At least 10 people aboard a cruise ship moored in Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said.
Since arriving at the Japanese port of Yokohama, the Diamond Princess has been quarantined at sea while all passengers and crew on board undergo health screenings.
The 10 people who tested positive for the newly identified virus have been taken ashore to a hospital in the coastal prefecture of Kanagawa, according to a statement from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
“Quarantine of the cruise ship continues to be implemented,” the ministry said.
A spokesperson for Princess Cruises, which operates the ship, said that those who tested positive include three Japanese guests, three guests from Hong Kong, two Australian guests, one American guest and one crew member from the Philippines.
There were 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members aboard the Diamond Princess.
Approximately half the guests are from Japan, according to the cruise line spokesperson.
The Diamond Princess will remain under quarantine in Yokohama with everyone on board for at least 14 days, as required by the Japanese health ministry, the Princess Cruises spokesperson said.
“Princess Cruises will continue to fully cooperate with and follow the instructions of global medical authorities and the Japanese government,” the spokesperson added.
The California-based company has already already cancelled the next two Diamond Princess cruises departing from Yokohama.
American author Gay Courter and her husband Phil, who are among those on board the quarantined ship, told ABC News they have been “confined” to their room, a mini suite, and the crew has halted room service.
“As far as jail cells go, it’s pretty elegant,” Courter said in an interview Tuesday. “It’d be a lot more pleasant if we can get food.”
“Right now, the ship is in crisis mode,” she added. “This is very serious and scary.”