Two Canadians have been taken off a quarantined cruise ship in Japan and sent to a hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus.
They are among the 251 Canadians on the Diamond Princess who have been quarantined off the coast of Japan over concerns regarding the virus.
Health officials in Japan said Thursday that 10 more passengers on the Diamond Princess tested positive for the virus, in addition to the 10 that had tested positive the day before.
“The health and safety of our guests and crew remains our top priority,” Princess Cruises said in a statement. “We continue to work closely with the Japan Ministry of Health on all protocols and procedures while ensuring the comfort of our guests.”
The 10 latest cases involve two Canadians, four Japanese residents, two Americans, one New Zealander and one Taiwanese person.
Princess Cruises identified the 10 people that had tested positive Wednesday as two Australians, three people from Japan, three from Hong Kong, one from the United States, and one from the Philippines.
All 20 of the infected passengers have been transported to a hospital in Yokohama, a port city outside Tokyo.
The ship and its 3,700 passengers and crew are expected to remain under quarantine in their cabins for two weeks. The next two Diamond Princess cruises have already been cancelled.
Rosemarie Yerex, a Canadian from Port Dover, Ont. who is on board the Diamond Princess, told CTV News that she’s been confined to her room alongside her husband for nearly two days.
“There’s not a lot of room to pace the floor in here,” she said. “My husband and I are joking that we’re like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, we’re in bed a lot.”
Yerex added that the cruise ship’s captain has been keeping the passengers informed of what’s going on and crew have been doing their best to get the passengers fed. The cruise liner has also given passengers free Wi-Fi to keep in contact with loved ones.
Despite the worrisome situation, Yerex said she’s not worried about the coronavirus.
“I’m really not concerned that much, simply because when you look at it statistically, more people die annually from the flu than this,” she said.
More than 3,600 people on board another cruise ship are being screened in Hong Kong after three of its passengers tested positive for the virus.
The World Health Organization has since the largest spike in cases of the past 24 hours, with 28.018 people infected with the coronavirus, including 563 deaths.
With files from The Associated Press