A new round of testing revealed 65 more confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus aboard Princess Cruise’s Diamond Princess, which is currently docked off of Yokohama, Japan. The ship was quarantined on Feb. 4, and since then, the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 135 out of the 439 tests carried out, or nearly one in three passengers, according to the Washington Post.
“Our guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess are the focus of our entire global organization right now and all of our hearts are with each of them,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruise Line. “In this unprecedented situation, the Japanese Ministry of Health authorities are working with us collaboratively on additional enhancements, approving new procedures as we adapt our process to the unique challenges of this situation.”
Japanese authorities are still testing hundreds of passengers, and of the 135 confirmed cases of infection, at least 24 are Americans, according to CNN.
There are about 3,700 passengers onboard the Diamond Princess, which is scheduled to be under quarantine for another week. The passengers on board the Diamond Princess are largely being confined to their cabins as part of the quarantine, however they are being given the opportunity to walk on the deck and get some fresh air in rotating shifts.
New concerns have arisen regarding the safety of the Diamond Princess crew, who have had to continue working without any quarantine arrangements.
Several crew members have reportedly tested positive for the virus. One Indian crew member even issued a plea for help on Monday, arguing that he and his fellow employees will all soon fall sick if they remain onboard, according to the Washington post.
“The well-being of our guests and crew remains our top priority, and we are working diligently to improve their experience during this challenging time … Guests will continue to be provided complimentary internet and telephone to use in order to stay in contact with their family and loved ones, and the ship’s crew is working to keep all guests comfortable,” Princess Cruises said in a statement.
The cruise line also issued a statement on Sunday, assuring passengers that due to “extraordinary circumstances,” the company will refund the full cruise fare for all guests, including air travel, hotel, ground transportation, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities and other items.