One more Indian aboard a quarantined cruise ship off Japan’s coast has been found to be infected by the new strain of coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total number of affected Indians on the ship to seven, said the Indian Embassy.
As many as 621 out of the 3,711 people on board the ship have tested positive for the novel coronavirus including 88 on Wednesday and 99 on Tuesday. A total of 138 Indians are on the ship, including 132 crew and 6 passengers.
“1 Indian crew who tested positive for COVID19 among 88 new cases on Diamond Princess shifted to hospital for treatment,” said a tweet by the Indian embassy.
1 Indian crew who tested positive for #COVID19 among 88 new cases yesterday on #DiamondPrincess taken to hospital for treatment. Indians receiving treatment responding well. From today, disembarkation of passengers only started, likely to continue till 21 Feb. @MEAIndia
— India in Japanインド大使館 (@IndianEmbTokyo) February 19, 2020
The mission said that infected Indians were responding well to the treatment.
The cruise ship arrived at the Japanese coast earlier this month and was quarantined after it was found that a passenger who had got off the ship in Hong Kong in January was infected with the deadly virus that has led to an international alarm and over 2000 deaths in China alone.
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Passengers on the ship have begun to leave with the first bath of 500 scheduled to de-embark on Wednesday alone after a two-week quarantine period failed to stop the spread of the virus.
“About 500 passengers were expected to leave Wednesday, and Japanese officials will spend several days staging the high-stakes evacuation of about 2,000 others,” PTI said quoting the Japan Today newspaper.
The Indian Embassy had said that it was in discussions with the Japanese government and the ship management company to affect de-boarding of all the Indians after the end of the quarantine period.
The US evacuated its 340 nationals from the ship two days ago on Monday and they have now been quarantined for another 14 days.
Deaths of 136 more Coronavirus victims were reported on Wednesday from China.
The virus outbreak started in China’s Hubei province in December and has spread to more than 25 countries, including India.
Major airlines have suspended flights to China and banned arrivals from the country in the effort to contain the spread.