Japan confirms 39 new virus cases, 174 total on Diamond Princess cruise ship

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Data pix.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship sails out of Yokohama Port to undergo procedures at sea before returning to Daikoku Pier where it will continue to be resupplied and screened for new coronavirus cases as it remains in quarantine after a number of the 3,700 people on board were diagnosed with coronavirus, on February 11, 2020 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s health ministry said Wednesday that 39 new cases of a virus have been confirmed on a cruise ship quarantined at a Japanese port.

The update brings the total found on the Diamond Princess to 174 cases.

The ministry also said the virus was confirmed in a official who participated in the initial quarantine checks the night the ship returned to Yokohama Port near Tokyo on Feb. 3. The quarantine official is being treated in the hospital.

The new cases bring Japan's total to 203 people infected by the the new virus, COVID-19.

The night of the ship's arrival, Japanese health officials began medical checks on all of the ship's 3,700 passengers and crew after one previous passenger tested positive for the virus.

The U.S.-operated Diamond Princess had completed a 14-day tour during which it stopped at Hong Kong and several other Asian ports before returning to Japan.

Japanese government and tour company officials have said they were notified by Hong Kong that an 80-year-old male passenger who got off the boat there later tested positive for the virus.

Among those quarantined on the ship are a Northeast Ohio great-grandmother and her husband.

“You know, I don’t worry about that because I know I feel great today. I’m alive. I’m not on that ambulance going to a hospital," she said. “If I want to get upset, it’s just gonna make me sick, so I don’t want to get upset.”

(Click the video player above for more from the local couple on board the Diamond Princess)

COVID-19 is a coronavirus that emerged in China in December.

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