Published: Wed, February 19, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

British couple in quarantine on board cruise ship 'test positive for coronavirus'

British couple in quarantine on board cruise ship 'test positive for coronavirus'

Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies programme, said the outbreak was "very serious" and could grow, but stressed that outside Hubei, it was "affecting a very, very tiny, tiny proportion of people".

Also on Tuesday, four Japanese nationals who were on the Netherlands-flagged cruise ship Westerdam, which is now docked in Cambodia, have arrived at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, local newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported, citing Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

A California woman who was evacuated on a US-chartered jet from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship said she didn't know until after landing that others on her plane had tested positive for the bug, according to new reports.

China on Monday released a detailed study of more than 44,000 confirmed cases indicating that the overwhelming number of deaths occur among the sick and elderly.

There have been 900 cases around the world, with five deaths in France, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement on Tuesday that the rate of new infections on the ship "represents an ongoing risk". Since it takes three days for results, the earliest passengers could get off the ship is February 21, as it is unclear how long the testing itself will take.

"It is highly likely secondary infections occurred", Iwata told AFP, saying scepticism from overseas of the quarantine was "only natural".

A planeload of Australian citizens caught up in the coronavirus quarantining process are expected to arrive in Darwin on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

South Korea earlier Wednesday returned seven people from the cruise ship, placing the six South Koreans and one Japanese family member into quarantine.

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At the time of this writing, 542 of the 3,711 passengers and crew had tested positive for the infection. They will be placed in isolation for 14 days, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The Japanese government has repeatedly defended the effectiveness of the quarantine and bristled against criticism that the ship became a virus incubator instead of a quarantine facility.

He said Canadian officials will be among those looking at what went wrong on the ship in order to prevent anything similar happening in the future.

This could include a further quarantine of 14 days, it reads. More than 300 American passengers evacuated earlier are quarantined in the United States.

Mr Abel broke the bad news of their diagnosis on his Facebook page on Tuesday, prompting an outpouring of concern from friends and fans.

Delta Air Lines is 'proactively reaching out' to passengers who recently traveled on a flight from Honolulu to Nagoya, Japan, after learning that two passengers on that flight are being treated for coronavirus, a statement from the airline said.

On Monday, the Japanese Health Ministry confirmed 99 more people on board have been diagnosed with the illness, bringing the total to 454.

But people in Yokohama appeared supportive of the decision to allow the passengers out despite the virus fears. I am being listened to and Sally & I feel really well. They arranged everything, ' she said. "I want to cheer for them", Habiro told AFP.

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