99 New Coronavirus Infection Cases Discovered on Cruise Ship in Japan

By Frank Fang
Frank Fang
Frank Fang
Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers U.S., China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
February 17, 2020Updated: February 17, 2020

Ninety-nine more people have tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus on cruise ship Diamond Princess, Japanese health authorities reported on Monday.

The announcement was made by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, after testing 504 people on the ship, according to local outlet NHK. Among the 99, 85 are passengers and 14 are crew members.

Of the 99 cases, 70 do not have symptoms of the virus.

The latest infection cases bring the total known cases of coronavirus on the ship to 454, after a total of 1,723 passengers and crew members have been tested.

The ship, which has been quarantined in Japan since Feb. 4, is currently docked in Yokohama. The quarantine is due to end on Feb. 19.

According to Japanese media, there were about 3,700 passengers and crew members when the ship docked in Japan, but now about 3,000 remain on the ship.

It is not known if the 99 people include new infection cases reported by the U.S. government on Monday.

The United States flew home 340 Americans who were aboard the cruise ship on Monday. There were about 400 U.S. citizens on the ship in total, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fourteen U.S. citizens repatriated from Japan have tested positive for the virus, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“During the evacuation process, after passengers had disembarked the ship and initiated transport to the airport, U.S. officials received notice that 14 passengers, who had been tested 2-3 days earlier, had tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement said.

The two planes have landed in the United States—one arriving at Travis Air Force Base in northern California just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday local time, and the other at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas about two-and-a-half hours later, according to AP.

The 14 infected people were isolated from the rest of the passengers on the flights, according to the joint statement.

Passengers without any symptoms of the virus will be placed under quarantine for 14 days.

It is not yet known where the 14 will be transported to for continued isolation and treatment.

On Sunday, Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post that 44 Americans on the ship had tested positive for the virus.