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44 More People on Diamond Princess Test Positive for Coronavirus

By ,   February 13, 2020 ,   Accidents

Another 44 people onboard a Princess Cruises ship moored off Yokohama, Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus, the health minister said on Thursday, February 13.

According to Health Minister Katsunobu Kato, the 44 new cases were from 221 new tests. Of the newly diagnosed, 43 are passengers, and 1 is a crew member. They raise the number of infections on Diamond Princess to 218, in addition to the quarantine officer who also tested positive for the deadly virus.

Kato said authorities now wanted to move elderly people off the liner if they test negative for the coronavirus, offering to put them in government-designated lodging.

Five people from Diamond Princess are in serious condition in hospital, 4 of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus. Test results for the 5th are being processed.

Diamond Princess has been moored off the port of Yokohama since February 3, after it became clear that a former passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong in January had tested positive for the new virus now named COVID-19. The liner was placed into quarantine shortly afterward and authorities asked all crew and passengers to remain on board until February 19.

Those who tested positive for the coronavirus were taken off the cruise ship to medical facilities. Questions have been raised about whether the quarantine is working, with dozens of new cases being diagnosed almost daily.

Cruise passengers are confined to their cabins and required to wear masks as well as keep their distance from each other when they're allowed out for brief periods on the open decks.

Diamond Princess cruise ship

Japan initially tested nearly 300 people on Diamond Princess who had close contact with the former traveller or displayed symptoms. They have gradually expanded the testing pool because new cases have been detected. 713 people have been tested so far, with officials saying they're currently limited by capacity. Currently they can test a max of 300 people per day but hope eventually to be able to expand that to 1,000 people per day.

For other Diamond Princess accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.