Japanese health officials are planning a voluntary disembarkation of passengers on the Diamond Princess to a shoreside facility to complete their quarantine, Princess Cruises said.  

Princess also gave guests the option to stay on the ship through the end of the quarantine period, which is Feb. 19.

An additional 44 cases of coronavirus, officially named Covid-19, were confirmed on the ship, bringing the total to 218, up from 174 on Wednesday.

Princess said it was informed by Japanese officials that the voluntary disembarkation will be done in a phased approach over the next few days, with the most medically vulnerable guests in the first phase, such as older adults with pre-existing health conditions.

According to officials, Princess said, passengers in the first group will be tested for Covid-19, and if the test is positive, they will be transported to a local hospital for further evaluation and isolation.

If the test is negative, they will be given the option to leave the ship and be transported to a quarantine housing facility.  

Princess said it has been told by Japanese officials that the temporary housing facilities include individual rooms and individual bathrooms. There are no clinics at these facilities and prescription medication will be provided, but medical care will require transport to a hospital or clinic. Princess also said the meals provided will accommodate certain medical conditions but not dietary preferences; the food will be Japanese bento-style boxes and that no western-style meals will be available.

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