Around 500 passengers will leave a cruise ship on Wednesday, which has been quarantined off Japan after it tested negative for the new corona virus that infected hundreds on board, an official from the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
"The number (which will depart on Wednesday) mainly changes because it is up to the passengers (if they get out)," the official told reporters.
"But there will be about 500 people."
Only those who tested negative and had no close contact with a person infected with the virus are allowed to leave on Wednesday, and many of them will be Japanese passengers, the official said.
"They will go home by public transport, but they will take them to places like train stations by bus," he added.
But not all those who tested negative will get off immediately as several countries have announced that they will evacuate their citizens from the ship, and many of those who are offered repatriation are likely to remain on board until the evacuation flights arrive.
"The crew will disembark after all passengers have left the ship and it is still agreed with the shipping company," said the health official.
So far, 542 people on board the Diamond Princess have been diagnosed with the new corona virus, despite a quarantine that began on February 5, shortly after the ship's arrival in Japan.
The quarantine was established after a former passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong in January tested positive.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)