Photo/Illutration The virus-stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Crew members of the virus-stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess started disembarking on Feb. 27, according to the health ministry.

A total of 240 or so crew members who tested negative for the new coronavirus will be allowed to leave the ship, which is docked at the Daikoku Futo pier of Yokohama Port in Kanagawa Prefecture, the ministry said.

It will take several days for all of them to disembark.

On Feb. 27, 91 crew members as well as the last remaining passenger got off the ship.

According to the ministry, those disembarked were transported to the Wako campus of the National Tax Agency’s National Tax College in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, on buses arranged by the government.

They will stay there for two weeks and their health will be monitored during that time. They will be tested again after the 14-day period and if the results are negative, they can leave the facility.