Japan confirms 3 more coronavirus cases on cruise liner; total now 64

FILE PICTURE: Journalists are pictured next to the cruise ship Diamond Princess, anchored at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, Japan, Feb. 7, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon -/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Another 3 people on a cruise liner off Japan have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases from the ship to 64, Japan’s health ministry said on Saturday.

Japan’s health minister on Friday said 41 people aboard the Diamond Princess had tested positive for coronavirus in addition to 20 previously identified cases, with those infected being moved to hospitals on land.

The liner was placed on a two-week quarantine on arriving at Yokohama on Feb. 3.

Amid an epidemic that has already killed more than 700 in mainland China, Japan’s health ministry said on Saturday that some 279 of the 3,700 people on board the ship when it arrived had been tested for the virus.

More than 34,000 infections have now been reported in mainland China in an outbreak that originated in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell