Ja­pan quar­an­tines 3,700 on cruise ship over new coro­n­avirus

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Yoko­hama, Ja­pan - Ja­pan has quar­an­tined a cruise ship car­ry­ing 3,711 peo­ple and was test­ing those on­board for the new coro­n­avirus on Tues­day af­ter a for­mer pas­sen­ger was di­ag­nosed with the ill­ness in Hong Kong.

Eight peo­ple on the ves­sel, which ar­rived in Yoko­hama Bay on Mon­day, have symp­toms such as fever, top gov­ern­ment spokesman Yoshi­hide Suga said.

Tele­vi­sion footage showed sev­eral quar­an­tine of­fi­cers board­ing the Di­a­mond Princess on Mon­day evening to check all 2,666 pas­sen­gers and 1,045 crew.

The move comes af­ter an 80 year old pas­sen­ger who dis­em­barked on Jan­uary 25 in Hong Kong tested pos­i­tive for the

Di­a­mond Princess

virus, which has killed 425 peo­ple in China.

The man ‘did not visit a med­i­cal cen­tre in­side the ship while he was sail­ing with us’, cruise op­er­a­tor Car­ni­val Ja­pan said in a state­ment.

‘Ac­cord­ing to the hospi­tal where he is stay­ing, his con­di­tion is sta­ble and in­fec­tion was not found among his fam­ily mem­bers who sailed with him’, the state­ment said. A woman in her twen­ties on the ship with her mother told pri­vate broad­caster TBS on Tues­day that all pas­sen­gers had been asked to stay in their rooms and wait for tests.

The ves­sel’s de­par­ture from Yoko­hama would be de­layed by at least 24 hours to Wed­nes­day or later, Car­ni­val Ja­pan said.

‘Quar­an­tine sta­tion’

The cruise ship had al­ready been through a quar­an­tine pro­ce­dure on Satur­day at a port in Naha in Ja­pan’s south­ern­most pre­fec­ture of Ok­i­nawa, and quar­an­tine of­fi­cials had is­sued cer­tifi­cates al­low­ing pas­sen­gers and crew to land, Suga said.

A Health Min­istry of­fi­cial said no-one aboard at that time showed any symp­toms, and the case of the man who dis­em­barked in Hong Kong was not known at that time.

Af­ter his case emerged, a sec­ond quar­an­tine was or­gan­ised.

Quar­an­tine of­fi­cials are now check­ing the con­di­tion of ev­ery­one on board and test­ing those with symp­toms of ill­ness for the new coro­n­avirus, as well as other in­fec­tious dis­eases, in­clud­ing malaria and Dengue fever, a sec­ond Health Min­istry of­fi­cial said.

Health Min­is­ter Kat­sunobu Kato told par­lia­ment that tests for the virus would be ad­min­is­tered to three groups: Those with symp­toms, those who got off in Hong Kong, and those who had close con­tact with the in­fected pas­sen­ger. Un­til the re­sults are in ‘ev­ery­one on board... will stay there’, he said.

The de­ci­sion on whether to al­low the ves­sel to dock at Yoko­hama port and let pas­sen­gers land on Ja­panese soil ‘will be made at the quar­an­tine sta­tion’, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the WHO’s es­ti­mate of a 10-day in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod, Suga said.

(AFP)

The an­chored off the port of Yoko­hama on Tues­day

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