TOKYO (UPDATED) — Around 60 more people on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off Japan have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus, national broadcaster NHK said on Monday.
Other local media also reported approximately 60 more cases had been confirmed, raising the number of infected passengers and crew to around 130. Health ministry officials declined immediate comment.
The Diamond Princess has been in quarantine since arriving off the Japanese coast early last week after the new virus was detected in a former passenger who got off the ship last month in Hong Kong.
When the boat arrived off Japan, authorities initially tested nearly 300 people of the 3,711 on board for the virus, gradually evacuating dozens who tested positive to local medical facilities.
In recent days, testing has expanded to those who had close contact with other infected passengers or crew, and several more cases were reported over the weekend.
Those who remain on the ship have been asked to stay inside their cabins and allowed out only briefly onto open decks.
They have been asked to wear masks and keep a distance from each other when outside, and given thermometers to regularly monitor their temperatures.
The ship is expected to stay in quarantine until Feb. 19 -- 14 days after the isolation period began.
The quarantine has made life on board the ship difficult, particularly for those in windowless interior cabins and a significant number of passengers who require medication for various chronic conditions.
The health ministry said Monday that around 600 people on board were in urgent need of medications and around half received supplies over the weekend.
© Agence France-Presse