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Japan minister apologises after woman who leaves ship tests positive for virus

23 February 2020 - 09:07 By Reuters
Cruise ship Diamond Princess, where dozens of passengers were tested positive for coronavirus, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, February 16, 2020. File photo
Cruise ship Diamond Princess, where dozens of passengers were tested positive for coronavirus, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, February 16, 2020. File photo
Image: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

Japan's health minister apologised on Saturday after a woman who was allowed to leave a coronavirus-infected cruise ship docked near Tokyo tested positive for the virus.

The woman in her 60s disembarked the ship on Wednesday following a two-week quarantine on board, but was found to be positive following another test in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

"We deeply apologise for the situation caused by our oversight," Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told a news conference on Saturday evening. "We will take all necessary measures, like double checks, to prevent a recurrence."

The ministry said it would retest 23 passengers released from the ship. 

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