Coronavirus: 13 New Zealanders on board disease-stricken Diamond Princess ship off Japan

Thirteen New Zealanders are trapped on board a coronavirus-stricken ship off the coast of Japan.

There are 2666 guests and 1045 crew members in total on the Diamond Princess ship, which is in the port of Yokohama. Twenty people on board are confirmed to have coronavirus, ship operator Princess Cruises said in a statement.

This includes two Australians, three from Hong Kong, one American, one Filipino and three from Japan. The nationalities of the other 10 confirmed infections are unknown.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson confirmed all 13 Kiwis on board had been tested for coronavirus, but none had tested positive.

All 20 who are infected will be taken ashore by the Japanese Coast Guard and transported to local hospitals. Everyone else will remain on board in quarantine for at least two weeks.

The cruise ship plans to go out to sea to perform "normal marine operations", which includes producing fresh water and conducting ballast operations.

When it returns to Yokohama's port, fresh food and supplies will be brought on board.

Princess Cruises has cancelled two of their cruises that depart Yokohama - one that was due to leave February 4, and other which was scheduled for February 12.

The cruise was caught up in the epidemic after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man tested positive for the virus after he disembarked the ship in late January.

China has reported new deaths from the coronavirus have risen by 73 in the past 24 hours to 563.

That brings the number of confirmed cases to 28,018, an increase of 3694.

Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, earlier reported 70 deaths on Wednesday, and 2987 new confirmed cases - more than 80 percent of the total.

The other fatalities on Wednesday were in the city of Tianjin, the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and Guizhou province in the southwest.

The little-understood new coronavirus has spread fear around the world and revived fears of the deadly 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS that killed almost 800 people

Newshub / Reuters