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Japan to allow some seniors off virus-hit ship sooner than expected

Passengers with chronic conditions to finish quarantine period on land

Passengers stand on the deck of the Diamond Princess cruise ship at Yokohama on Feb. 13, as officials continue to run tests for the coronavirus.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government said Thursday it will let elderly passengers suffering chronic illnesses disembark earlier than scheduled from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama if they test negative for the virus.

It also said 44 more people on the ship have been confirmed as infected with the pneumonia-causing virus originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Of the 247 infections in Japan, 218 are passengers and crew from the ship.

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