U.S. State Dept says 14 test positive for coronavirus from cruise ship in Japan

Feb 17 (Reuters) - Fourteen U.S. citzens tested positive for the new coronavirus during the evacuation of over 300 U.S. nationals and their family members from a quarantined ship in Japan, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

The Diamond Princess passengers were preparing to return to the United States on a chartered aircraft when U.S. officials received notice that 14 people had tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement.

The 14 were moved to a containment area on the evacuation aircraft, the statement said.

The luxury cruise voyage with more than 3,000 passengers aboard was struck by the virus earlier this month, leaving them and crew in confinement.

Meanwhile, an additional 99 people on the ship have been confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus, Japanese media reported.

The widening impact of the outbreak, which began in China in December and has killed over 1,700 people, is threatening large public events and damaging output and tourism in Japan.