88 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Diamond Princess cruise


World, Asia

The total number of positive cases of COVID-19 on Diamond Princess now stands at 542

People still in quarantine due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus stand on balconies of the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama . AFP Photo

Tokyo: An additional 88 people have tested positive for coronavirus on a quarantined cruise ship off the Japan coast, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The new cases came from a total of 681 fresh results, the ministry said, taking the total number of positive cases on the Diamond Princess to 542.

The Diamond Princess became a particularly virulent breeding ground for the new coronavirus among the 3,700 passengers and crew -- easily the second-biggest global cluster outside the Chinese epicentre.

Britain became the latest country to offer its citizens a way off the boat, saying it was "working to organise a flight back to the UK" as doubts grow over the effectiveness of the quarantine measures with every spike in positive cases.

Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea have already said they will evacuate their citizens from the ship, following the lead from the United States, which flew home around 300 Americans on Monday -- including more than a dozen who had tested positive.