More coronavirus infections on cruise ship with 5 Dutch

The number of people infected with the new coronavirus on a cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan increased to 61, the Japanese Minister of Health announced. So far, none of the five Dutch people on board the ship seem to be infected with the lung virus. They are staying optimistic, one said to RTL Nieuws.

Cruise ship Diamond Princess has around 3,700 people on board. When the ship was first quarantined earlier this week, ten people had been diagnosed with the virus. The large increase in the number of patients is partly due to all the test results now being in, according to the Japanese Minister. Most of the victims are over the age of 70.

The ship is anchored at the city of Yokohama. People previously diagnosed with 2019-nCoV were transferred to a hospital in Japan. The other passengers and crew members have to stay quarantined on the ship for a total of two weeks - the incubation period of the virus. 

More and more measures are being taken on the ship, one of the Dutch on board said to RTL Nieuws. "Everyone on board received a thermometer, we have to record our own temperature," the 71-year-old man said. "They also handed out gloves and masks."

The people on the ship are keeping in touch with each other through a WhatsApp group. "We agreed to all stay in the cabins. I don't know if it is wise to go out with large groups. That is another opportunity to infect each other."

The Dutch man praised the Dutch embassy in Japan. "We have contact with them every day," he said to the broadcaster. "They catch us up a bit. The embassy provides excellent support."

As of February 6th, a total of 28,276 people in 25 countries had been diagnosed with 2019-nCoV, according to figures from the World Health Organization. 565 people have died. The vast majority of infections, 28,060, happened in China, as did all but one of the deaths.

Italy reported that three people in the country had been diagnosed with the virus - two Chinese tourists and an Italian who was extracted from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The Italian patient flew back to Europe with 56 other people on the plane. They are all still in quarantine.

Fifteen Dutch people and two Chinese spouses were also extracted from Wuhan. They are all quarantined in the Netherlands, some in their own homes and others in a central location. As far as is known, none of them have been diagnosed with the virus so far.