Another 66 passengers onboard a cruise liner quarantined in Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number of infected people on the ship to 136.
Japanese officials said the new diagnoses among 3,700 passengers and crew onboard the Diamond Princess included 45 people from Japan, 11 from the US, four from Australia, three from the Philippines and one each from Canada and Ukraine.
The ship was quarantined when it arrived in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, early last week after it emerged that a passenger who had disembarked in Hong Kong late last month had tested positive for the respiratory illness, which has infected more than 40,000 people and killed at least 908.
On Monday, a week into their 14-day quarantine, some of the passengers were trying to fight off boredom by reading, watching live coverage of the Oscars, playing games or snoozing. Others were beginning to lose spirit, with at least another nine days to go before they will be allowed to disembark.
“Lots of the passengers now are getting a bit of cabin fever,” David Abel, a British passenger, said in a Facebook video. “Depression is starting to set in.”
Another passenger said he hoped assurances about the effectiveness of quarantine and ventilation onboard would prove true.
Quarantine has made life on board the ship difficult, particularly for those in windowless cabins and for the large number of passengers who require medication for chronic conditions.
Small groups of passengers are allowed on to the Diamond Princess’s deck for 90 minutes every other day, with priority given to those staying in windowless cabins. They must wear masks and stay well away from other people reported the Guardian.
Japan’s health ministry said medications had been delivered at the weekend to about half of the 600 people onboard who said they needed them.
The ministry has said the quarantine will stretch to 19 February, although the World Health Organization said late on Sunday that the period could be extended “as appropriate” for close contacts of newly confirmed cases.