Another 40 people including a quarantine officer have tested positive on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, bringing the total to 175.
It comes as the death toll in China rose to 1118, with 45,212 new confirmed cases in the mainland and 441 cases from 24 countries, including one death, the World Health Organisation confirmed on Thursday morning (Australian time).
Yet WHO’s “greatest fear” is the impact of a coronavirus outbreak in economically weaker countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
He reassured listeners that WHO was actively working to “protect the health of all passengers” on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan
“We are in constant contact with the Japanese government, the International Maritime Organisation, and the owner of the ship to protect the health of all passengers,” he said.
Passenger Bianca D’Silva from Melbourne is being treated in a Japanese hospital, after testing positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.
Her parents and 14-year-old brother are also in isolation pending test results, the Herald Sun reports.
The 21-year-old law student said the diagnosis came as “a bit of a shock”.
“You never think this is going to happen to you.
“It’s a bit of a struggle but what can I do.
“Physically I am fine – it was just like I have the cold.
“Now I just have to wait for it to clear.”
The Diamond Princess is docked in the port of Yokohama with more than 3700 passengers, including more than 200 Australians, stranded for a week.
Ms D’Silva’s grandfather Peter Vieyra told the newspaper it was a “very bad” situation, and that the family had been stuck in small cabins.
“We are feeling very devastated and terribly sad also,” he said.
“They are all traumatised and mentally and physically exhausted.”
Authorities are yet to confirm Ms D’Silva’s case, while Princess Cruises said 11 Australians on board were affected.
“We are following guidance from the Japan Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases,” it said.
“Since it is early in the quarantine period of 14 days, it was not unexpected that additional cases would be reported involving individuals who were exposed prior to the start of the quarantine.”