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Cruise ship quarantined in Japan after passenger diagnosed with coronavirus

Posted at 11:58 AM, Feb 04, 2020

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Japanese health officials are conducting extensive medical checks on all 3,700 passengers and crew of a cruise ship that returned to the country after one passenger tested positive for the new coronavirus.

USA Today reports that the ship has been quarantined as the medical checks are conducted.

Japanese officials say a number of people on board are ill, though no one else has yet tested positive for the fast-spreading virus that emerged in China last December.

The U.S.-operated Diamond Princess returned to a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, late Monday, ending a 14-day tour during which, it stopped at Hong Kong and several other Asian ports before returning to Japan.

Japanese government and tour company officials say they were notified by Hong Kong that an 80-year-old male passenger who got off the boat on the island tested positive for the virus.

"While on the ship he did not visit the ship’s medical center to report any symptoms or illness," according to a news release obtained by USA Today. "The hospital reports that he is in stable condition and the family members traveling with him remain symptom-free."

The ship's captain said Monday night that Hong Kong's health authorities notified the ship about the passenger's infection on Saturday, according to a recording of the announcement tweeted by a passenger. According to the announcement, the patient is recovering.

As of Tuesday, more than 400 people have died from the virus and over 20,000 people have been infected, most of them in China.