A cruise ship carrying 251 Canadians has been quarantined off the coast of Japan following a confirmed outbreak of the new coronavirus.
At least 10 people have tested positive for the virus, but none are Canadian, said a statement from Princess Cruises on Wednesday. The ship is carrying 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew.
“Princess Cruises can confirm that the first phase of health screening of all guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess, by the Japanese Ministry of Health, has been completed,” it said.
The 10 infected cases include two Australians, three Japanese, three people from Hong Kong, and one from the United States, as well as a Filipino crewmember, the statement said.
Covered from head-to-knee by large, white sheets, the positive cases were led by gloved and masked officials onto Coast Guard vessels, to be taken ashore and transported to local hospitals.
The ship will remain under quarantine for 14 days in Yokohama, it said.
Princess Cruises will continue to fully co-operate with and follow the instructions of global medical authorities and the Japanese government, the statement said.
The company also said it will be cancelling the next two Diamond Princess cruises departing Yokohama on Feb. 4 and 12.
The viral outbreak that began in China has so far infected more than 24,500 people globally with 490 deaths reported in the Hubei province, the epicentre of the disease, and one in Hong Kong.
More than 1,800 people on another cruise ship were being screened in Hong Kong after three passengers on a previous voyage were diagnosed with the virus.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 5, 2020.
With files from The Associated Press