With China reeling from the outbreak of coronavirus, three more people tested positive for the virus on a Japanese cruise ship, bringing the total count to 64. According to reports, the affected passengers have been subject to a two-week quarantine period. The latest report comes a day after 41 people were found to have contracted the disease. The outbreak has claimed more than 700 lives and the current number of confirmed cases stand at more than 30,000.
According to reports, Japanese officials have so far tested 280 people on board the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined after an 80-year-old passenger from Hong Kong was detected with flu-like symptoms. Test results of six people were released on February 8, in which three people were confirmed to have contracted the virus. Although, the Japanese health ministry did not reveal details about the passengers.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare told an international media outlet that the health screening was commenced by several dozen quarantine officers onboard the vessel that quarantined 2,666 passengers and 1,045 staff members. Further, it was also reported that there were passengers from approximately 56 countries.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had reportedly told the media earlier on Monday that Japan would coordinate with the World Health Organisation to curb the contagion outbreak in Tokyo that might impact the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics due to be held this year. He said that the Japanese government was stepping up the containment measures to stem the virus spread that originated in the Hubei province, China.
According to reports, the coronavirus originated from seafood and animal market located in Wuhan. The viral outbreak has caused concern because of its similarity to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which claimed the lives of almost 650 people across China and Hong Kong in the year 2002-2003.
The novel coronavirus is a new strain in the large family of coronaviruses (CoV) which was previously not identified in humans. CoV causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).