At least 10 people aboard a cruise ship off Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement Wednesday night from Princess Cruises. The news comes as infections outside of China continue to increase.
All 2,666 guests and 1,045 crewmembers aboard the Diamond Princess have been quarantined for over a day and are likely to remain for “at least 14 days as required by the Ministry of Health,” according to the cruise line.
The infected passengers include one from the U.S., two from Australia, three from Japan, three from Hong Kong and one crew member from the Philippines.
“Princess Cruises can confirm that the first phase of health screening of all guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess, by the Japanese Ministry of Health, has been completed,” the statement said. “These 10 persons, who have been notified, will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shoreside Japanese medical professionals.”
The confirmed cases — all over the age of 50 — were based on the results of 31 out of the 273 tested so far who had cough or fever symptoms, Japan’s state broadcaster NHK said, according to the BBC.
The number of worldwide infections rose to 24,324 on Wednesday, with the death toll now at 490 — only two have died outside of China so far.
The infection reportedly originated from one passenger who got on the ship in Yokohama on Jan. 20 and disembarked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25, according to the cruise line statement. Princess Cruises said he didn’t visit the ship’s medical center to report any symptoms or illness.
Officials began screening guests on Monday, with the vessel being placed in quarantine on Tuesday.
“Princess Cruises has confirmed the turnaround of Diamond Princess has been delayed for approximately 24 hours to allow Japan public health authorities the opportunity to review the health status of all guests and crew on board,” an earlier Princess Cruises statement read.
The Diamond Princess ship is part of the Princess Cruises line, which is owned by British-American Carnival Corporation.
“Guests will continue to be provided complimentary internet and telephone to use in order to stay in contact with their family and loved ones, and the ship’s crew is working to keep all guests comfortable, the Wednesday statement read.
The Associated Press contributed to the report