All crew members left the ship affected by viruses in Japan: minister

TOKYO: All crew members of a cruise ship crowned by the virus have landed, said the country's health minister.

The crew began leaving the Diamond Princess on Thursday to quarantine ashore after the last of the passengers had left.

Including the captain, all crew members disembarked, health minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters Sunday night.

About 130 people, including the captain and 98 health ministry officials working on board, were negative for the virus when they left the ship, he said.

They will spend 14 days in dormitories designated by the government before they are allowed to leave Japan, while the ship will be disinfected before sailing again.

At least six people who were hospitalized after being taken off the ship died, including a passenger, the health ministry said.

On Sunday, a 78-year-old man evacuated from the ship died in a Perth hospital, becoming the first fatal victim of the disease.

Japan quarantined the cruise after an 80-year-old passenger who disembarked on January 25 in Hong Kong tested positive for the deadly virus.

The quarantine has been heavily criticized after more than 700 people on board tested positive for the virus.

The ship was carrying about 3,700 passengers and crew members when it arrived at the port of.

Kato said the government will have to review the entire process, but for now the authorities focused on efforts to contain the spread of the virus.