Condition of 8 infected Indians on board quarantined cruise ship improving: Embassy

Team Udayavani, Feb 21, 2020, 5:17 PM IST

Tokyo: The condition of eight Indians, who were on board the cruise ship off the Japanese coast and undergoing treatment for the deadly coronavirus, is improving as the last batch of healthy passengers was set to disembark the vessel on Friday after the quarantine period ended.

The ship, Diamond Princess, docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3 with 3,711 passengers and crew on board. It was quarantined after a passenger who disembarked last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the disease.

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people on board the ship.

The Indian embassy said in a tweet that no additional Indian national onboard the ship has tested positive for the virus since Thursday.

“Conditions of 8 Indians receiving treatment are improving,” it tweeted on Friday.

The Indian mission said it was coordinating with the Japanese authorities and ship management company for the safe return of the Indians.

According to an AP report on Friday, the ship has the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases outside China. A total of 634 people tested positive of the disease. Two former passengers of the ship have also died.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters that mass disembarkation of passengers from the ship was set to end on Friday.

According to a report in Japan Today newspaper, over 400 passengers from the ship were scheduled to depart on Friday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that over 1,000 passengers and crew will remain on board the ship after Friday’s disembarkations.

Some of the passengers with no infection began leaving the ship on Wednesday after the end of a two-week quarantine period that failed to stop the spread of the virus among passengers and crew.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the novel coronavirus in China has gone up to 2,236 with 118 more casualties reported, mostly from the hard-hit Hubei province, while the overall confirmed infection cases have climbed to 75,465, Chinese health officials said on Friday.

The virus outbreak originated in China’s Hubei province in December and has spread to more than 25 countries, including India.

Many countries have banned arrivals from China while major airlines have suspended flights to the country.

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