A further 66 passengers onboard a Princess Cruises ship quarantined off the coast of Japan have tested positive for coronavirus.
Japan’s health ministry revealed the spike in cases on Monday (10 February), taking the total number of confirmed infections to 136.
Among the 66 new cases is one Briton, along with 45 Japanese, 11 US citizens, four Australians, three Filipinos, and one person each from Canada and Ukraine.
Princess confirmed last week there were 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew onboard Diamond Princess, which is being held in the port of Yokohama.
In a statement, Princess said the increase in cases was “not unexpected” and added that the quarantine end date remained 19 February.
“Princess Cruises has confirmed an additional 66 cases of coronavirus as tested by the Japanese Ministry of Health on Diamond Princess,” said the line.
“We are following guidance from the Japanese Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases.
“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.
“The Japanese Ministry of Health has been the lead public health authority defining the testing protocols for all guests and crew on Diamond Princess. The quarantine end date remains at February 19, unless there are any unforeseen developments.
"Additional information will be shared as soon as it is made available by the Ministry of Health."