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Japan raises confirmed cases of coronavirus to 542 aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’ cruise ship

El crucero 'Diamond Princess', anclado en el puerto de Yokohama, cerca de Tokio, en Japón

The 'Diamond Princess' cruise ship, anchored in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, in Japan – Stanislav Kogiku / SOPA Images via / DPA

MADRID, Feb. 18 (EUROPE PRESS) –

The Minister of Health of Japan, Katsunobu Kato, reported Tuesday that 88 new cases of coronavirus have been registered aboard the 'Diamond Princess' cruise ship, bringing the balance to a total of 542 people infected with the virus Originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Japan raises confirmed cases of coronavirus to 542 aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’ cruise ship
Japan raises confirmed cases of coronavirus to 542 aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’ cruise ship

The Japanese Minister of Health has said that the passengers of the ship, which is anchored in the Japanese port of Yokohama, will begin disembarking again on Wednesday, as planned. Kato has said that samples have been taken of all the passengers who remain on board the 'Diamond Princess' until Monday and that the landing will be completed by Friday.

Passengers who test negative may leave the cruise and those who have tested positive will be hospitalized. The same criteria will be followed with the crew, according to the Japanese news agency Kiodo.

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The 'Diamond Princess' cruise – Carl Court / getty

The minister has reported that 88 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded aboard the cruise, the balance being placed in 542 people infected with coronavirus on the ship, and recalled that experts have warned of an imminent risk of spread of the outbreak.

In a press conference, the Government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, has defended as “appropriate” the decision of the Government to keep all people on board the cruise for fifteen days as a precaution, despite the notable increase in contagion registered during that period, which ends this Wednesday.

The statements of the Japanese Executive spokesman come after several US media questioned the decision of the Tokyo Government to keep all people on board the cruise for fifteen days. On Monday, 328 US passengers left the ship and were evacuated in chartered planes by the US Government.

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The 'Diamond Princess' cruise – Carl Court / getty

In addition to the cases of the cruise, in Japan the number of people infected with the new coronavirus has increased to 53. “We are seeing an increase in cases where it is unknown how they have been transmitted,” said Minister Kato. “We have to take action thinking about the possibility of it spreading to a certain level,” he added. For his part, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has asked his formation, the Liberal Democratic Party, to study postponing or reducing its annual congress, scheduled for May 8, because of the risk of the outbreak spreading.

The outbreak of the new coronavirus, originated in the city of Wuhan, in the province of Hubei, has killed more than 1,800 people and has left more than 71,000 infected, according to the latest balance published by the Ministry of Health of China .

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