Princess Cruises has announced that 67 new positive cases of COVID-19 (previously known as novel coronavirus) have been found on board Diamond Princess, as passengers begin to disembark from the ship.
The ship is currently under quarantine in Yokohama, Japan, with the quarantine due to be lifted on 19 February.
The Japanese Ministry of Health confirmed the news on Saturday 15 February, reporting on the nationalities of the 67 people newly infected.
Among the new cases, 27 are from Japan, 17 from the Philippines, five are from Australia, five from the US, three from Canada, three from China, two from Germany, one from Hong Kong, one from Kyrgyzstan, one from India and one from Taiwan.
Diamond Princess Update:
President Jan Swartz provided a video update to the guests and team onboard Diamond Princess as the Japanese Ministry of Health begins to share their draft plans for disembarkation. #DiamondPrincess pic.twitter.com/cASOUu4zgs
— Princess Cruises (@PrincessCruises) February 15, 2020
“Princess Cruises confirms an announcement, from the Japanese Ministry of Health, of 67 new positive cases of COVID-19 (previously referred to by health officials as novel coronavirus) on board Diamond Princess,” a Princess Cruises spokesperson said.
“As reported by the Ministry of Health the nationalities of the new cases are Australia (5); Canada (3); China (3); Germany (2); Hong Kong (1); Kyrgyzstan (1); India (2); Japan (27); Philippines (17); Taiwan (1); United States (5). We are following guidance from the Japanese Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases.
“Princess Cruises was notified yesterday by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo that the U.S. Department of State will provide chartered aircraft to bring both guests and crew who are American citizens and permanent residents, currently quarantined on Diamond Princess, back to the United States.
“Princess Cruises will continue to follow the direction of the Japanese Ministry of Health on this matter and, as directed, we will coordinate with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.”
Despite still being under quarantine, evacuations from Diamond Princess are now taking place, with some guests in a Japanese on-shore facility and others being repatriated.
On a charter flight on Sunday 16 February to Travis Air Flight in Texas, 400 Americans were evacuated from the ship and taken back to the US.
Among the 400, 14 has tested positive for coronavirus and were placed in isolation chambers on board the flight.
A second evacuation plane is expected to touch down at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas.