Coronavirus: Another 88 cases on cruise ship

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters
Another 88 people on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus, taking the total number of those infected to 542.

There were originally 3700 people on board the ship when it docked in Yokohama on February 4.

Close to 15% of them have now been infected by the virus, including two New Zealanders who are in hospital in Japan.

Japanese health officials said 65 of those who had been recently confirmed as infected were not showing any symptoms.

The 14-day quarantine period for the ship ends today, and passengers have been told if they test negative they will be able to leave.

Many countries have already made arrangements to take their citizens home. On Monday, the US evacuated 330 Americans who had been on board the ship, while 11 New Zealanders remain on board today.

They have been offered the opportunity to be evacuated by Australia, with TVNZ reporting eight of them have taken up the offer.

They will be flown via Darwin to Auckland and will face a further two-week quarantine period - most likely at Whangaparaoa - when they get home.

Meanwhile, more than 150 people who been quarantined at the north Auckland naval base for two weeks after being evacuated from Wuhan are expected to be released this morning.

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