Second Briton among 130 coronavirus cases on board quarantined cruise ship

A second British national is among 130 confirmed coronavirus cases on board the quarantined Diamond Princess ship in Japan, the cruise company has confirmed.

On Monday Japan's health minister said a further 66 cases had been recorded on the cruise liner.

The ship has been isolated off the port of Yokohama with more than 3,600 people on board kept in quarantine while authorities try to limit the outbreak.

Japanese authorities wear protective clothing in area surrounding the quarantined ship. Credit: AP

On Friday British honeymooner Alan Steele was the first Briton on board the ship confirmed to have contracted the virus.

He was transferred from the cruise liner to hospital in Japan where his wife says he is in good spirits.

Wendy Marshall Steele has been in telephone contact with her husband and said on Saturday that he was still feeling healthy.

Alan Steele, from Wolverhampton, was transferred to hospital on Friday while his wife Wendy remains on board. Credit: Alan Steele/ Facebook

She told ITV News: "Alan's good, like I say the Japanese doctors are looking after him really, really well."

The honeymooner said being separated from her new husband is "hard" but added:

"We have a very strong relationship, he's always been there but he's always been by my side".

Passengers stand on the balcony of the cruise ship Diamond Princess anchored off the Yokohama Port. Credit: AP

The additional cases on board the Diamond Princess come as the death toll in China, the epicentre of the virus, rose to 908.

Globally there have been more than 40,000 confirmed cases of the viral pneumonia.

Britons on the quarantined cruise ship in Japan have described the 14-day quarantine as akin to living in a "ghost town".

A total of 78 British passport holders – including crew – were among those who boarded the ship.

  • David Abel, from Oxfordshire, is on board the Diamond Princess with his wife Sally

Japan's health minister told reporters on Monday that the government is considering conducting virus tests on all passengers and crew members before allowing them to get off the ship.

Katsunobu Kato said officials are seeking help by private labs and medical universities with adequate facilities as they are try to figure out if such massive tests are feasible.

He added that health authorities are scrambling to deliver medicine requested by over 600 passengers who are running out of their prescriptions.

Japan's military prepare supplies for passengers on board the ship. Credit: AP

Progress is slow, however, because of explanation and translation work for foreign passengers.

If blanket tests are conducted at the end of the 14-day quarantine period, everyone has to stay on board until results are available.

Cruise company Princess Cruises is not charging guests 'incidental charges during the additional time onboard.' Credit: AP

Princess Cruises which runs the affected cruise liner is refunding "the full cruise fare" for all guests on board.

In a statement on its website, the company says this includes "air travel, hotel, ground transportation, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities and other items."