The number of coronavirus cases on board the quarantined cruise ship in Japan has risen again significantly – Germans are also affected.
As the Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato announced on Sunday, the number increased by 70 to 355 meanwhile. According to the German embassy in Tokyo, two of them are German nationals. Of the 70 that tested positive for the Sars-CoV-2 virus, 38 showed no symptoms such as fever or cough, it said. Those affected would be taken to local hospitals.
By Sunday, the Ministry of Health had tested more than 1200 of the approximately 3400 passengers and crew members of the “Diamond Princess”. According to the German embassy, citing the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all passengers should be tested by Monday, so that the results will be available on Wednesday at the latest.
Until then, the ship has been quarantined in the port of Yokohama. Negatively tested passengers should be able to leave it from Wednesday. Every passenger had to go through a health check beforehand. The message was extended for those passengers who had close contact with infected people, the quarantine period.
Meanwhile, the United States sent two charter flights to Japan to bring around 400 U.S. citizens back on board the ship this Monday. Canada and Hong Kong also prepared charter flights. The ship has been in quarantine for two weeks.
A coronavirus case has meanwhile been found among the passengers of the Westerdam cruise ship that landed in Cambodia. An 83-year-old American had been tested positive for her onward journey to Malaysia and taken to the hospital in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian health authority said. The Cambodian Ministry of Health asked Malaysia to review the test result, media reported. The woman and other passengers had been carefully examined before departure.
According to the authorities, almost 1,000 people who were still on board the “Westerdam” had to undergo additional checks before they were allowed to board. According to the shipping company, there were 236 guests and 747 crew members. Previously, more than 1,000 people had disembarked. According to the shipping company, 57 Germans were among the passengers. According to the information provided by the German embassy on Twitter, they should travel home to Frankfurt by the weekend. At first it was not known whether there were any delays.
The American, who tested positive, was one of 145 passengers who wanted to fly home via Malaysia, the health authority said. On arrival, the woman and her husband were diagnosed with symptoms of the new lung disease, which is why they were hospitalized. The 83-year-old was treated in the isolation ward. The 85-year-old husband, who tested negative, was monitored in the hospital.
Concern about the corona virus has ended several cruises in Southeast Asia prematurely. Thousands of passengers, including hundreds of Germans, had to change their plans. The Aidavita of the Rostock shipping company Aida Cruises stopped their tour more than a week earlier than planned. It moored on Saturday night in the Thai port city of Laem Chabang south of Bangkok, as a spokesman for the shipping company confirmed. The approximately 1,100 passengers, mostly German, left the ship after a check, according to the Thai authorities. The Aidavita had not previously been allowed to moor in Vietnam as planned, even though no coronavirus cases were known on board.
A spokesman for the shipping company said that the passengers flew on various flights from Bangkok to Germany on Saturday and Sunday. The «Aidabella», another ship belonging to the shipping company with around 2200 passengers, was scheduled to moor in Laem Chabang on Monday.
Aida Cruises had previously announced that the Aidavita and Aidabella trips to Asia would be discontinued this season due to the epidemic and increasing travel restrictions. The program would normally have lasted until April.
In Germany, however, the situation is easing. In Germersheim, the quarantine for around 120 returnees from China is due to end after around two weeks. Tests for the corona virus were negative, said an Air Force spokesman. The returnees should therefore be released from the barracks. The quarantine of 14 days corresponds to the maximum incubation period – the time between infection and symptoms.
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) was pleased. The quarantine was necessary “to protect the returnees themselves, their environment and the entire population,” he emphasized. So you could discover and treat two infected people right from the start. These patients were discharged from Frankfurt University Hospital on Friday.
In Bavaria, more coronavirus patients were discharged from the hospital over the weekend, as the Ministry of Health in Munich announced. The authority did not provide any further information on those affected. The first of the 14 patients in Bavaria was discharged from a Munich clinic on Wednesday. All 14 infections in Bavaria are related to the Stockdorf auto supplier Webasto.