Crew Members Disembark From Diamond Princess

Crew members disembark from Diamond Princess

Crew members aboard the quarantined ship docked near Tokyo began disembarking Thursday. Those without symptoms will be quarantined and undergo medical checkups for 14 days.

It will take about 3 days for the approximately 240 crew members to disembark. Most of them are non-Japanese. They will leave Japan after the two-week period if they test negative.

Meanwhile, in Osaka prefecture, health officials revealed a woman in her 40s has tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time.

Health officials say the patient is a tour guide from the city. She led a bus with visitors from Wuhan, China ... the city at the center of the outbreak ... last month. She was later diagnosed and hospitalized.

The woman was discharged after testing negative in early February. But about two weeks later, she began to feel pains in her throat and chest. It took several trips to the doctor before she was tested for coronavirus.

And on Wednesday, it came back positive. Officials say her case is unusual. An expert on infectious diseases says people who are infected develop antibodies.

But if there's not enough, a person could be prone to re-infection.

Across Japan, 900 cases of infection have been confirmed.

More than 700 of those are from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Eight people have died, including one reported in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido on Thursday.

The outbreak has prompted the Japanese government to call for major events to be cancelled, delayed or scaled back over the next two weeks.

It's also prompting every elementary and junior high school in Hokkaido to close for about a week.

Local governments across the prefecture took the preventative measure on Wednesday.

Hokkaido has the largest number of infected people in Japan, a list that includes children, a teacher, and a school-bus driver.

Governor Naomichi Suzuki said, " This is an unprecedented decision, but we need residents' help."

The transport ministry is also implementing new measures to try to contain the spread of the virus.

In Hiroshima Prefecture, a major rail operator called on passengers to stagger their start times to prevent large crowds from gathering.