Two Australians who tested negative for the coronavirus after enduring a two-week quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan tested positive for the virus when they returned home.
Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, said “It’s possible more people could develop positive tests over the next few days.”
The positive test results have brought into question Japan’s quarantine practices. Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Friday upheld his country’s ability to properly execute the appropriate tests to detect the virus, saying the government’s protocols were appropriate.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that now “is the time to attack the virus.” He said the virus is “public enemy No. 1.”
In China, where the virus first surfaced late last year, the number of new cases reported Friday rose to 889 after two consecutive days of declines.
The French news agency AFP reports more than 200 of the new cases were in two eastern China prisons with both prisoners and guards testing positive.
More than 1,000 coronavirus cases and 11 deaths have been reported from at least 25 countries besides China. So far, at least 2,200 people worldwide have died from the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, South Korea Friday reported 52 new cases, bringing the number there to 156.
The country’s fourth-largest city, Daegu, looks like a ghost town, with people ordered to stay off the streets as much as possible after 35 new cases in the city and its suburbs were reported in just one day, Thursday.
A woman who later tested positive is believed to have spread the virus to others at a church event.