The Diamond Princess cruise ship, with around 3,600 people quarantined onboard due to fears of the deadly COVID-19 coronavius, is seen anchored at the Daikaku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama on February 13, 2020. – At least 218 people on board a cruise ship quarantined off Japan have tested positive for the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, authorities said February 13 as they announced plans to move some elderly passengers off the ship.

Photo by AFP

The majority of Ukrainians on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship have refused to be evacuated, Hromadske Radio said, citing the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

“Almost all Ukrainians aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship are not going to be evacuated to Ukraine,” the radio station said, citing Maksym Kovalenko, the director of the crisis management unit at the ministry’s Consular Service Department.

There are 25 Ukrainians on board the Diamond Princess, it said. Two of them have been hospitalized. All 25 are members of the ship’s crew.

“Their duties are determined by the contract, but their wishes are also being taken into account. Twenty-four of them have said so far that they are not going to return to Ukraine. Contact is being established with another Ukrainian,” Kovalenko said.

The embassy, the Foreign Ministry, and the Health Ministry are ready to help them if the Ukrainians change their minds, he said.

“A decision on whether to return to Ukraine will be made primarily by these citizens themselves and the vessel owner,” Kovalenko said.

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