Dozens more coronavirus cases confirmed on cruise ship with Israelis aboard
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Dozens more coronavirus cases confirmed on cruise ship with Israelis aboard

Japanese health minister says 39 more people on quarantined Diamond Princess have disease; Israeli woman had been hospitalized with fever

Medical workers with protective suites walk away from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP/Jae C. Hong)
Medical workers with protective suites walk away from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO, Japan — An additional 39 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the Japan coast have tested positive for the new coronavirus, Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said Wednesday, bringing the total to 174.

“Out of 53 new test results, 39 people were found positive,” he told reporters, adding that a quarantine official had also been infected with the virus.

He added that: “At this point, we have confirmed that four people, among those who are hospitalized, are in a serious condition, either on a ventilator or in an intensive care unit.”

Eight to 14 Israelis are believed to be on the ship, including one woman who has been hospitalized with a fever since Sunday and was tested for the virus, according to Hebrew language reports.

A woman with a teddy bear waves to another passenger quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP/Jae C. Hong)

The Diamond Princess has been in quarantine since arriving off the Japanese coast early last week after the virus was detected in a former passenger who got off the ship last month in Hong Kong.

When the boat arrived off Japan, authorities initially tested nearly 300 people of the 3,711 aboard for the virus, gradually evacuating dozens who were infected to local medical facilities.

In recent days, testing has expanded to those with new symptoms or who had close contact with other infected passengers or crew.

A TV crew film a cruise ship Diamond Princess anchoring off the Yokohama Port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Japan, February 4, 2020. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

Those who remain on the ship have been asked to stay inside their cabins and allowed only briefly onto open decks.

They have been asked to wear masks and keep a distance from each other when outside, and given thermometers to regularly monitor their temperatures.

The ship is expected to stay in quarantine until February 19 — 14 days after the isolation period began.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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