Japan minister apologises after woman who leaves ship tests positive for virus

Japan minister apologises after woman who leaves ship tests positive for virus
  • Clock-gray 08:29
  • calendar-gray 23 February 2020

Japan’s health minister apologised on Saturday after a woman who was allowed to leave a coronavirus-infected cruise ship docked near Tokyo tested positive for the virus. 

The woman in her 60s disembarked the Diamond Princess in Yokohama on Wednesday following a two-week quarantine on board, but was found to be positive following another test in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo. 

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told a news conference in Tokyo on Saturday evening that 23 people who had disembarked on Wednesday and Thursday had not undergone tests since before Feb. 5, and the ministry was trying to reach them for retesting. 

“We deeply apologise for the situation caused by our oversight,” Kato said. “We will take all necessary measures, like double checks, to prevent a recurrence.” 

The cruise ship, owned by Carnival Corp, and carrying some 3,700 passengers and crew, has been quarantined in Yokohama since Feb. 3.

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