At least 32 Canadians test positive for COVID-19 on board quarantined ship: government

Global Affairs Canada says it is aware of at least 32 Canadians who have tested positive for the new coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that has been quarantined in Japan since early February.

“There are 256 Canadians on the Diamond Princess cruise ship,” Global Affairs said in a statement emailed to Global News Monday night.

“Of that number, we are aware of 32 Canadians that have tested positive for the COVID-19.”

This statement came two days after the government announced it was chartering a plane to evacuate the Canadians on board the ship, a decision it said it took “because of the extraordinary circumstances faced by passengers on the Diamond Princess and to lighten the burden on the Japanese health-care system.”

Previous reports placed the number of Canadians who tested positive for COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess at 15, and that they would remain in Japan for medical treatment.

More than 450 people on the ship — which has some 3,700 passengers on board — have tested positive for the virus, according to Japanese health officials, with 99 of those cases reported Monday. In total, including the 454 from the Diamond Princess, Japan has 520 confirmed cases of the virus, as of Monday, according to Reuters. The ship is the site of the highest number of COVID-19 cases outside of China.

The cruise ship was ordered to stay under quarantine at Yokohama port on Feb. 3, after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man, who was on board from Jan. 20 to Jan. 25, developed the virus.

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