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Number of infections on virus-hit ship in Yokohama up 70 to 355

The number of new-coronavirus infections among passengers and crew from the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo, has risen by 70 to 355, Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato said Sunday.
Of the 70, 38 did not show symptoms such as fever and coughing, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.
The ministry has so far tested a total of 1,219 people aboard the ship, which currently houses about 3,400 passengers and crew.
Kato made the remark on an NHK program as two U.S. government-chartered planes were set to arrive in Japan in the evening to bring home approximately 400 U.S. citizens aboard the ship.
The Diamond Princess has been undergoing a two-week quarantine period at Yokohama Port after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong was found to be infected with COVID-19, a new type of pneumonia-causing coronavirus.
The ministry said it has been focusing so far on testing people aged 70 and older and will focus on testing those younger than 70 from around Sunday.
If people test negative and have no health problems, they will be allowed to disembark when the quarantine period ends Wednesday.
Americans on the ship will be transported to the State Department-chartered planes at Tokyo's Haneda airport. The planes are scheduled to leave on Monday.
They will be screened before boarding the aircraft to "prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement released Saturday, suggesting that those showing symptoms will receive treatment in Japan.
On return to the United States, the passengers will be subject to a 14-day, federal quarantine and be housed at two existing federal quarantine sites for repatriated travelers in California and Texas, according to the CDC.
In Beijing, authorities said Sunday the death toll in the COVID-19 outbreak, which originated in the central city of Wuhan, has risen 142 to 1,665 in mainland China.
The Chinese government also said it confirmed 2,009 new infections, bringing the total number of those infected to 68,500.


© KYODO
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