Coronavirus cases on Yokohama’s quarantined cruise ship almost DOUBLE to 136, with 23 Americans now infected, as one passenger warns depression is setting in

Monday, February 10, 2020
By Paul Martin

The Diamond Princess liner has been quarantined in Japan since last Monday
Another 66 people are now confirmed to have the virus, taking the total to 136
Health authorities are also scrambling to deliver medicine to the passengers

10 February 2020

The number of coronavirus patients on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan has nearly doubled to 136 today after another 66 people tested positive.

The latest batch of test results on the Diamond Princess includes 11 US nationals – taking the total of American cruise ship patients to 23.

There are also 45 Japanese nationals, four Australians, three from the Philippines and one each from Canada and Ukraine. One other is unknown.

Confirmed virus patients are being moved to hospitals on the mainland with the 2,500 remaining passengers confined to their cabins back on the ship.

One British tourist, David Abel, reported from his ninth-deck cabin today that ‘depression is starting to set in’.

Holidaymakers are likely to face further tests and health authorities are scrambling to deliver medicine requested by passengers, with the ship expected to remain in quarantine in Yokohama until February 19.

One British patient, Alan Steele, was taken off the ship on Friday but said today that he could be discharged as soon as this week if he is declared free of the virus.

Meanwhile another cruise ship, the Westerdam, has said it will finally dock in Thailand after four countries refused entry despite the crew’s insistence that there were no virus cases on board.

Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato said the government was considering testing everyone on board.

That would require them to remain on the ship until results are available, which can take several days.

Japan initially screened all 3,711 passengers and crew last week after an 80-year-old passenger who left the ship in January was confirmed to have the virus.

Nearly 300 people were selected for further tests because they showed symptoms or had contact with known patients, resulting in 61 initial positive tests.

Since then, the tests have expanded to those who had contact with the infected passengers, producing a spiralling number of confirmed cases.

Today the cruise ship operator said another 66 people had been newly diagnosed, while Japanese officials reported 65 positive tests out of 103 samples. The reason for the discrepancy was unclear.

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