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NIGHTMARE AT SEA

The place with the most novel coronavirus cases outside of China is a cruise ship in Japan

Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
“Medicine shortage.”
By Isabella Steger
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

A cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, recorded 41 new cases of the novel coronavirus today, taking the total number of infected passengers to 61.

The number of cases on the Diamond Princess now far exceeds that of any country outside of China, where the outbreak began. As of today, Singapore has 28 cases, and Thailand and Japan (excluding the numbers on the cruise) both have 25. Japan’s health ministry said (link in Japanese) 21 of the 41 people infected on the cruise are Japanese nationals.

China has reported over 31,100 cases of the illness with 636 dead.

The Diamond Princess has been under quarantine in the Japanese port city since Monday (Feb. 3) with over 3,700 people on board. A man who disembarked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25 was found to have the virus, prompting the quarantine. Japanese health workers have been screening people for symptoms. Until yesterday, the number of infected passengers stood at 20. The ship is operated by Princess Cruises, part of the Carnival Corporation, one of the world’s largest cruise companies.

A second cruise ship in Hong Kong is also under quarantine. The World Dream, with about 3,600 people on board, has been docked in the city since Wednesday (Feb. 5) after it was turned away from Taiwan. Hong Kong authorities said eight people who had been on the ship had tested positive for the illness, and are appealing to people who took the cruise on the ship in January to get in touch. They estimate that more than 5,000 passengers on three cruises have potentially been exposed to the virus. The ship is operated by leisure conglomerate Genting Hong Kong.

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