COVID-19 cases on Diamond Princess ship rise to 355: Japan official

11:26 | 16/02/2020
The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 on a quarantined ship off Japan's coast has risen to 355, the country's health minister said Sunday (Feb 16).
covid 19 cases on diamond princess ship rise to 355 japan official
Passengers on the Diamond Princess are confined to their cabins except for brief outings on open decks wearing facemasks. (Photo: AFP/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

"So far, we have conducted tests for 1,219 individuals. Of those, 355 people tested positive. Of those, 73 individuals are not showing symptoms," Katsunobu Kato told a roundtable discussion on public broadcaster NHK - a rise of 70 from the last government toll.

The new figures came as the United States was preparing to evacuate some of its citizens from the Diamond Princess, which has been in quarantine since Feb 5 in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo.

Hong Kong also said it would offer its 330 citizens on board the chance to take a charter flight back.

"Based on the high number of COVID-19 cases identified onboard the Diamond Princess, the Department of Health and Human Services made an assessment that passengers and crew members on board are at high risk of exposure," the US embassy said in a letter to its passengers.


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