As the death toll for the coronavirus outbreak in China passes 2,000, here is the latest news for Wednesday Feb. 19.
Some passengers from a cruise ship quarantined in Japan amid coronavirus outbreak began leaving the vessel Wednesday.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said that a few hundred are expected to leave each day for the next three days. Only those who have tested negative are being allowed to get off the ship.
Princess Cruises, the operator of the ship, said Wednesday that the process will be be delayed as passengers are being tested for the virus, which can take two to three days.
“A certificate that indicates a negative COVID-19 test result is expected to be granted by Japanese health authorities to exit the ship,” Princess Cruises said in a statement.
Japan’s health minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters Tuesday that passengers “will have to find their own way home to from the port” and use public transport at times.
Some 621 people on board have been confirmed to have the virus out of the more than 3,000 who have been tested. There were about 3,700 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess before the quarantine.
More than 300 U.S. citizens and family members were evacuated from the ship Sunday.
The situation on the cruise ship prompted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to announce travel restrictions Tuesday for those leaving the Diamond Princess.
The CDC also said that more than 100 U.S. citizens were still on the ship or in hospitals in Japan.
Remaining passengers on board another cruise ship docked in Cambodia for almost a week left the vessel Wednesday after they tested negative for the coronavirus.
MS Westerdam, operated by Carnival Corp’s Holland America Line, arrived in the port of Sihanoukville on Feb. 13 having been turned away at five other ports out of fears it may be harboring the virus.— Olivier Fabre and Phil Helsel
U.S. evacuee from cruise ship confirmed to have virus
Meanwhile, a new case of coronavirus was confirmed among people evacuated from quarantined cruise ship to a California military base, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The patient, who tested positive for the virus in Japan but had no symptoms, was placed in isolation Monday at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa along with another evacuee who tested negative for the virus in Japan but then showed symptoms, according to a statement from representatives of the hospital and Napa County. — Todd Miyazawa and Yuliya Talmazan