British Diamond Princess evacuees depart from Boscombe Down airfield following a repatriation flight from Tokyo on February 22, 2020 in Amesbury, United Kingdom (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Four further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 13.

“The virus was passed on in the Diamond Princess cruise ship and the patients are being transferred from Arrowe Park to specialist NHS infection centres,” Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty confirmed on Sunday.

The cruise ship was quarantined on February 5 when a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong was found infected with the new strain of the coronavirus that has killed 2,345 people in China and 16 elsewhere in the world.

A total 78 Britons had been on board the ship.

A plane carrying dozens of Britons and a few EU nationals who had spent more than two weeks on the ship quarantined off Tokyo landed at Boscombe Down military base in southern England on Saturday.

After landing in the UK, the group soon shifted to Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral for a 14 days quarantine.

“The UK has brought home 32 British and European citizens from the Diamond Princess ship,” UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

“Thanks to our staff and medics on board who supported the flight.”

Those who did not make Saturday’s flight were either diagnosed with the virus and quarantined in Japan or had been cleared and flew home on their own.

(With AFP inputs)

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