Two Indian crew aboard a cruise ship off a Japanese coast have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials at the Indian Embassy in Japan said on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, the ship Diamond Princess quarantined at the port city of Yokohama, Japan, had confirmed 174 total cases of the disease.
A total of 138 Indians, including passengers and crew, are on board the ship. “Due to the suspicion of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection, the ship has been quarantined by the Japanese authorities till February 19, 2020,” the embassy said in a statement. “Due to the suspicion of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection, the ship has been quarantined by the Japanese authorities till February 19, 2020.”
All on board the ship have been taken to the for treatment, the embassy said. “The Embassy of India in Tokyo has reached out to the Indian nationals (crew members and passengers) through emails and telephone calls,” the statement read. “The embassy has explained to them about the health and safety regulations of Japanese authorities and have requested for cooperation.”
At least 1,113 people have died in China alone due to the virus.
The virus is believed to have originated in a live seafood market in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province. Its symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The novel coronavirus causes respiratory illness, and is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which had also emerged from China in 2002. SARS killed 774 people around the world. India has reported only three cases of the virus – all in Kerala. All of them are undergoing treatment.