Global coronavirus cases top 70,000
- More cases: The novel coronavirus has infected more than 69,000 people globally, mostly in mainland China. The death toll is 1,669, including four people outside mainland China.
- Chinese leader: President Xi Jinping knew about the coronavirus outbreak in early January, he said in a speech this month. Xi says he “issued requirements for the prevention and control of the new coronavirus” on Jan. 7.
- More cruise ship cases: 70 more coronavirus cases were confirmed on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise liner in Yokohama, Japan, bringing total infections to 356. A flight evacuating US passengers is due to depart later Sunday — those on board will face another quarantine once they land.
- First death in Europe: A Chinese tourist who tested positive for the virus died in France, health officials confirmed on Saturday.
- Spike in numbers: There’s been a spike in numbers this week — including 15,000 in one day — because China changed how cases are tabulated.
Two airplanes chartered by the United States government to evacuate American passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have departed Tokyo.
The first plane is heading to Kelly Field/Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The second plane is going to Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, California.
The planes took off more than four hours after 10 buses brought the passengers from the cruise ship in Yokohama to Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
US officials have not discussed the number of people who asked for a seat on the charters.
Singapore has identified three new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the citywide total to 75 confirmed cases, the country’s health ministry said.
Two of the cases are linked to the Grace Assembly of God church, which is the largest community cluster of cases in Singapore.The third one is related to a separate case.
None of those patients have traveled to China recently, the ministry said.
As of Sunday, a total of 19 patients have fully recovered from the virus and have been discharged from the hospital.
Dr. John Wiesman, the health secretary in Washington state — where the first US case of Wuhan coronavirus was confirmed — says the public should do “what you do every cold and flu season.”
That includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If you’re the one feeling sick, cover your entire mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. But don’t use your hands. Use either your bent elbow or a tissue that you throw away immediately afterward.
WHO also recommends staying at least 3 feet or 1 meter away from anyone who may be infected.
Is there a cure for novel coronavirus? No. Patients can be treated and may recover from their symptoms, but there is no known cure for the novel coronavirus yet.
Nearly 400 Americans on board of the Diamond Princess were sent a notice Saturday laying out plans to evacuate them to the United States. They are among thousands of travelers who had been stuck in their cabins under mandatory quarantine since February 3.
Those who chose to take part in the US government’s voluntary evacuation arrived in 10 buses at the airport earlier today.
The novel coronavirus has spread throughout the world since the first cases were detected in central China in December, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
Meanwhile, a number of countries, such as the United States and Japan, have evacuated their nationals on flights from Wuhan, capital of the Hubei province and the epicenter of the outbreak.
Here’s map showing places outside mainland China with confirmed cases of the coronavirus:
Americans from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan who chose to take part in the US government’s voluntary evacuation have arrived at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Led by a police convoy, they arrived in 10 busses.
They will board two Boeing 747s chartered from Kalitta Air, and will soon depart for Travis Air Force Base in California. The passengers will have to undergo another quarantine, lasting 14 days, upon arrival in the US.
The Defense Department confirmed today that two charter planes carrying about 400 Americans from the Diamond Princess cruise ship will be arriving at two military bases in support of efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The Defense Department is prepared to receive two Department of State chartered evacuation flights from Japan, carrying passengers evacuated from the cruise ship Diamond Princess, currently docked in Tokyo,” the Defense Department said.
One of the aircrafts will land at Travis Air Force Base, California and the other will land at Kelly Field/Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, the statement said.
The DOD said that — as previously announced — “these individuals will be subject to a CDC managed 14-day quarantine. HHS will ensure that no evacuated personnel are transferred to any DOD installation if they test positive for the COVID-19 virus. Any evacuees who test positive or become symptomatic will be transferred to a suitable off-base facility at the direction of CDC.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking to reporters Sunday in Senegal said, “I think we all need to be mindful of the serious nature of the threat that is posed” by the spread of the coronavirus.
“[W]e are prepared to do everything that the United States can do to reduce the risk to populations,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo added that he was especially concerned about countries “where there is not significant capable healthcare infrastructure. That presents a lot of risk and we are already doing our best.”
Japan has identified six more positive cases of novel coronavirus not from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare announced.
That brings the total number of cases in Japan to 412, of which 356 are from the Diamond Princess and 56 are not.
A Taiwanese man in his mid-60s who tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus has died, the Taiwanese Health Ministry announced on Sunday morning.
The deceased man, who had a history of hepatitis B and diabetes and no history of traveling abroad, is the first person in Taiwan to die from the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, the ministry said in a statement.
Another case of the virus was also confirmed in Taiwan on Sunday, the health ministry said.
The man in his 50s who is currently asymptomatic, bringing the total number of confirmed cases on the island to 20.
Two Boeing 747 charter airplanes believed to be for Americans being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship today have just landed in Tokyo.
The two planes from Kalitta Air touched down at Haneda Airport at 8:30 a.m. ET.
The company that owns the Westerdam cruise ship, which docked in Cambodia, has acknowledged that one of its disembarked passengers has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“The guest departed Westerdam February 14 and later reported feeling ill at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, airport,” the statement from Holland America read. “The guest was taken to the hospital and is reported to be in stable condition. The guest’s traveling companion tested negative for COVID-19.”
The company says that no other guests or crew, “on board or on their way home,” have reported being ill.
“On Feb. 10, 2020, all 2,257 passengers and crew on board Westerdam were screened for illness including the taking of individual temperatures. No individual was identified with an elevated temperature. Also during disembarkation in Cambodia guests underwent an additional health screening including the completion of a written health questionnaire,” the company said.
Holland America added: “Furthermore, the passports of everyone on board were reviewed to ensure no one had traveled through mainland China in the 14 days prior to the cruise. During the voyage there was no indication of COVID-19 on the ship. The guest who tested positive did not visit the ship’s medical center to report any symptoms of illness.”