19:02 GMT05 December 2020
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    The vessel was put into quarantine off the Japanese port of Yokohama in early February after several people had been confirmed to be infected with the new virus that originated in China.

    Passengers are leaving the Diamond Princess cruise ship as the 14-day quarantine imposed over coronavirus has been lifted, the NHK broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

    An elderly woman was the first to leave the ship. In total, around 500 people who are not infected are expected to disembark. 542 passengers tested positive for coronavirus, while 254 of them did not show any symptoms during the testing.

    Earlier, Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato said that people who tested negative for the virus could leave the ship beginning on Wednesday after all test results had been checked.

    The cruise ship had been under quarantine since 3 February, after a passenger who left the vessel in Hong Kong tested positive for the new coronavirus. 

    As of Monday, around 3,200 passengers remained on board due to the outbreak. There were initially over 3,700 passengers aboard, those infected had been transported to local medical institutions.

    Out of more than 400 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Japan, over 350 has been registered on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

    An outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new strain of coronavirus, which the WHO named COVID-19, was first registered in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei province, last December.

    Tags:
    Wuhan, vessel, test, pneumonia, outbreak, health, disease, China, Japan
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