Cruise passengers on board the World Dream ship have been placed on lockdown while tests for the highly contagious coronavirus is being carried out. The decision was made about 30 crew members on board the ship reported symptoms of the virus.
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Previously, three mainland Chinese passengers who had been on board the ship between January 19 and January 24 tested positive for the virus.
Reports from Hong Kong’s health department state that no other passengers on the cruise had contact with them.
It is not yet known how long the passengers will be kept onboard the ship.
The cruise ship, operated by Dream Cruises, was forced to dock in Hong Kong after being denied entry to the Taiwanese port of Kaohsiung.
It is thought that around 90 percent of the 1,800 passengers onboard are Hong Kong residents.
No mainland Chinese passengers are onboard at this time.
Passengers must now receive the all-clear from authorities before being allowed to leave the vessel.
On Monday, the ship docked at a northern port in Taiwan where some guests were allowed to leave, however, this was prior to the coronavirus alert being raised.
Dream Cruises said in a statement the three “confirmed” cases of the virus had disembarked in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Jan 24.
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Express.co.uk has contacted the cruise line for further comment.
The news comes after reports of 10 confirmed cases on another cruise ship docked off the coast of Japan.
The Princess Cruises ship is keeping passengers on board for 14 days while screenings for the disease are ongoing.
The screening process began on Tuesday for a portion of the 3,700 passengers on board the vessel, while the infected guests have been transferred to a medical facility.
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Princess Cruises confirmed the nationalities of the infected passengers include two Australians, three Japanese passengers, three guests from Hong Kong, one guest from the US, and a Filipino crew member.
A Princess Cruises spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Princess Cruises can confirm that the first phase of health screening of all guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess, by the Japanese Ministry of Health, has been completed. “We were notified that amongst the samples that have completed testing, 10 people have tested positive for Coronavirus.
“This includes two Australian guests, three Japanese guests, three guests from Hong Kong, and one guest from the U.S. in addition to one Filipino crew member.
“These 10 persons, who have been notified, will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shoreside Japanese medical professionals. It has been confirmed that the ship will remain under quarantine in Yokohama.
“The length of the quarantine will be at least 14 days as required by the Ministry of Health.”
The cruise line has added that provisions, including food, will be brought on board.
Internet and telephone calls will be given to guests in order to help them stay in touch with family and friends during the quarantine period.
“Princess Cruises will continue to fully cooperate with and follow the instructions of global medical authorities and the Japanese government,” continued the spokesperson.
“We will also be cancelling the next two Diamond Princess cruises departing Yokohama (Feb 4 and Feb 12) and will begin notifying guests today.”
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