Another 99 people tested positive for coronavirus on a cruise ship off the Japanese coast, Japanese media said on Monday, citing new figures from the Ministry of Health.
This would increase the total number of positive cases for the Diamond Princess to 454. The Ministry of Health declined to confirm the reports immediately.
It was also unclear whether the numbers included 14 U.S. citizens who tested positive for the virus but were allowed to go home on evacuation flights.
The Diamond Princess ship moored in Yokohama near Tokyo is the second largest group of coronavirus cases outside the epicenter in China.
Passengers were largely restricted to quarters since February 5, with only short and occasional breaks to take a breath on deck – with face masks.
Quarantine time is over on Wednesday, but many countries have decided to repatriate their citizens after an alarming increase in cases on board.
The United States was the first country to evacuate its citizens from the ship, but Australia, Canada, Italy, and Hong Kong have announced that they will follow suit.
On land, the number of cases in Japan rose to 65. The authorities warn that the outbreak is entering a "new phase" and advise people to avoid large gatherings.
A public celebration of the new emperor's birthday on Sunday has been canceled, and organizers of the Tokyo marathon scheduled for March 1 are reportedly considering canceling the amateur portion of the race.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)