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World Japan lets some passengers leave ship for quarantine on land

22:25  14 february  2020
22:25  14 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

Diamond Princess cruise ship reports dozens of new coronavirus cases

  Diamond Princess cruise ship reports dozens of new coronavirus cases There are now more than 60 confirmed cases of coronavirus on board the cruise ship, which is docked in a Japanese port.It brings the total number of confirmed cases on the ship to 61.

 Video provided by The Gazette

Japan on Friday began allowing elderly passengers who test negative for the new coronavirus to leave a quarantined cruise ship and finish their isolation in government-designated lodging.

a group of people posing for the camera: More than 200 people on board the cruise ship have been diagnosed with the virus and evacuated to Japanese hospitals © CHARLY TRIBALLEAU More than 200 people on board the cruise ship have been diagnosed with the virus and evacuated to Japanese hospitals

Japan's government has given passengers aged 80 or older in poor health or confined to windowless inner cabins on the Diamond Princess the chance to move from the ship to accommodation on land.

Diamond Princess cruise ship saxophonist caught in coronavirus quarantine

  Diamond Princess cruise ship saxophonist caught in coronavirus quarantine Nick Russoniello has been staying in the crew area of the Diamond Princess, but says he still hasn't been tested for the coronavirus despite his pleas.The Sydney-based saxophone player told the ABC he was still yet to be tested for the virus, despite being under quarantine for 14 days.

a large white building: The Diamond Princess is expected to stay in quarantine until February 19 © CHARLY TRIBALLEAU The Diamond Princess is expected to stay in quarantine until February 19

But only those who test negative for the virus that has so far infected more than 200 people on board the ship have the option to move.

The first of them departed the massive cruise ship on Friday afternoon, travelling in buses with blacked out windows.

At the wheel, one driver was dressed in a head-to-toe white protective suit, complete with goggles and mask.

a close up of a sign: Passengers on the Diamond Princess are confined to their cabins except for brief outings on open decks wearing facemasks © CHARLY TRIBALLEAU Passengers on the Diamond Princess are confined to their cabins except for brief outings on open decks wearing facemasks

A government official said 11 people had left, but declined to say whether more would depart Friday or offer further details.

Experts ponder why cruise ship quarantine failed in Japan

  Experts ponder why cruise ship quarantine failed in Japan TOKYO (AP) — As an extraordinary two-week quarantine of a cruise ship ends Wednesday in Japan, many scientists say it was a failed experiment: The ship seemed to serve as an incubator for the new virus from China instead of an isolation facility meant to prevent the worsening of an outbreak. Since the virus was identified late last year in central China, it has sickened tens of thousands of people and killed more than 1,800. As of Tuesday, 542Since the virus was identified late last year in central China, it has sickened tens of thousands of people and killed more than 1,800.

The move comes a day after the number of infections diagnosed on the ship rose to 218.

Senior health ministry official Gaku Hashimoto boarded the ship Friday morning to announce that all passengers "who are considered to be high risk in general health" would now be tested for the virus.

"Those who test positive will be transferred to the hospital. Those who test negative will -- at the request of the individual -- disembark and be transferred to accommodation provided by the government," he said in a statement in English read out by the ship's captain in a public broadcast.

a bus that is sitting on a table: A first group of passengers who are 80 and older and test negative for the new coronavirus have been allowed to move to lodgings on land © CHARLY TRIBALLEAU A first group of passengers who are 80 and older and test negative for the new coronavirus have been allowed to move to lodgings on land

There were more than 3,700 people on the ship when it arrived off the Japanese coast last week, but those diagnosed with the virus have been taken off the boat, along with some people suffering other health conditions requiring medical attention.

Coronavirus strikes Sunshine Coast man aboard Diamond Princess

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Ten of those hospitalised are now in serious condition, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said on Friday.

Excluding the cases on the ship, and an infected quarantine officer, Japanese authorities have so far diagnosed 39 people with the newly named COVID-19.

