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Japan cruise passenger confirmed with virus after going home

  • Masumi Suga

    Bloomberg

Tokyo, Japan   /   Sun, February 23, 2020   /   03:16 pm
Japan cruise passenger confirmed with virus after going home The Diamond Princess cruise ship, with around 3,600 people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new coronavirus, is seen anchored at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 10, 2020. - Six more people on a cruise ship off Japan are found to have the new coronavirus, the government said February 9, bringing the number who have tested positive on board to 70. (AFP/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

A woman in her 60s has tested positive for the coronavirus after disembarking from the cruise ship docked in Yokohama following a two-week quarantine, according to a statement from the Tochigi prefecture.

The patient, who tested negative for the virus during the quarantine Feb. 14 on board the Diamond Princess, returned to her home in Tochigi prefecture, near Tokyo, on Feb. 19, national broadcaster NHK reported.

She developed a fever on Feb. 21 and was tested positive on Feb. 22, according to the statement.

The patient is the first to be confirmed with the virus after disembarking from the vessel and comes amid increasing skepticism over Japan’s handling of the situation. Kentaro Iwata, a professor at Kobe University Hospital who said he boarded the cruise ship, criticized bureaucrats’ handling of the quarantine, saying infected and uninfected passengers were able to mix freely.

More than 1,000 passengers left the virus-hit ship last week after the quarantine period. The vessel had the most infections anywhere outside China, with more than 600 confirmed cases and two deaths. The total infections in Japan excluding the cruise ship have climbed to more than 130, with cases spreading across the country.