The number of cases of coronavirus in South Korea doubled overnight to 204, almost all of them found in and around the country’s fourth largest city, Daegu. Many of the infections were traced to a 61-year-old woman, identified as “Patient 31” who had attended services at a church in the city, which along with a funeral attended by several members of the same church created what health authorities have called a “super-spreading event”.
Two elderly coronavirus-infected passengers from a cruise ship moored near Tokyo have died and two more government officials have been infected, the Japanese government said on Thursday, as more passengers disembarked after two weeks’ quarantine. More than 620 of the passengers on the Diamond Princess liner have been infected on the ship, which has been quarantined since Feb. 3, initially with about 3,700 people on board.
Hundreds of people began disembarking a quarantined cruise ship off Japan on Wednesday as the death toll from the new coronavirus in mainland China passed 2,000 and the number of new cases in the country fell for a second straight day. About 500 passengers were due to leave the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise liner docked at Yokohama near Tokyo.
Fourteen Americans who were among the hundreds of people evacuated from a quarantined cruise ship off Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday have tested positive for the novel coronavirus that has claimed nearly 1,800 lives in a growing outbreak in China. More than 300 U.S. citizens and their immediate family members who had been passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were taken off the vessel and repatriated back to the United States on two chartered flights.
American passengers quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan began evacuating the vessel Sunday to be flown back to the United States. The U.S. government had chartered flights that will depart Yokohama, where the ship is docked. Japanese officials said the quarantine aboard the ship is supposed to end on Feb. 19. The embassy added that no symptomatic or infected passengers will be allowed to board the chartered flights.
Passengers on a cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard might have the coronavirus cheered and clapped as the vessel finally arrived at a port in Cambodia on Thursday. The timing of their final journeys home was still uncertain, however, as the ship faces health checks by authorities and passengers need to be taken to Phnom Penh to catch charter flights.
China raised the death toll from its coronavirus outbreak to 811 on Sunday, passing the number killed globally by the SARS epidemic, as authorities made plans for millions of people returning to work after an extended Lunar New Year break. Many of China’s usually teeming cities have almost become ghost towns during the past two weeks as Communist Party rulers ordered virtual lockdowns, canceled flights, closed factories and shut schools.
A Chinese doctor who was reprimanded for warning against a “SARS-like” coronavirus before it was officially recognized died of the virus on Friday, triggering a wave of mourning in China and rare online expressions of anger towards the government. The death of Li Wenliang, 34, came as Chinese President Xi Jinping assured the United States that China was doing all it could to contain the virus.
The coronavirus outbreak, which started in China, has now been officially declared a global public health emergency. The decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) comes as the number of people who have died from the virus reached 170. So far, they have all occurred in China, where the virus originated in an illegal wildlife market in the city of Wuhan.