A cruise operator says 251 Canadians are aboard a ship that is quarantined off the coast of Japan because of an outbreak of coronavirus, and that two of them have tested positive.
Princess Cruises confirmed the passenger count on the Diamond Princess in an email to CBC News on Tuesday night.
It said 20 people in total, including the two Canadians, have tested positive for the coronavirus and have been taken ashore to hospital. It was not immediately clear is those cases had been confirmed by a second test.
“Local public health authorities will be disembarking those guests for transport to local hospitals immediately,” Princess Cruises said.
Japan took protective measures to prevent the spread of the disease on Tuesday, ordering the quarantine of all 3,700 people on the ship for at least 14 days at Yokohama, near Tokyo. Food, provisions and other supplies will be brought on board, the cruise line wrote.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that Canadian officials are in touch with Japanese officials around how to support Canadians on the ship.
Princess Cruises said the affected patients include travellers from Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, the U.S. and the Philippines.
They were among 273 people tested because they had a cough or fever, which are symptoms of the virus, or had close contact with a man who got off the ship in Hong Kong and was infected.
The path of transmission to each affected person isn’t clear, and the others may have gotten the virus when they got off the ship at other port calls in Vietnam, Taiwan, Kagoshima and Okinawa.
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Hong Kong puts another ship into quarantine
A Hong Kong official says people on board a cruise ship that was turned away from a Taiwanese port will be quarantined until they are checked for the new virus.
The World Dream ship, operated by Genting Cruise Lines, was refused entry at Kaohsiung port on Tuesday after three passengers on an earlier voyage were later diagnosed with the new coronavirus.
Port health official Leung Yiu Hong says 90 per cent of current passengers are from Hong Kong and no one is from mainland China.
He says more than 30 crew members with symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat will undergo tests.
Leung said everyone will undergo temperature screening and must fill in a health declaration form.
They won’t be allowed to leave until the tests are done. Leung said the length of the quarantine or the possibility of other steps will depend on the health tests.
2nd presumptive case in B.C.
In Canada, public health officials have reported a second presumptive case of coronavirus in B.C. A woman in her 50s who lives in the Vancouver area had been in contact with family members who had been in Hubei province, provincial health officials said Tuesday. She is currently in isolation at her home.
If the national lab confirms the case, it would be the fifth confirmed coronavirus case in Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says the risk in Canada from coronavirus is low.
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