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Coronavirus patient count soars to 136 on cruise ship

Red alert: Emergency workers arrive at the Diamond Princess in Japan PICTURE: EPA/JIJI PRESS

THE number of coronavirus patients on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan rose to 136 yesterday as another 66 tested positive.

Newly diagnosed patients on the Diamond Princess (pictured) include 11 US nationals — taking the total of American cruise ship patients to 23.

There are also 45 patients from Japan, four Australians, three from the Philippines, one Canadian and one from Ukraine.

Virus patients are being moved to hospitals on the mainland while the 2,500 remaining passengers are confined to cabins. The ship will be quarantined until February 19.

British tourist David Abel said ‘depression is starting to set in’.

Another cruise ship, the Westerdam, is to dock in Thailand after four countries refused entry despite claims of no virus on board.

CORONAVIRUSES such as the new one spreading across the world can survive on door handles and bus or train poles for up to nine days — more than four times longer than flu, research shows. But they can be destroyed in under a minute if wiped with disinfectant, say experts at the institute of hygiene and environmental medicine in Greifswald, Germany.