Two Irish passengers on board coronavirus-hit cruise ship test positive

Two Irish passengers who were on board the Princess Diamond cruise ship have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, Tanaiste Simon Coveney has confirmed.

The two Irish citizens, who are living abroad, are being treated in hospital in Japan.

Six Irish citizens were on board the Princess Diamond, which is currently docked off Yokahama, Japan.

In a statement Mr Coveney said: “Two of these tested positive for Covid-19 and are currently being treated in hospital in Japan.

“These citizens share dual citizenship with another EU member state and are not normally resident in Ireland.

“Our embassy in Tokyo is in ongoing contact with them regarding their consular needs.”

Covid-19: confirmed cases
(PA Graphics)

Mr Coveney added: “We are also in close contact with those who remain in quarantine on the ship.

“We are working with our EU partners and other like-minded countries regarding options for their return.

“Nine Irish citizens were passengers on the Westerdam Cruise Ship, which is currently docked off Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

“Seven are currently being screened, along with other passengers and crew.

“Our embassy in Hanoi is in ongoing contact with the citizens regarding their consular needs.

“Only two of these seven are normally resident in Ireland.”

Speaking to RTE’s Morning Ireland, Mr Coveney said Department of Foreign Affairs officials are working with Irish nationals on both ships to make sure they’re safe.

Hundreds of people in China have died from the infection, known as Covid-19, which has struck down thousands.

The department said it could not comment on individual cases.

In a statement, it added: “We are closely following the events concerning the Diamond Princess and we are in contact with the Irish citizens concerned.

“We are continuing to liaise closely with like-minded countries, EU partners and the health authorities in Japan and here in Ireland concerning the best course of action.”

Hundreds of people have tested positive for the virus on board the quarantined Diamond Princess.

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