Steep rise in number of coronavirus cases on cruise ship off Japan

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 7, 2020 - Duration: 01:40s

Steep rise in number of coronavirus cases on cruise ship off Japan

At least 61 people on a cruise liner off Japan tested positive for coronavirus on Friday (February 7), and thousands of passengers remain confined to their cabins.

Beth Timmins reports.

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Steep rise in number of coronavirus cases on cruise ship off Japan

There's been a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases on the cruise ship docked off Japan, where around 3,700 people remain confined to their cabins.

Japanese officials say that 61 people have now tested positive for the disease on the quarantined ship - a steep increase from the 20 confirmed cases on Thursday.

People were seen exercising on the balconies of their rooms, while others stood and looked outside, including one woman who put up a Japanese flag reading "shortage of medicine".

Passengers have been confined to their cabins on board the Diamond Princess ship for days as part of a two-week quarantine, after an 80-year-old man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSENGERS ON BOARD QUARANTINED CRUISE LINER, DIAMOND PRINCESS, GAY COURTER SAYING: "We got to get off the ship.

I could do two weeks of this nice cabin with the balcony." PHILIP COURTER SAYING: "We're certainly prepared to do the 14 days if it's safe to do 14 days.

But I don't think it's even safe to be here for that length of that time now, unfortunately." Meals have been irregular and passengers have noted their concern on Twitter about crew members delivering meals from cabin to cabin.

Infected passengers are being taken to nearby hospitals in Yokohama today.

The new ship cases take the total number of coronavirus infections in Japan to more than 80.

Meanwhile, another ship operated by Dream Cruises with 3,600 people on board remains stranded in Hong Kong, after being denied entry by Taiwan - which has moved to ban all international cruise ships from docking on the island.

And the Royal Caribbean "Anthem of the Seas" cruise ship docked in New Jersey early Friday, carrying dozens of passengers who are being screened for signs of the virus.

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