Japanese health authorities say 10 more people aboard a cruise ship have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus that has killed hundreds of people in China and triggered a global health emergency.
A total of 20 people aboard Carnival Japan’s Diamond Princess have been diagnosed with the virus since it arrived at the port city of Yokohama earlier this week. The vessel and its 3,700 passengers and crew members have been quarantined after a passenger who disembarked after the ship docked in Hong Kong late last month tested positive for the virus.
Off the waters of Hong Kong, more than 3,600 passengers and crew are under quarantine after three passengers from a previous voyage tested positive for the virus. The Chinese territory has shut down nearly all land and sea border crossings with the mainland after more than 2,000 medical workers walked off the job Monday demanding that all border crossings be closed completely. Hong Kong was hit hard by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-03, which killed more than 800 people worldwide.
Chinese health authorities said Thursday another 73 people have died from the coronavirus, raising the death toll on the mainland to 563 since it was first detected in December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, with the total number of confirmed infections exceeding 25,000. There are about 150 confirmed cases in 23 other countries, including one death in the Philippines, the first outside of China.
Taiwan announced Thursday it was banning all international cruise ships from docking at the island.
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The World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a global health emergency, has issued an appeal for $675 million to fight the virus. But the global health agency said earlier this week the outbreak has not yet reached the level of a pandemic, despite its increasing detection across the globe.
The U.S. Department of Defense said about 350 Americans left Wuhan Wednesday aboard two charter planes that are scheduled to land later in the day at two military bases in the U.S. western state of California.
The U.S. State Department said it may schedule more flights to China on Thursday but did not provide additional information.
Two U.S. based airlines on Wednesday announced plans to temporarily suspend flights to Hong Kong. American Airlines and United Airlines said they were halting flights there through Feb. 20.
Chinese authorities have tried to stop the spread by instituting bans on movement in certain regions, and extending holidays to keep people away from schools and other large gatherings.
Beijing, however, is upset that a number of countries are restricting travelers from China from crossing their borders.