Coronavirus: 3 U.S. citizens among 20 who tested positive on cruise ship

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Thousands of people have been quarantined on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan after tests revealed that several were infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Officials with Princess Cruises said at least 20 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship carrying 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crewmembers. The ship is expected to remain under quarantine in Yokohama until at least Feb. 18, according to officials.

Update 9:30 p.m. EST Feb. 5: Health workers said 10 more people from the Diamond Princess were confirmed ill with the coronavirus, in addition to 10 others who tested positive on Wednesday. The latest infections included four Japanese, two Americans, two Canadians, one New Zealander and one Taiwanese. Most were in their 60s and 70s.

They were dropped off as the ship docked and transferred to nearby hospitals for further test and treatment.

Original report: Nearly 2,700 passengers and more than 1,000 crew members aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship have been quarantined off the Japanese coast after tests revealed that 10 people have coronavirus, Princess Cruises said Tuesday.

According to a company statement, those who tested positive for the virus include two passengers from Australia, three from Japan, three from Hong Kong, one from the United States and a crew member from the Philippines.

“These 10 persons, who have been notified, will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shoreside Japanese medical professionals,” the cruise line said in a news release. “It has been confirmed that the ship will remain under quarantine in Yokohama. The length of the quarantine will be at least 14 days as required by the Ministry of Health."

The ship had been scheduled to leave Yokohama on Tuesday; however, authorities decided to “review the health status of all guests and crew on board” after learning that a guest from the ship’s previous voyage tested positive for the illness on Feb. 1, the release said. The company then decided to cancel the Tuesday cruise, as well as another set for Feb. 12.

More than 24,000 people around the world have been infected with the respiratory illness, which has killed nearly 500, mostly in China, CNBC reported.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.