/Irish people on board ships linked to coronavirus

Irish people on board ships linked to coronavirus

Buses parked close to the Diamond Princess cruise shipImage copyright
EPA

Image caption

The Diamond Princess has been in quarantine since the start of this month

A small number of Irish people are on board two cruise ships that have links to coronavirus, the country’s foreign minister has said.

Simon Coveney confirmed there were more than two Irish people on the Diamond Princess ship docked in Japan.

Irish nationals are also on the Westerdam ship docked in Cambodia, he told Irish national broadcaster RTÉ.

His foreign affairs officials were making sure the Irish people on board the ships were safe,” he added.

The Diamond Princess, with some 3,700 passengers and crew, has been in quarantine at Yokohama port since 3 February.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Some US passengers on the Diamond Princess have left the ship to travel home on chartered flights

Mr Coveney said there was a “small number” of Irish people on board and officials were “dealing with each individual case”.

The Westerdam had been stranded at sea having been rejected by five ports in Asia due to worries that passengers may have had coronavirus.

The ship docked in the Cambodian port city of Sihanoukville last Thursday.

An 83-year-old American woman tested positive after leaving Westerdam and there are fears about other passengers on the cruise, with many of them now dispersed around the world.

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Media captionThe Westerdam was finally able to dock in Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The Irish foreign minister said: “We’re working with Irish nationals on both of those ships to make sure they’re safe and if they’re in quarantine to make sure those conditions are safe.”

He added that he would not “get into too much detail as people are entitled to confidentiality” when dealing with consular services.

A British couple who have been on the Diamond Princess have tested positive for coronavirus, their son told the BBC.

Sally and David Abel, from Northamptonshire, are among 74 UK nationals on the ship.

Japanese officials said there were 99 new cases of infections on board the ship, bringing the total to 454 confirmed cases – it is the largest cluster of cases outside China.

On Monday, two planes carrying hundreds of US citizens from the ship in Japan arrived in the US.

Original Source