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Ten more passengers among thousands quarantined on cruise ship test positive for coronavirus

Ten more people among thousands quarantined on board a cruise ship in Japan have been infected by coronavirus, with more than 170 passengers still waiting for results.

About 3,700 people are facing at least two weeks quarantine on the Diamond Princess vessel in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, after 10 people were initially confirmed with the virus and moved to medical facilities.

The total of number of passengers with the deadly illness now stands at 20, with the number of patients in Japan amounting to 45. The 10 new cases included four Japanese, two Americans, two Canadians, one person from New Zealand and one from Taiwan.

Two Britons are among those on board.

Quarantine operation was under way on the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Yokohama (via Reuters)

The latest developments came as the death toll in from the virus in China, where the virus first broke out, rose to 563, with the number of confirmed cases jumping to 28,018.

Carnival's Diamond Princess was caught up in the global coronavirus epidemic after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man tested positive for the virus after disembarking late last month. The ship arrived in Yokohama on Monday after a 14-day round trip.

David Abel, who is on board the Diamond Princess with his wife Sally, said passengers would be confined to their cabins for a fortnight.

Mr Abel, of Woodford Halse in Oxfordshire, said: "The positive thing in this is... our balcony is facing the sun.

"If we don't come back with a suntan then there's something wrong.

“We are allowed onto our balconies, so I think most of my day will be spent writing, researching and being absolutely lazy.

"Naturally, we want to be home. We are missing our little Yorkie dogs. But two weeks, it'll go quite quickly I hope."

Another passenger said the vessel docked in the port to take on supplies, with food delivery to rooms very slow.

"It’s surprising how the ship that was turning out 5,000 gourmet meals three times a day has found it difficult to deliver sandwiches and one hot meal. Where did they put the Escargot and sushi?" Gay Courter, a 75-year-old American said.

"Of course our biggest worry is that we have been infected at some point," she added.

"We are hopeful that the US government will be sending transport for the Americans on board it’s better for us to travel while healthy and also if we get sick to be treated in American hospitals."

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a global appeal for £520 million in donations as it seeks to combat the spread of the virus.

A preparedness and response plan has been launched by the WHO, which is requesting the sum in order to support countries with weaker health systems.

Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "urgent support" was needed to help countries detect, diagnose and care for people with the virus to prevent further human to human transmission.

It is understood that the British Government is currently considering its contribution, while the Irish Government pledged half a million euros (£425,000) to the WHO, who is spearheading the international response.

It comes after the Foreign Office urged all British nationals to leave China on Tuesday, after the outbreak continued to claim lives.

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