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Filipino crew member of Japan cruise ship tests positive for nCoV

Updated @ 2:05 a.m., Feb. 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said one of 538 Filipinos aboard a cruise ship quarantined in Japan had tested positive for the new coronavirus spreading from China.

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Quoting a report from the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, the DFA said the infected Filipino and nine others would be transferred to hospitals while the rest of the passengers and the crew would remain aboard the Carnival Corp. cruise ship Diamond Princess for a 14-day quarantine at the port in Yokohama.

READ: Japan quarantines cruise ship as nCoV grows

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Japanese authorities quarantined the vessel after 10 people aboard tested positive for the new virus.

Assistant Foreign Secretary Eduardo Menez said that among the 538 Filipinos aboard the ship, seven were passengers and the rest were part of the crew.

Ship line Princess Cruises, in a statement, said that aside from the Filipino crew member, those who tested positive for the virus include two Australian guests, three Japanese guests, three guests from Hong Kong, one guest from the United States.

Crew member

The Filipino who had tested positive for the new coronavirus was a member of the crew. He is the first Filipino to be infected with the virus that has already killed nearly 500 people and sickened more than 20,300 others in China and spread to 25 other countries.

The DFA said the Philippine Embassy was in “constant communication” with the other 537 Filipinos and closely coordinating with Japanese authorities “to provide them all possible assistance.”

The Diamond Princess, which arrived in Yokohama in late January, had 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members. Tests were pending on 273 people who had symptoms or had contact with a man who was diagnosed with the virus after leaving the ship in Hong Kong.

The 10 who had tested positive for the virus were transferred to hospitals on Wednesday. Health workers, some in protective white jumpsuits, transferred them from the cruise ship to a Japanese coast guard boat next to it.

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The 10, covered in sheets to protect their identities from cameras, were taken to a dock and put on ambulances bound for hospitals for treatment in isolation.

—With a report from the Associated Press

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TAGS: cruise ship, Filipino crew member, Japan, novel coronavirus
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