Four Indian crew members on board Diamond Princess, the cruise ship moored off the coast of Japan, have tested positive for COVID-19, the Indian Embassy said on Sunday. The total number of Indians infected with coronavirus on the vessel has now gone up to 12.
Passengers who showed no signs of the disease were allowed to disembark from the ship after the quarantine period ended last week.
Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary, said that around 1,000 passengers and crew will remain on board the ship after disembarkations.
Nearly 100 more passengers, who were in close contact with those infected on board, were allowed to deboard the cruise ship.
Eight Indians had earlier tested positive for COVID-19. “Unfortunately results received as of 1200 JST (Japan Standard Time) include 4 Indian crew members having tested positive,” the Indian Embassy said in a tweet. It added that all 12 Indians are responding well to treatment.
The Embassy had earlier said, “All Indian nationals, amongst others, onboard Diamond Princess will be tested for COVID-19 by Japanese authorities, after all passengers disembarked yesterday (Friday).”
There are 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers among the 3711 people who were on board the ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3. It was quarantined after a passenger who disembarked in Tokyo last month was found to be the carrier of the infection.
A 14-day quarantine is likely to begin for those still on board, after the latest disembarkation, since many of them did not undergo isolation in order to keep the ship running, AP reported.
Outside China, the ship has the largest cluster of cases of the novel coronavirus. Two former passengers of the ship have also died due to the virus.
Meanwhile, in China, the death toll due to coronavirus continued to rise, with 97 deaths reported on Sunday, taking the death toll to 2,442. The number of confirmed cases rose to 76,936, officials said on Sunday.
A team of officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) visited Wuhan in Hubei province last week to conduct a detailed probe. A seafood market in Wuhan is believed to be the epicentre of the virus outbreak.
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