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Third Indian diagnosed with coronavirus aboard quarantined Japanese cruise

Another Indian aboard a cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan has been infected by the coronavirus, the embassy in Tokyo said on Friday.

This takes the number of Indians infected by the highly contagious disease on board the Diamond Princess to three.

A viral outbreak that began in China has killed 1381 people and infected nearly 64,000 on Friday since it began spreading in central Wuhan city in late December. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it.

With the latest infection, 219 people have the virus on the cruise ship isolated at a port in Japan’s Yokohama. There were 3711 people on the vessel, including 138 Indian crew and passengers.

“The Embassy of India in Tokyo has contacted all three Indians nationals who had tested positive or COVID-19 and are currently receiving treatment at medical facilities. Their health conditions have been confirmed to be stable and improving,” a statement said.

“Embassy is also in constant contact with relevant Japanese authorities to ensure the well being of all Indians nationals on board the ship. Japanese authorities have confirmed they are following the designated health protocols,” it added.

The Japanese government on Friday began allowing elderly passengers who test negative for the new coronavirus to leave the quarantined cruise ship and finish their isolation in government-designated lodging.

It has allowed passengers aged 80 or older in poor health or confined to windowless inner cabins on the Diamond Princess to move from the ship to accommodation on land.

But only those who test negative for the virus that has so far infected more than 200 people on board the ship have the option to move.

The Diamond Princess was placed in quarantine on February 3 after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus. The ship has been quarantined by the Japanese authorities till February 19, 2020.

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