TÁNAISTE SIMON Coveney has confirmed that two Irish passengers onboard a quarantined cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus.
Both Irish citizens were passengers on Japan's Princess Diamond cruise ship, which has been quarantined for two weeks following several passengers testing positive for the virus.
In that time, the number of infected passengers jumped from 10 to 450.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney had confirmed to RTÉ's Morning Ireland earlier today that there were a number of Irish passengers on board both the Diamond Princess and another quarantined ship, Cambodia's Westerdam, and said the Irish Government were "dealing with each individual case"..."to make sure they're safe, and if they're in quarantine, to make sure those conditions are safe."
Now Mr Coveney has confirmed that two passengers on board the Princess Diamond have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“Two of these tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently being treated in hospital in Japan. These citizens share dual citizenship with another EU member state and are not normally resident in Ireland.
“Our Embassy in Tokyo is in ongoing contact with them regarding their consular needs.
“We are also in close contact with those who remain in quarantine on the ship. We are working with our EU Partners and other like-minded countries regarding options for their return.”
He also confirmed that nine Irish citizens are passengers on board Cambodia's Westerdam, and that seven of those people are currently being screened for the virus.
Of those seven, two are normally resident in Ireland, with the rest residing in different countries.
A further two people who had been passengers on the Westerdam returned to Ireland last weekend, but have not been diagnosed with the virus. "The Health Service was informed," Mr Coveney said. "No further comment will be made about an individuals health or healthcare."
Mr Coveney stressed that while Irish citizens have tested positive for the virus, Ireland itself "remains COVID-19 free, with well over 100 tests coming back negative".