MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The Russian passenger aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship who was identified to have contracted the coronavirus and his spouse who was taken to hospital are not planned to be evacuated from Japan to Russia, Russian Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko said Tuesday.
"This is not a question for us, pose it to the Foreign Ministry. They will be taken to hospital as far as we know. It has been decided there," he responded to a question from TASS.
According to him, Russians in Japan are provided with all the necessary assistance, they are not in critical condition.
The Japanese authorities said Tuesday that the novel coronavirus had been detected in a Russian man even though previous reports suggested it was a woman. This is the first confirmed coronavirus case among Russian citizens. According to the embassy, he was taken to a specialized medical facility in the Aichi Prefecture, while his wife was rushed to a hospital in the Kanagawa Prefecture.
Overall, 542 people aboard the Diamond Princess are known to have contracted the virus, 88 cases were reported on Tuesday.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship left Yokohama on January 20 and returned on February 3. A Chinese citizen who was later diagnosed with coronavirus was among the passengers and disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25. Japanese authorities ordered the cruise ship to anchor near Yokohama to screen everyone on board. The Diamond Princess had around 3,700 passengers and crewmembers from 50 countries, including Russia.
A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously called 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan — a large trade and industrial center in central China populated by 12 million people — in late December. The WHO declared it a global emergency, describing the outbreak as an epidemic with multiple foci.
The virus spread to 25 more countries, apart from China: Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. Chinese authorities have confirmed 72,400 cases of the disease, almost 1,900 people died, while more than 12,500 people are reported to have recovered.