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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 29 March 2020 2.19 AM IST

Indians among passengers, crew onboard Japan cruise ship as new cases of coronavirus emerge

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TOKYO: An unspecified number of Indians were among the nearly 3,000 passengers and crew members on board a cruise ship quarantined off Japan due to the diagnosis of coronavirus cases, the Indian Embassy here said on Monday.

Cruise ship Diamond Princess, carrying 3,711 people, arrived at the Japanese coast early last week and was quarantined after a passenger who de-boarded last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the novel virus on the ship.

Around 60 people tested positive of the virus on Monday, taking the total number of those infected on the ship to 130. Authorities had initially tested nearly 300 people when the ship arrived at the Japanese coast.

Indian Embassy in Tokyo on Monday tweeted the information about the Indians on the ship.

"Many Indian crew & some Indian passengers are on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess quarantined off Japan due to Coronavirus (nCoV)," it tweeted, without giving a specific number of Indians on the ship.

"In this context, any query please contact First Secretary (Consular) @IndianEmbTokyo at fscons.tokyo@mea.gov.in @CPVIndia @MEAIndia @PMOIndia," it said.

Those on the ship have been asked to wear masks and allowed limited access to the open decks as they are advised to remain in the cabins most of the time to contain the spread of the virus, according to media reports.

According to an AFP report, people on board the ship are facing difficulty due to the quarantine measures, particularly those in windowless interior cabins and others who require medication for various chronic conditions.

The Japanese health ministry said Monday that around 600 people onboard urgently needed medication, and around half received supplies over the weekend, it said.

The death toll in the coronavirus outbreak in China has gone up to 908 with 97 new fatalities reported mostly in the worst-affected Hubei province and the confirmed cases of infection crossing 40,000.

The coronavirus outbreak originated in central China's Hubei province in December last year.

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