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coronavirus Carnival Cruise
Princess Cruises said a passenger tested positive for coronavirus, prompting health officials to delay the ship he’d been on while they conduct a review of all guests and crew.
coronavirus Carnival Cruise
Princess said in statement that the passenger embarked in Yokohama, Japan, on Jan. 20 and disembarked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25.
The ship, Diamond Princess, then continued its round-trip journey to ultimately take other passengers back to Yokohama, which is near Tokyo.
On Saturday, the passenger, who was from Hong Kong, tested positive for coronavirus at a local hospital there, according to Princess.
Japanese officials began screening more than 3,700 passengers and crew on a cruise ship quarantined off the port of Yokohama near Tokyo on Tuesday after a Hong Kong man who sailed on the vessel last month tested positive for coronavirus.
The 80-year-old man flew to Japan and boarded the ship, the Diamond Princess, run by Carnival Japan Inc, in Yokohama on Jan. 20 and disembarked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25, the company said.
Photographs and video posted on Twitter by a passenger showed health workers in full-length plastic gowns with white caps and face masks walking down a deserted corridor as well as views of empty lounges and a deserted deck.
Guests were asked to stay in their rooms to await screening. “This could take some time, but it is necessary so we ask for your understanding and cooperation,” an announcement said.
Japan was also preparing to expand the scope of its screening for the virus, and test criteria after initial tests failed to detect the virus in some people who were later found to be infected, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters.
Opposition parties and some experts have criticized the government for responding too slowly to the risks posed by the virus spreading in China and elsewhere.
Chinese make up 30% of all tourists traveling to Japan and nearly 40% of the total amount foreign visitors spent last year, according to an industry survey.
Japan has 20 confirmed coronavirus cases, of these 17 people have been in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the epidemic began.
Japan on Saturday began refusing entry to foreigners who have been in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, in the past 14 days as well as people with passports issued in Hubei province. Suga said that as of Feb. 3, eight foreigners had been barred from entering Japan.
Hiroshi Nishiura, a professor at Japan’s Hokkaido University specializing in computer modeling of infectious diseases, said it would be hard to control the virus’s spread just by isolating cases because of the high rate of asymptomatic transmission.
“The ongoing policy of the Japanese government is to expect containment. Of course, screening or prohibiting entry of people from Wuhan has very limited effectiveness, considering that the epidemic is growing in other cities,” he told a news conference.
Some countries including the United States and Australia have denied entry to all foreign nationals traveling from China.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he believed Japan’s current restrictions on entry were appropriate, when asked at a news conference
Carnival shares fell as much as 3.3% to $42.10, the lowest intraday level since October. They are poised for their eighth drop in 10 trading days and have fallen 17% since their recent high on Jan. 17, when coronavirus cases were starting to mount in Wuhan, China.
The delay in Yokohama will last 24 hours, according to Princess. The company said there are currently 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew onboard.
The episode comes just days after a ship from Carnival’s Costa Crociere unit was put on lockdown at a port near Rome over concerns that passengers might have had coronavirus. The passengers were allowed to disembark last week after tests showed the two passengers actually had A/H1N1 flu.