Japanese health authorities have quarantined the cruise ship Diamond Princess carrying 3,500 people over the treat of the coronavirus. Testing was ordered on the passengers after a passenger who departed in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus.
Television footage in Japan showed images of quarantine officers entering the Diamond Princess cruise ship at the port of Yokohama on Monday. Quarantine officer will check the health of all 2,500 passengers and 1,000 crew members.
The move comes after an 80-year-old passenger who disembarked on Jan 25 in Hong Kong tested positive for virus.
A government spokesman said on Monday that Japanese authorities would quarantine the vessel. It arrived in Yokohama Bay a day earlier than originally planned.
A woman in her twenties who was sailing with her mother on the ship told Asia One that 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 on when they would be tested.
Cruise ship already quarantined once
After the ship arrived in Yokohama on Monday evening, passengers were told their departure from the area would be delayed by 24 hours.
The cruise ship has already been quarantined once, on Saturday at a port in Naha. The port is in Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa. However a second quarantine was organised after the man who disembarked in Hong Kong was found to be infected.
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.
A total of eight foreigners have been barred from entering Japan so far, Japanese media reported Monday.
The health ministry said as of Monday that 20 people in Japan have tested positive for the new virus. Also noting that four showed no symptoms.
Meanwhile, Japan has flown more than 500 citizens out of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus.