Mindanao Times

Passengers leave Japan virus ship


RELIEVED passengers began leaving a coronaviru­s-wracked cruise ship in Japan on Wednesday after testing negative for the disease that has now claimed more than 2,000 lives in China.

The Diamond Princess has proved a fertile breeding ground for the virus with at least 542 positive cases, and Japan has faced mounting criticism for its quarantine arrangemen­ts as the passengers disperse.

“I’m relieved... I want to take a good rest,” a 77-year-old Japanese passenger, who declined to give his name. He said he would be boarding Japan’s famously crowded railway system to go home.

Yellow-dotted city buses, plus a dozen or so taxis, were lined up to whisk the passengers into the wider world, many of them dragging their luggage behind them.

Some of the passengers waved as they left to those still on board the ship, some of whom could be seen waving back from balconies.

The ship is the biggest cluster outside China, where new figures showed the death toll surging beyond 2,000 with more than 74,000 infected. Hundreds more cases have been reported in two dozen countries.

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