40 US nationals found infected with coronavirus on Japan ship
Beijing : Forty American nationals among the stranded hundreds of the passengers on Japan cruise ship have been tested positive to the coronavirus, a US official said on Sunday. Four Americans were tested negative as they left to board the chartered flights home.
The evacuation drive from Japan cruise ship coincided with warnings from Japanese authorities over the deadly outbreak, urging citizens to avoid crowds and "non-essential gatherings."
The Diamond Princess was placed in a 14-day quarantine in early February after a former passenger tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Meanwhile, the US authorities had announced on the weekend that they would offer American passengers an option to either stay or fly back home where they will face another 14-day isolation.
Several other governments also have announced plans to remove their citizens from the ship.
More than three dozen Americans are not going home, however, Anthony Fauci, a senior official at the National Institutes for Health, said on CBS.
"Forty of them have gotten infected," Fauci said. "They're going to be in hospitals in Japan."
It was not immediately clear whether the 40 Americans were among the figure of 355 people from the ship which Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato earlier Sunday said were infected.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Saturday that 400 Americans would be flown home.