Coronavirus: cases jump to 135 aboard Diamond Princess; SCV couple in good health

"Cruise Ship leaving Seattle" by harry_nl is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship more than doubled over the weekend, bringing the latest count to 135 people affected, the Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises confirmed Sunday.  

Those recently diagnosed include 45 Japanese and 11 Americans, as well as a lesser number of cases from Australia, Canada, England, Philippines and Ukraine, the cruise line said Sunday night in an advisory.  There are now at least 24 Americans infected with the coronavirus, according to Princess Cruises.

“We are following guidance from the Japan Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases,” the notice read. 

Among those aboard is a Santa Clarita couple, Carl Goldman and Jeri Serrati-Goldman, co-owners of KHTS Radio, who have continuously updated on their social media that they are in good health and good spirits. On Friday, they described their experience as “an adventure.” 

The cruise ship, located off the coast of Japan, is in its first days of a 14-day quarantine period that is expected to conclude on Feb. 19. For those in close contact with newly confirmed cases, the isolation period would extend beyond the 19th, according to the World Health Organization. 

The Diamond Princess has approximately 3,700 passengers and crew in quarantine, some of whom have disembarked for medical attention while additional medication is distributed within the ship “based on medical and urgent priority,” the notice said. 

“In this unprecedented situation, the Japanese Ministry of Health authorities are working with us collaboratively on additional enhancements, approving new procedures as we adapt our process to the unique challenges of this situation,” Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz said in a statement on Saturday. 

The coronavirus has killed more than 900 people in China after its spread commenced in the city of Wuhan. 

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