New Delhi: Two more Indians onboard the quarantined Japanese ‘Diamond Princess’ cruise ship on Monday tested positive with the deadly novel coronavirus. With this, the toll of persons affected on the ship has risen to six. Five members of the Indian crew on the ship had tested positive in a series of check-ups since last week. Officials claimed that they were undergoing treatment and their health was improving.Also Read - Karnataka School Reopening Update: CM Basavaraj Bommai Likely To Take Final Decision Today

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people on board the cruise liner ‘Diamond Princess’ that arrived at the Japanese coast earlier this month. The ship was quarantined after a passenger who de-boarded last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the novel virus on the ship. Also Read - 6 Children Found Covid Positive Days After Haryana Schools Reopen

The Indian Embassy had apprised that a total of 138 Indians, including passengers and crew, were on board the ship and assured that it will provide all possible assistance and bring back its nationals on the ship following their final coronavirus tests. Also Read - School Reopening News: Top Virologist Suggests Schools to Reopen in Phases With Vaccinated Staff

Notably, the viral epidemic – officially named by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as ‘COVID-19’ – has taken more than 1,700 lives in China alone. It has affected people across 25 countries. However, on Sunday, a total of 10,844 patients infected by the deadly virus were discharged from hospital after recovery. India also began a phased release of Wuhan-return people today who were quarantined at the ITBP Chawla Camp in Delhi.

Earlier on Thursday, the Japanese government announced that passengers aged 80 or older will be given the option to disembark the ship if they test negative for COVID-19. Those who meet the age requirement and have pre-existing conditions or are staying in rooms without a balcony will be prioritised for disembarkation. No Indian national falls under this category, eligible for early disembarkation, the statement added on Friday.

The coronavirus outbreak originated in central China’s Hubei province in December last year. It has now spread to several countries, including India.