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The quarantine is due to end on February 19, but it´s unknown what will happen to Diamond Princess passengers.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with Japanese authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been docked in Japanese waters since February 3, Japanese medical authorities reported 99 new cases of infection on Monday, for a total of 454 sick people on board.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, the cruise, which was held in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, with some 3,700 passengers and crew on board for two weeks, increased 99 cases in a single day.
These figures make the Diamond Princess, after China, the largest outbreak of COVID-19 disease, caused by the virus that emerged in the city's Hubei province late last year.
"We have to make sure we focus on our goal, our public health goal, which is to contain the virus, not to contain the people." Dr. Sylvie Briand, WHO Director of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases, recently stated.
We need a definitive solution to prevent the spread of the virus among the remaining uninfected passengers, Briand added.
In our fractured & divided ��, health is one of the few areas which offers the opportunity for countries to work together for a common cause.
This is a time for facts, not fear.
This is a time for rationality, not rumours.
This is a time for solidarity, not stigma. #MSC2020
Some countries have chosen to repatriate travellers, such as the United States, which on Sunday sent two chartered planes to take 340 US citizens on board the ship out of Japan.
The State Department later announced that 14 of those passengers were unaware that they were infected with the virus, and knew it after a check before boarding the planes. They were kept in isolation during the flights.
All the passengers were taken into a two-week quarantine in military bases in the United States, while those who were earlier found to be sick with the virus have been hospitalized in Japan.
Other countries are planning similar flights to return their citizens, such as Australia, Canada and Italy.
Although the quarantine is due to end on February 19, it is not yet known what will happen to Diamond Princess passengers, given the increasing number of infections that continue to be reported.