At least 99 people more have been tested positive for the deadly coronavirus on a cruise ship Diamond Princess quarantined off the Japanese coast. The recent announcement by Japanese state media which cited the figures given by the health ministry has spiked the total number of coronavirus cases on the ship to 454. However, according to international reports, the health ministry has declined to confirm the reports immediately.
Moreover, it also remains unclear if the updated figures of February 17 include the 14 US nationals who were tested positive for the virus but were allowed to board the evacuation flights. The Japanese authorities had quarantined the cruise ship in Yokohama on February 4 after a previous passenger was tested positive for deadly coronavirus. The Canadian government has stated that the Diamond Princess which has nearly 3,700 passengers.
The Canadian government has said on February 15 that it has chartered a plane to evacuate Canadians on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess quarantined off the Japanese coast including 255 Canadians. The official statement further said that the decision was taken because of “extraordinary circumstances faced by passengers” on board the ship and also to “lighten the burden” on the Japanese health-care system. The Canadian government is currently communicating with the Carnival Cruise Lines and the Japanese government to assist in the repatriation.
The statement read, "This decision was taken because of the extraordinary circumstances faced by passengers on the Diamond Princess and to lighten the burden on the Japanese health-care system. We are working closely with Carnival Cruise Lines and the Government of Japan to assist in this evacuation."
Meanwhile, two flights boarded with Americans that were on the Diamond Princess have left Tokyo for the United States. However, the exact number of people who boarded the flight remained unclear but international reports stated that there were more than 300 passengers. About 380 Americans were aboard the ship which has been quarantined on Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo. Presently, the coronavirus has claimed at least 1,700 lives in China with more than 70,000 confirmed cases.