Five Australians 'Among 41 New Cases Of Coronavirus On Cruise Ship'
Five Australians are reportedly among another 41 people who have tested positive for coronavirus onboard a cruise liner that is quarantined off Japan.
The new cases, announced by Japan's Health Minister Katsunobu Kato on Friday, bring the total number of confirmed infections on the 'Diamond Princess' ship to 61.
The ABC reports five Australians are among the new cases, which would bring the total number of infected Australian passengers to seven.
A spokesperson for Princess Cruises could not immediately confirm the number of Australians in the latest group.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said Australians are among the 41, but also could not confirm ABC reports of five cases.
"A number of additional cases have been confirmed armong the Australians on that vessel, which is up in Japan, and they are getting consular support," he told reporters in Townsville.
The total 61 cases came from a sample of 273 people who had been tested because they were either showing symptoms or had been in close contact with those who did, according to the health ministry.
They have been transferred to medical facilities in Japan along with two other Australian passengers who had previously been confirmed as having the virus.
Further tests would be conducted if additional passengers on board the ship developed symptoms.
The cruise ship, Diamond Princess, and the roughly 3,700 people aboard have been under two-week quarantine since arriving back at the port of Yokohama, just south of Tokyo after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.
The rise in the number of infections has worsened the mood for thousands of passengers stuck on the cruise, who were only allowed out for brief periods to breathe fresh air on open decks.
Several had previously said they were longing to get out and see the sky.
Earlier on Friday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there were no plans to evacuate Australians from the ship.
"No. Obviously the Japanese authorities, they have an advanced health system they are dealing with what's a very difficult situation," Dutton told the Nine Network.
The new cases take the total number of coronavirus infections in Japan to more than 80.