further cruise passengers who were 'susceptible to illness, including those with other ailments and elderly people, the health minister added. In addition, travellers who had close contact with the 61 virus patients could be subject to further testing.
Diamond Princess, with about 3,700 people onboard, arrived in Yokohama Monday night after a 2-week-long trip to Southeast Asia. The passengers were forced to stay on the ship since an 80-year-old Hong Kong man who disembarked in January tested positive for the coronavirus.
Princess Cruises cancelled 2 other scheduled voyages on the vessel departing from Yokohama this month.
The number of cases on Diamond Princess made Japan home to the most coronavirus patients outside of China.
For other Diamond Princess accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.