Quarantined cruise ship is hit by ANOTHER 99 coronavirus cases bringing total to 454 hours after American passengers were evacuated
- The dozens of new cases were confirmed today after latest batch of 504 tests
- Of the 99 new patients, 70 had not shown any symptoms of the killer virus
- Hundreds more passengers are still in the dark over how they will leave ship
Another 99 cases of coronavirus have today been confirmed on board the Diamond Princess, taking the total on the quarantined cruise ship to 454.
The dozens of new cases were revealed today after another batch of 504 tests, Japanese media said.
Of the 99 new patients, 70 had not shown any symptoms of the virus.
Hundreds more passengers are still in the dark over how and when they will leave the cruise ship, just two days before the quarantine is due to end.
Another 99 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on board the Diamond Princess, taking the total on the quarantined cruise ship to 454
Passengers have been confined to their cabins in a two-week lockdown in Yokohama which is scheduled to end on Wednesday, February 19.
The ship was quarantined by Japanese authorities with 3,711 people on board after a Hong Kong passenger who left the ship last month tested positive for the virus.
A total of 1,723 of those people have now been tested, of whom 454 have been found to have the virus.
The cruise ship is already the largest cluster of cases outside China and the spiralling numbers have caused growing concern among passengers.
It was not clear whether the latest figures included 14 US citizens who tested positive but were allowed to fly home this morning.
They were among hundreds of US citizens who were evacuated on a charter flight early today, with Canada, Australia and others poised to follow suit.
But British passengers are among hundreds still in limbo with the Foreign Office ‘urgently considering its options’ today.
British passenger David Abel said it ‘feels that we have been forgotten’ as he urged the UK government to airlift its citizens out of Yokohama.
It is understood that a repatriation flight is one of a number of options being considered by the Government.
Princess Cruises says it is being ‘led by Japanese authorities’ and the ship’s crew are waiting to hear from foreign embassies ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.
Medical staff wearing protective suits are seen at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal where the Diamond Princess is anchored
The ship’s captain told passengers today: ‘I want to reassure you that we are coordinating closely with our embassies to understand the arrangements for you once you are cleared from the quarantine and how we can best support you.
‘In the meantime we continue to work with the Japanese ministry of health to seek updates on their intentions.
‘I understand that you have more and more questions relating to the disembarkation procedures and your return home as we get closer to the 19th.
‘The entire Princess Cruises team here on board and on shore is working tirelessly to coordinate with all the various national authorities and get information to you.
‘I will get back to you with more details as soon as possible.’
The captain’s announcement was shared on social media by one of the passengers on board.
On land, cases in Japan have risen to 65, with authorities warning that the outbreak is entering a ‘new phase’ and advising people to avoid large gatherings.
A public celebration of the new emperor’s birthday on Sunday has been scrapped over virus fears.
In addition, organisers of the Tokyo Marathon scheduled on March 1 are reportedly considering cancelling the amateur part of the race.