Deadly coronavirus which has its epicentre in the Chinese city of Wuhan has been spreading like wildfire with a third country reporting a death due to the outbreak. After China and the Philippines, Hong Kong becomes the third country to report a death due to the virus.
On Tuesday, a cruise ship carrying 3,500 people was quarantined by Japan authorities after a passenger who departed in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which docked at the port of Yokohama on Monday has been on lockdown as all 2,500 passengers and 1,000 crew members are being checked.
This precautionary step comes after an 80-year-old passenger who disembarked on January 25 in Hong Kong tested positive for coronavirus.
On Tuesday, a woman passenger in her 20s who is travelling with her mother on the ship told TBS that all passengers “were asked to stay in their rooms to wait for virus tests”. The woman said that they have been waiting in their rooms since Monday and have no information on when they will be tested as of early Tuesday.
Another passenger, while talking to the news agency Kyodo said that after arrived in Yokohama on Monday evening, passangers were told that their departure will be delayed by 24 hours.
This is not the first time the ship has been quarantined; On Saturday at a port in Naha in Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, the Diamond Princess was quarantined for the first time.
Since Saturday, Japan has been denying entry to foreign nationals who have been to Hubei in recent weeks. Holders of Chinese passports issued in Hubei are also being barred. Officials can deny entry to any arrivals displaying signs of the deadly virus.
Till now, 20 people in Japan have tested positive for the new virus, of whom four showed no symptoms.
Death toll in China has also been steadily increasing with authorities confirming 425 deaths as of Tuesday morning as compared to the 361 deaths just a day before on Monday.