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Published on Friday, February 7, 2020

British man among 41 new coronavirus cases confirmed on Diamond Princess

A British holidaymaker, believed to be on his honeymoon, has tested positive for the coronavirus on board Diamond Princess.

He is one of 41 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus on the quarantined cruise ship, bringing the total number onboard to 61.

Alan Steele, from Wolverhampton, who has been issuing regular updates on Facebook, said he has been taken to hospital.

"Just to let you all know I have been diagnosed as having the virus and am being shipped to hospital," he said.

"I would also like to say that at the moment I am not showing any symptoms so just possible a carrier.

"Will let you know how I am going on when possible."

Another British passenger, David Abel, who has also been posting regularly, said in a video posted on Facebook that he had been dining with the infected man.

"He will almost certainly be leaving the ship today - real, real shame," he said.

"I have no idea how he must be feeling... they're on their honeymoon.

"He will be going off in to quarantine in a medical facility and she has to stay on board the ship because she's not displaying symptoms.

"That's going to be really, really tough for him so just bear a thought for these passengers who just don't know what is going to be lying ahead of them."

Japan's health minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters: "The results of the remaining 171 tests came out and 41 tested positive.

"Today they will be sent to hospitals in several prefectures."

The 61 positive tests came from a total of 273 test specimens.

Diamond Princess, with more than 3,700 passengers and crew on board, remains anchored off Yokohama, near Tokyo.

It could remain there under full quarantine until mid-February.

It's believed 78 people on the ship have British passports.

Small groups of passengers are being allowed out on to a designated and controlled deck area for some daylight, fresh air and exercise but are requested not to congregate in groups within one metre of each other.

Another ship, World Dream, operated by Asian cruise line Dream Cruises, has been quarantined at Kai Tak terminal, Hong Kong. There are 3,600 passengers and crew onboard and three have tested positive for coronavirus.

The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has now swelled to 636 as of early Friday, with 31,000 cases.

Meanwhile, the UK Department of Health has urged anyone recently arriving in the UK from nine destinations to self isolate if they appear to have symptoms associated with coronavirus, no matter how slight.

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