Japan confirms 39 new coronavirus cases on cruise ship

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Japan confirmed 39 new cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, on a cruise ship quarantined at one of its ports, bringing the total number infected on the vessel to 174, health officials said Tuesday.

The Diamond Princess has been docked at the Yokohama port since Feb. 3 after it was determined some passengers had been sicked with the virus. Japan confirmed 66 new cases Monday and said officials may test everyone aboard the ship.

The American-based ship had completed a 14-day cruise in which it stopped in Hong Kong and several other Asian ports.

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Japanese government officials and the cruise line were told by Hong Kong officials that an 80-year-old male passenger who departed the ship tested positive for the virus.

Coronavirus deaths worldwide have surpassed 1,100 and more than 45,000 have been sickened. The vast majority of those impacted are in mainland China, where the virus first began in the Hubei province in December.

The virus has killed more people than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in China in 2003, when  774 people died and 8,000 were infected.

Media gather outside the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Japan's Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the government was considering testing everyone remaining on board and crew on the Diamond Princess, which would require them to remain aboard until results were available. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Media gather outside the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Japan’s Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the government was considering testing everyone remaining on board and crew on the Diamond Princess, which would require them to remain aboard until results were available. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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Thirteen cases have been confirmed in the United States.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday said it hopes to have a vaccine for the virus ready within 18 months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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