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Pinoy Abroad

Pinoy seaman with nCoV in Japan responding well to treatment —official

The Filipino crew member of a cruise ship in Japan is in stable condition at a hospital after testing positive for novel coronavirus (nCoV), according to a Philippine official in Japan on Friday.

"Siya po ay nasa isang hospital na po dito sa Japan being treated po and ang aming balita po ay mukhang maganda naman ang kaniyang response doon sa treatment na ibinibigay sa kaniya," Robespierre Bolivar, Philippine Deputy Chief of Mission to Japan, said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

He said that 538 Filipinos — 531 crew members and 7 guest passengers — are aboard the Yokohama-bound cruise ship Diamond Princess, which has been subjected to quarantine after one of the guests who disembarked and joined a bus tour tested positive for nCoV.

As of Friday morning, the number of nCoV-positive persons inside the vessel climbed to 61.

Bolivar said that the Japanese government has yet to announce if there are additional Filipinos affected.

"Halos kalahati ng crew ay Pilipino," he said.

41 new cases

Meanwhile, another 41 people on board the cruise ship off have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, according to Japan's health minister.

The new cases raise the number of confirmed infections on board the ship to at least 61, said Katsunobu Kato.

Japanese authorities have tested 273 people on board the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined after a former passenger, who disembarked in Hong Kong last month, tested positive for the virus.

"The results of the remaining 171 tests came out and 41 tested positive," Kato told reporters. "Today they will be sent to hospitals in several prefectures, and we are now preparing for that."

"In total, out of 273 specimens, 61 tested positive," he added.

There are more than 3,700 passengers and crew on the ship, which has been off Japan's coast since Monday evening. It docked in Yokohama on Thursday to resupply for a quarantine that could last until February 19.

Twenty people who were earlier diagnosed with the virus have already been removed from the vessel and taken to hospitals. —Dona Magsino with Agence France-Presse/KBK, GMA News