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Cruise ship returns to Yokohama after one passenger tests positive for COVID-19

A Japanese cruise ship returned to Yokohama port Saturday after a passenger tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The infected man in his 60s from Tokyo and a female family member who has tested negative will be taken off the Asuka II and transported to hospital and the remaining passengers will disembark.
According to cruise operator NYK Cruises Co and local city officials, some 720 passengers and crew tested negative one week prior to the ship's departure on a seven-day cruise, but the results of additional tests conducted just before boarding on Thursday confirmed Friday afternoon that the man was positive.
Passengers were asked to remain in their cabins with crew providing meals via room service, the ship's operator said.
The infected passenger had felt discomfort in his throat after boarding, they said. He was being isolated in his cabin and only his family member has been in close contact. It remains unclear where the man and his travel partner will be taken.
The Asuka II, which left Yokohama on Thursday, was originally scheduled to stop in Aomori Prefecture and Hokkaido before returning to Yokohama next Wednesday.
The ship can hold a maximum of 872 passengers but was operating below capacity as a measure against the coronavirus.
In February last year the Diamond Princess cruise ship was quarantined in the same port after infections were found among some 3,700 passengers and crew from 56 countries and regions on board.
The British-flagged, U.S.-operated cruise ship drew attention as the Japanese government's attempt to contain the coronavirus courted controversy. Some 712 people from the ship were ultimately found to be infected and 13 died.


© KYODO
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