Five more Australians diagnosed with coronavirus aboard cruise ship
Yokohama: Five Australians are among a further 41 passengers to test positive to coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined in Japan.
There is now a total of 61 confirmed cases on the ship, including seven Australians in total.
Japanese Health Officials are bringing the infected passengers and crew off the cruise liner one by one, before placing them into ambulances and transferring them to isolation units at medical facilities in several prefectures around the country.
Almost 3700 passengers and crew have been largely confined to their cabins for the last 72 hours, with operator Princess Cruises allowing small groups to go on the upper deck for fresh air.
Passengers are under strict orders from Japan's Health Authority to constantly wear masks and stay at least one metre away from the nearest person when outside their cabin.
Meals have been delayed by many hours and some passengers are still waiting on prescription medication, as the crew on board tries to manage an unprecedented situation.
236 Australians are stuck on board the ship unsure if the mandatory 14-day quarantine period will be extended as more cases of the virus are discovered.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton ruled out an evacuation mission for the stranded Australians.
"The Japanese authorities, they have an advanced health system and they are dealing with what's a very difficult situation." Mr Dutton said.
On Friday Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the decision to deny another cruise ship entry to Yokohama, after reports of a passenger showing symptoms of coronavirus.
The Westerdam had made a stop in Hong Kong and was due to dock in Yokohama on Saturday.
This ship's owner Holland America is now looking for a new port to conclude the journey. The company has also cancelled its next cruise from Yokohama due to leave on February 15.
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