Australians are among people who have tested positive to corona-virus on board a tourist ship from Carnival Cruises, which was docked in the Japanese port of Yokohama.
Nearly 4,000 passengers and crew on board the Diamond Princess have been put into mandatory quarantine for two weeks.
In a statement provided to the ABC, the ship’s operator Princess Cruises confirmed there were a total of 223 Australians on the ship.
Infected people have been notified and will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shore-side Japanese medical professionals.
Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told a news conference 273 people on the ship had been tested for the virus so far. There are 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew on board the ship.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said it was a complex situation, but the Federal Government would provide whatever assistance was possible and was grateful to the Japanese Government for their help.
There are also serious issues around crews, cruise liners, crews on cargo ships, for example, being met by pilots or food being transferred on to those ships where you’ve had a crew that’s come out of this province or somewhere else in China that’s at risk.
Australia’s Department of Health said it was working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to “establish the health and well being of Australians on board the ship and ensure they are receiving appropriate medical treatment”.
The ship visited the Japanese city of Kagoshima, then traveled to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan before returning via the Japanese island of Okinawa.
Older people are having trouble as they ran out of medicine for high blood pressure and they can’t get off,” travelers told Japan’s public broadcaster NHK. There are many elderly passengers on board and many of them are having similar problems.
Carnival Japan, the local unit of the British-American cruise operator, said on Tuesday the turnaround of the ship had been delayed by about 24 hours.
Carnival’s Princess Cruises Japan said cruises scheduled to depart from Yokohama and the western Japanese port of Kobe this week would be cancelled because of delays related to the corona-virus checks.
The corona-virus epidemic, which originated in China’s Hubei province, has killed hundreds of people and infected more than 20,000 people so far.
The death toll in China stands at 490, the country’s National Health Commission said on Wednesday.
ABC Australia / Flash Point News 2020.