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Published on Thursday, February 6, 2020

More people on Diamond Princess infected with coronavirus

The number of people on the cruise ship Diamond Princess  infected with the coronavirus has doubled to 20, while more than 170 of the 3,711 onboard are still waiting for test results.

The Princess cruise ship will remain in quarantine in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, for at least two weeks. As a result, it has been forced to cancel three cruises so far.

All passengers have been confined to their cabins, and food and drinks are being brought to them.  "In addition, we are providing many in-room activities and entertainment options. We are working with health authorities to allow each guest to have regular time outdoors," said a Princess spokesman.

He said the ship had increased its already 'robust' sanitation protocols, adding: "Crew members who have been cleared after a health screening by Japan Ministry of Health are fulfilling their duties as required. When not working, they are requested to be in their cabins. 
"We are continuing to work with our public health colleagues and have put together a series of protocols around food delivery, collection and cleaning. 

"The ship is going out to sea to perform normal marine operations including, but not limited to, the production of fresh water and ballast operations before proceeding alongside in Yokohama where food, provisions and other supplies will be brought onboard."

Ten people onboard were initially diagnosed with coronavirus earlier this week after a former passenger became ill after disembarking in Hong Kong.

A medical team boarded the ship and checks were carried out on every passenger.

The 10 new cases include four Japanese, two Americans, two Canadians, one person from New Zealand and one from Taiwan. They have been taken to local hospitals in Japan.

Two Britons, Sally and David Abel, are among the 2,666 guests onboard. 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the ship is in quarantine, adding: "If you need urgent consular assistance, contact the British Embassy in Tokyo on +81 3 5211 1100 or via the web contact form. If you're in the UK and concerned about family or friends on board, you can contact the operator Carnival via their UK assistance telephone number on 0800 014 8339."

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has jumped to more than 28,000 and the number of deaths has risen to close to 600.

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