The health ministry on Feb. 17 released guidelines for people who fear they have been infected with the new coronavirus as officials said 99 more aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, including 43 Japanese citizens, had tested positive.
A total of 454 people on the ship are now infected with the coronavirus. Of the 3,711 passengers and crew originally aboard the liner, about 3,100 remain as of Feb. 17, as many elderly have been allowed to disembark and some have been transported to a hospital.
The government issued the guidelines after experts said the coronavirus outbreak in Japan had entered a new phase, spreading among residents not directly linked to China.
Medical workers are concerned that large numbers of people suffering from cold-like symptoms, whether or not they are infected with the coronavirus, will flood hospitals and strain resources.
The guidelines urge people to stay home if they have symptoms. If symptoms grow serious, they are advised to call a special consultation center set up by the government.
The guidelines advise that people seek a consultation if they have a fever of 37.5 degrees or above for four days or more, experience difficulty breathing or feel lethargic. (The Japan Times, Kyodo)