Medical staff near the 'Diamond Princess'
Medical staff near the 'Diamond Princess'Reuters

Thousands of people aboard the Japanese "Diamond Princess" have been quarantined after ten of the ship's passengers were diagnosed with a new coronavirus.

Ninety percent of the passengers are from Hong Kong, and none are from mainland China. ​​​​​​Among the 3,711 passengers on the cruise vessel are at least fifteen Israelis.

One of the Israelis told Channel 12: "We're in isolation and can't leave our rooms. It's a very stressful situation, we can't go out even to the hallway. Yesterday we were supposed to disembark from the ship and they announced there was a problem. The police on the beaches do not allow us to reach port, because they said that there was a passenger who came on in Tokyo, and after he disembarked he was discovered to be ill."

David Abel, a British passenger who has been on the Diamond Princess for more than two weeks, told The Guardian: "We're not even allowed to open the cabin door to go down the corridor. They bring the food to us - it's a knock on the door. For the first time ever the crew are masked up."

"The passengers I feel really sorry for are those who presumably wanted to save money and booked inside cabins - they’ve got no natural light and they’ve got no fresh air."

Israel's Foreign Ministry "is in touch with the family members and following the situation via the Tokyo Consulate and the Department for Israelis Abroad. As far as we know, the Israelis are not among those suspected of contracting the virus. Right now all of the passengers are under the authority of Japan and the cruise company."

Those passengers infected with the coronavirus have been evacuated to hospitals to undergo tests.