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Coronavirus

Coronavirus on Japanese cruise ship spreads to 39 more people

New cases bring total to 174; one quarantine officer also infected

Workers in protective suits head to the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama near Tokyo on Feb. 10.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Another 39 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Japan's health ministry said on Wednesday.

This brings the number of infections found on the ship to 174. A quarantine officer who worked on the ship was also infected, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.

On Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, the officer collected medical questionnaires from passengers and recorded their temperatures, according to the ministry. He came down with a fever on Sunday and went to a hospital the following day.

The officer was wearing a mask and gloves but no other protective wear, such as goggles. According to the ministry, the officer followed proper procedures.

Colleagues and family members of the officer are being traced to be screened for the virus.

Among stricken passengers who had previously been removed from the ship and are undergoing treatment, four are in critical condition, according to the ministry. All are men in their 60s and 70s, and three are Japanese.

About 3,700 people are still aboard the ship, which has a crew of about 1,100.

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