Fourth Israeli Diagnosed With Coronavirus on Stranded Cruise Ship

A fourth Israeli on the cruise ship that was quarantined for two weeks in a Japanese port was diagnosed with coronovirus COVID-19 on Thursday.

Eleven other Israelis who were aboard the ship but have not contracted the virus are expected to return to Israel on a special charter flight that will arrive in the country before the weekend.

Upon landing they will be taken to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer hospital for an additional quarantine period of 14 days.

The four Israelis who tested positive for the new coronavirus will remain in Japan for treatment.

An Israeli flag hangs inside a cabin of the Diamond Princess, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan February 10, 2020. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

New cases of coronavirus keep dropping, in a trend that has been partly attributed to change of the diagnosic criteria in the epicentre of Wuhan. China had 394 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, the National Health Commission said, sharply down from 1,749 cases a day earlier and the lowest since January 23.That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 74,576, and worlwide to more than 75,000. More than 14,000 patients have recovered.

'We're happy to be off the ship, but we're worried'

After two weeks of isolation, hundreds of passengers on the Diamond Princess who tested negative for the COVID-19 virus began to leave the ship, which is docked off Yokohama, Japan. Japanese health authorities said some 500 people would leave the ship Wednesday, with the remainder disembarking over the next two days. The authorities said it would not release passengers who had shared a cabin with a coronavirus patient, even if they themselves are not sick.