TOKYO | Thirty-nine new cases of infection by the coronavirus Covid-19 have been detected on board the cruise liner, Diamond Princess quarantined near Yokohama, bringing the total to 174, announced on Wednesday the japanese minister of Health.
“On 53 new test results, 39 persons have been detected positive”, stated to journalists the minister, Katsunobu Kato, adding that a quarantine officer had also been infected by the virus.
In total, 492 persons were tested on the 3711 passengers and crew members were originally aboard the cruise ship.
Between extended outages at the port of Yokohama, and short trips to sea for technical reasons, the days pass and the situation on board is getting worse, what applies to the japanese government criticism on the part of passengers speaking via the social networks.
Although detection of new cases, the authorities do not foresee for the time being to extend the period of quarantine, which, in theory, should come to an end on 19 February.
“At this stage, among the persons to be hospitalized (and discharged from the vessel, editor’s NOTE), four are in serious condition, under respiratory assistance or for intensive care,” said Mr. Kato.
End of quarantine for returnees
The test virus had been initially limited to those with symptoms or having come into contact with a passenger landed previously in Hong Kong and revealed to the bearer of the virus.
The analysis was subsequently extended to vulnerable subjects on board, in particular people that have been in contact with the new cases of contamination.
The approximately 3500 to 3600 passengers still onboard for the time being should remain as much as possible into their cabins, to wear protective masks when they leave and were given thermometers to monitor their temperature.
The world health Organization (WHO) has asked Japan to take all necessary steps to accompany psychologically these travelers from dozens of different nationalities, and often older.
“This is a situation that is constantly evolving, and decisions are made day-to-day to ensure that we follow the most recent and best recommendations of the authorities”, said Wednesday the captain of the boat in an ad morning, which was broadcast live via the social networks.
The increase in the number of cases increased the anxiety on board, stress of passengers on Twitter.
On the other hand, “one of the reasons why there is no panic arises from the management of the situation by the captain. He made announcements regularly, responding to requests from passengers, apologised for the delays in distribution of medication,” rents a passenger japanese.
Moreover, out of the 174 individuals of the liner, 28 cases have been reported in Japan, at least nine of whom are repatriated japanese from the chinese city of Wuhan, where appeared the virus.
The people evacuated by the four planes chartered by the government of japan have in part been accommodated in a hotel of the prefecture of Chiba.
The quarantine period of 14 days has passed for those of the first airplane, they should gradually be allowed to go out from Wednesday night at the earliest.
The number of people infected in mainland China is only 44 653 people, and the virus has made 1113 deaths, according to the last daily bulletin of the authorities of the country.
Outside of China, including the autonomous territories of Macau and Hong Kong, more than 470 cases of contamination have been confirmed in some thirty countries and territories.