By Tony Winterburn • 05 February 2020 • 7:18
Japan has quarantined The Diamond Princess ship again after a passenger who departed in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus, the cruise ship has already been quarantined once, on Saturday at a port in Naha in Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa.
The second quarantine was organised after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was found to be infected. Several quarantine officers boarded the Diamond Princess cruise ship at the port of Yokohama on Monday evening to check the health of all 2,500 passengers and 1,000 crew members.
After the ship arrived in Yokohama on Monday evening, passengers were told their departure from the area would be delayed by 24 hours, a passenger told Kyodo News agency.
The ship’s captain said Hong Kong’s health authorities notified the ship about the passenger’s infection on Saturday, according to a recording of the announcement tweeted by a passenger. The patient is recovering, and his traveling companions so far have not been infected, the captain’s announcement said.
A woman in her twenties who was sailing with her mother on the ship said all passengers “were asked to stay in their rooms to wait for virus tests”.
She said they had been waiting inside their room since Monday and had no word of when they would be tested as of early Tuesday.
“I wish we were informed as soon as they found out, then I could have worn a mask or washed hands more carefully,” the passenger said. “I was in Hong Kong nine days ago and it seems to be too late now.”
Since Saturday, Japan has been barring foreign nationals who have been to Hubei in recent weeks, as well as holders of Chinese passports issued in Hubei. Arrivals displaying symptoms of the new virus can also be denied entry.
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