44 more on Diamond Princess cruise ship test positive for COVID-19

The health ministry said Thursday that 44 more people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off Yokohama have tested positive for COVID-19.

Among them are 29 Japanese and 15 non-Japanese. Forty-three of the new coronavirus cases were those of passengers, while one case was that of a crew member.

The new cases bring the number of passengers and crew members infected with the virus to 218.

Elderly people made up the large majority of those newly infected with the virus, with 40 of the 44 being 70 or older.

“We are currently making hospital arrangements for those who tested positive,” health minister Katsunobu Kato said.

Kato also said that those who have pre-existing conditions, the elderly and those who are staying in windowless rooms will be allowed to disembark the cruise ship as early as Friday if they test negative for the coronavirus, but will need to stay at lodgings provided by the government for the time being.

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