Mercury (Hobart)

Lonnie woman’s fears on stricken cruise ship


AN additional 39 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the Japan coast have tested positive for coronaviru­s, as the World Health Organsatio­n warned it posed a global threat “worse than terrorism”.

Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the latest wave of confirmed cases raised the total on board the cruise liner to 174.

“Out of 53 new test results, 39 people were found positive,” he said. A quarantine official had also been infected.

Launceston woman Alana Hoskinson got the flu halfway through her cruise and, as a result, was one of the first to be tested when the coronaviru­s outbreak began on the ship. She, along with her friend and cabinmate Diana Headlam, of Hervey Bay, both returned negative tests.

“As long as we are kept away from anyone that is positive we will be fine,’’ she said.

“We are still working on the 19th (of February) as the date for release (from the ship).”

Ms Hoskinson, who is confined to her small, windowless cabin for 23 hours a day, said the latest news came as a shock

“We knew there were more affected but didn’t know that one was a quarantine official,” she said.

“I am concerned about that as they would not have been in contact with the original case.”

In Geneva, WHO directorge­neral Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu­s announced a new name for the disease caused by the virus — COVID-19.

Mr Ghebreyesu­s warned it posed a global threat potentiall­y worse than terrorism. He said the world must “wake up and consider this virus as public enemy number one”.

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