/Coronavirus – 3,700 quarantined on cruise ship off Japan after passenger is struck down with deadly bug

Coronavirus – 3,700 quarantined on cruise ship off Japan after passenger is struck down with deadly bug

JAPAN has quarantined 3,700 people aboard a cruise ship after one of the passengers is diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The Diamond Princess ended its planned 14-day cruise early and is currently docked at Yokohama, around 22 miles south of central Tokyo, a city of around 14 million.

 Medics gathering around equipment in a stairway

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Medics gathering around equipment in a stairwayCredit: Reuters
 Passengers and staff have been ordered to stay in their rooms and await screening

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Passengers and staff have been ordered to stay in their rooms and await screeningCredit: Reuters

An 80-year-old Hong Kong man who sailed on the vessel last month tested positive for coronavirus.

The elderly man boarded the Carnival Japan ship on January 20 and disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25, the company said.

The coronavirus has now claimed the lives of 420 people and nearly 20,000 have been infected.

Harrowing images taken by passenger @daxa_tw show authorities in full-length plastic gowns with white caps and face masks walking around the corridors, lounges and decks.

The 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew on board were asked to stay in their rooms to await screening.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters that Japan is expanding its screening programme and test criteria after initial tests failed to detect the virus in some people who were later found to be infected.

The Diamond Princess is the third cruise ship to be quarantined due to the coronavirus.

Some 7,000 were placed in lockdown on the Costa Smerelda in Italy and another 2,000 were quarantined aboard the Holland America on Saturday.

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 Medics in hazmat suits were seen stalking barren hallways in the ship

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Medics in hazmat suits were seen stalking barren hallways in the shipCredit: Reuters
 The Diamond Princess has been docked off the coast of Yokohama since last night

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The Diamond Princess has been docked off the coast of Yokohama since last nightCredit: AP:Associated Press

Chinese make up over a third of all tourists in Japan, which has 20 confirmed coronavirus cases,  of whom 17 have been in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Japan on Saturday began refusing entry to foreigners who have been in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, in the past 14 days as well as people with passports issued there.

Experts are warning that isolating cases is not an effective solution because of the high rate of asymptomatic transmission.

Some countries including the United States and Australia have denied entry to all foreign nationals travelling from China.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he believed Japan’s current restrictions on entry were appropriate.

Carnival Japan, a unit of British-American cruise operator Carnival Corp, confirmed that the turnaround of the ship had been delayed by about 24 hours for authorities to review the health of all aboard.

Once everyone’s health was checked, those with fevers or who felt unwell would be tested, after which authorities would decide whether to let people leave the ship, Suga said.

 The Diamond Princess last night docked off the coast of Japan

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The Diamond Princess last night docked off the coast of JapanCredit: The Asahi Shimbun – Getty
 Images from passengers showed eerily deserted decks and hallways

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Images from passengers showed eerily deserted decks and hallwaysCredit: The Asahi Shimbun – Getty
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