An additional 14 crew members on an Italian cruise ship docked for repairs in southwestern Japan have tested positive for coronavirus, Nagasaki prefectural government said Thursday, taking the total to 48.
Of 623 crew aboard the Costa Atlantica, docked in Nagasaki city, 34 had already found to be infected, including one sent to a designated facility in the city due to fears his symptoms may worsen.
The remaining 622 have been told to stay in their cabins. However, around 130 need to leave their rooms to maintain the ship, and the latest 14 virus carriers have been found among this group, the prefecture said.
Specialists from the health ministry said Wednesday that a cluster of coronavirus infections is likely to have occurred aboard the ship, which arrived in Nagasaki on Jan. 29 and is scheduled to remain until the end of April.
It was originally due to undergo repairs in China but Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., eventually received the repair order due to the virus outbreak, which was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
The company initially stated that no one had boarded or disembarked the ship since the first virus infection in the prefecture was confirmed in Iki on March 14. But on Wednesday, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding admitted some crew members had done so after that date.
According to a local immigration bureau, around 90 crew members disembarked over a one-month period through April 15, while around 40 people newly boarded the ship during this time.
Also Thursday, another Italian cruise ship Costa Venezia, with no passengers aboard, docked in Nagasaki for fuel and food replenishment.