The newly diagnosed cases include a woman in her 80s whose positive test result emerged after she died in hospital.

The woman was reportedly the mother-in-law of a taxi driver in Tokyo who has also been diagnosed with the virus. 

The Tokyo government announced on Friday two people who were at a new year party the taxi driver attended are also infected with the virus. One of the two had contact with tourists from Hubei, the Chinese province where the virus emerged, the government said.

A new case was also confirmed in southern Okinawa islands with a taxi driver in her 60s. She is likely to have had contact with passengers of the Diamond Princess when the ship stopped by at an Okinawan port, the prefecture said.

- Doctor, patient infected -

A doctor in Wakayama prefecture and a patient treated in the hospital where the doctor worked have also been diagnosed.

US tells remaining cruise passengers: Stay out for 2 weeks

  US tells remaining cruise passengers: Stay out for 2 weeks The U.S. government made good on its warning to Americans who chose to remain on board a quarantined cruise ship in Japan, telling them they cannot return home for at least two weeks after they come ashore. U.S. officials notified the passengers Tuesday of the travel restriction, citing their possible exposure to the new virus while on board the Diamond Princess. More than 100 U.S. citizens are still on the ship or in Japanese hospitals. AU.S. officials notified the passengers Tuesday of the travel restriction, citing their possible exposure to the new virus while on board the Diamond Princess. More than 100 U.S. citizens are still on the ship or in Japanese hospitals.

Officials in the region said they were still not sure if the doctor had infected the patient.

"It is difficult to trace the route of the infection", governor Yoshinobu Nisaka told reporters.

He said officials were asking people in the area "to report suspicious cases of pneumonia so that we can immediately conduct tests".

The hospital has been closed to visitors and medical staff are now being tested for the virus, Nisaka added.

Despite the new infections, government officials sought to play down concerns about the spread of the virus in Japan.

"There is not enough epidemiological evidence to suggest that the epidemic is spreading inside Japan," government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

"We will keep collecting epidemiological information including on the routes of infection."

The Diamond Princess has been quarantined off Japan since early February after it emerged a former passenger who got off the boat in Hong Kong had tested positive for the virus.

The quarantine is due to end on February 19 and those on the ship have been mostly confined to their cabins and asked to wear masks and keep their distance from other passengers during brief outings on open deck.

Crew on board have expressed concern that their conditions -- including shared cabins, bathrooms and workspaces -- put them at greater risk of contracting the virus.

Australians aboard Diamond Princess could reject govt flight offer

  Australians aboard Diamond Princess could reject govt flight offer Around 20 Australians aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship are considering rejecting the government's evacuation offer over fears of becoming contaminated in transit. The evacuees would be taken and transferred to Christmas Island where they would be put into quarantine for another 14 days - meaning the group would have spent over four weeks in isolation from the general public.Over 88 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on the ship, docked in Japan.The ship has been in isolation since February 3 after one man tested positive for the disease.

On Friday afternoon, the crew distributed iPhones to passengers on board, with the captain saying the handsets had been sent by the Japanese government and were loaded with an application that would help them get medical support.

Japan has evacuated hundreds of its citizens from Hubei province, and officials said a fifth flight would be sent on Sunday to bring people home.

The government raised the travel warning for Hubei to level three from two on the country's four-point system, advising people not to travel for any reason.

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Call 1800 020 080 if you are seeking information on novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates Monday–Friday from 8am to 8pm, Saturdays from 8am to 5pm, and Sundays from 9am to 5pm.

Pictures: Coronoavirus (COVID 19) outbreak

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Coronavirus cruise ship evacuees moved to isolation after health concerns .
Australians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship are waking up in Darwin after spending their first night in quarantine.Six of the 170 evacuees flown from Japan yesterday are suffering a sore throat and runny nose and have been tested and separated from the rest of the group.

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