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Coronavirus

10 people on cruise ship in Japan test positive for coronavirus

Diamond Princess locked down at Yokohama port with all on board quarantined

The cruise ship Diamond Princess sits off the shore of Yokohama on Tuesday as quarantine officers screen the 3,700 passengers and crew.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Ten people on board a Princess Cruises ship docked off the coast of Yokohama, near Tokyo, have been found to be infected by the new coronavirus, Japan's health ministry revealed Wednesday.

The ship is quarantined and medical officials have been checking the conditions of all passengers and crew members on board -- over 3,700 people -- since Monday, after a man who got off at an earlier stop in Hong Kong later tested positive for the virus.

According to Katsunobu Kato, Japan's Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, a total of 273 people who have either been diagnosed or had close contact with others who contracted the virus have had samples taken for coronavirus testing. More than 30 people have received their results so far.

"We ask passengers to remain in the ship for at most 14 days," Kato said. "We would like to take thorough measures."

The 10 people who have tested positive range in age from their 50s to 80s, and include three Japanese. They have been brought ashore and hospitalized at institutions designated for infectious diseases.

They have shown symptoms such as fever and some breathing difficulty, with one suffering from a fever of 39 C.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship left Yokohama on Jan. 20, arriving at Hong Kong on Jan. 25 via Kagoshima, southern Japan. The ship returned to Yokohama on Feb. 3 after passing Vietnam, Taiwan, Okinawa and other ports.

The first passenger who landed in Hong Kong and tested positive is an 80-year-old man who got on board in Yokohama. The Hong Kong authorities sounded the alert after confirming his condition.

There are 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew in the ship, coming from 56 countries and regions including Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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