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Coronavirus updates: 8 more Americans diagnosed on cruise ship as death toll hits 638

By newadmin / Published on Friday, 07 Feb 2020 23:43 PM / Comments Off on Coronavirus updates: 8 more Americans diagnosed on cruise ship as death toll hits 638 / 7 views

• Global death toll rises to at least 638 as confirmed cases reach more than 31,000 in mainland China

• 8 Americans diagnosed with virus on cruise ship quarantined in Japan

• 27 cruise passengers screened in New Jersey

• Chinese commission sends investigators after death of doctor punished after raising alarm

• President Xi Jinping urges U.S. to respond to outbreak in “reasonable way”

• Two more State Department-chartered evacuation flights leave Wuhan for U.S.

Chicago coronavirus patients released from hospital

A Chicago couple diagnosed with coronavirus is now home, recovering from the illness.

The two cases represented the first example of the virus spreading from person to person in this country. Doctors said the husband had not traveled to China recently, but his wife had in December to care for her father in Wuhan.

On Friday, the couple released a statement thanking the medical staff at AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center Hoffman Estates.

“This has been the best healthcare experience we’ve ever had,” the statement read in part. “But we’re definitely looking forward to getting home and getting life back to normal.”

Another coronavirus patient, in Washington sate, was discharged earlier this week. Eight other patients with diagnosed coronavirus remained hospitalized Friday afternoon.

A patient in Wisconsin was confirmed to have the virus on Wednesday, but doctors said that person has not been been sick enough to warrant hospitalization. — Erika Edwards

Royal Caribbean enacts new cruise restrictions

Royal Caribbean cruises announced Friday that any guest or crew member who traveled to, from or through China in the last 15 days will not be allowed on their ships.

Any guests with Chinese passports and any guest or crew member that has been in contact with someone who traveled through China in the past 15 days will also not be allowed on board Royal Caribbean ships.

The company said it will do health screenings on anyone who is unsure if they have been in contact with people who recently traveled through China or report feeling unwell.

The cruise line will also bar anyone with a passport from China, Hong Kong or Macau from boarding its ships. — Jason Abbruzzese

Trump says China ‘is working hard’

President Donald Trump took questions from reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving for Charlotte, North Carolina, where he’s due to speak at the North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit.

In response to a question about whether he was concerned about how China was handling the coronavirus outbreak, Trump said he had spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“China’s working very hard,” Trump said. “Late last night I had a very good talk with President Xi.”

Trump said they spoke about the coronavirus and the U.S. and China are in touch with national and international health organizations over how to coordinate response.

“It’s a tough situation,” he said. “I think they’re doing a very good job.” — Jason Abbruzzese

Hong Kong to quarantine anyone traveling via China

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Hong Kong said starting Saturday midnight local time, it would quarantine anyone who had traveled to and from mainland China in the past 14 days and then returned to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong locals put under quarantine will be allowed to stay at home, while non-locals will have to stay at hotels or “quarantine camps.” — Jasmine Leung

Twenty-seven Chinese nationals were screened after getting off a Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas cruise that docked in New Jersey Friday morning.

One passenger who had a fever on the cruise was given Tylenol and the fever went away, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis said.

That person and three others, who were under close observation for their health on the ship, were taken to University Hospital in Newark, which has isolation rooms.

The other 23 Chinese nationals who were screened showed no symptoms and were headed to Newark Liberty International Airport for flights back to China on Friday.

The Bayonne mayor said he was told that none of the 27 people are from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, or have traveled there recently, and the screenings were being done out of an abundance of caution.

Xi tells U.S. to respond in ‘reasonable way’

In a phone call with President Donald Trump, President Xi Jinping urged the U.S. to have a measured response to the virus outbreak, Chinese state media reported on Friday.

Xi said he hoped the two countries could maintain communication and work together to work together to contain the epidemic.

Xi also said the long-term trend of China’s economic development will not change.

The White House deputy press secretary tweeted on Friday that Trump expressed confidence in China’s resilience in confronting the epidemic during the phone call.

China had previously accused the U.S. of scaremongering over the epidemic. — Dawn Liu and Isobel van Hagen

Death of doctor who raised alarm to be investigated

A Chinese Communist party commission said in a statement it would send a team to Wuhan, “to conduct a comprehensive investigation on the issues reported by the public involving Dr. Li Wenliang,” followingthe death the doctor who had been punished by police for blowing the whistle on the outbreak.

Li died of coronavirus Friday local time, the hospital confirmed. The ophthalmologist had tried to warn his colleagues about the deadly new respiratory virus in online chat forums. He was then reportedly reprimanded for “posting false information on the Internet,” in the early days of the outbreak

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection sent a team to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The team will “conduct comprehensive investigation on the issues reported by the public involving Dr. Li Wenliang,” it said.

On Friday, the Global Times, a Communist Party newspaper and usual staunch defender of the authorities, reported that “many said the experience of the eight ‘whistleblowers’ was evidence of local authorities’ incompetence to tackle a contagious and deadly virus.” — Dawn Liu, Phil Helsel and The Associated Press

The Diamond Princess sits docked at Daikoku Pier where it is being resupplied and newly diagnosed coronavirus cases taken for treatment in Yokohama, Japan.Carl Court / Getty Images

11 Americans among 61 on quarantined ship

Eleven Americans are among the 61 people from a quarantined cruise ship off Japan who have been confirmed to have the coronavirus, the cruise line said.

Princess Cruises said that of 41 newly confirmed cases from the quarantined Diamond Princess, eight are Americans. Earlier this week, 20 other people from the ship had tested positive for the virus, and of those three are from the U.S.

Overall, more than 20 of the 61 cases involve Japanese residents. Australians and Canadians are also among those who have tested positive.

The Diamond Princess is quarantined at Yokohama after a passenger who later tested positive for novel coronavirus after getting off in Hong Kong was on the ship late last month. There are around 3,700 passengers and crew aboard, and all are being quarantined.

Princess Cruises says on its website that there could be new developments, but currently the quarantine period is expected to last until Feb. 19. — Arata Yamamoto and Phil Helsel

American evacuees leave Wuhan for U.S.

Two chartered flights with around 300 passengers aboard have left the Chinese city of Wuhan amid a novel coronavirus outbreak centered there, U.S. officials said.

“Two planes have departed Wuhan en route to the United States,” a State Department spokesperson said Thursday night.

U.S. Northern Command said the two State Department chartered evacuation flights carried around 300 passenger bound for military bases in Southern California and Nebraska, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

One of the flights will land at Travis Air Force Base in California for refueling before continuing to Omaha. The other will go to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Northern Command said. The quarantines will be managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s the second round of flights from Wuhan to the U.S. this week.

A total of 540 American citizens and family members have already been evacuated and are under federal quarantine on three military bases in California: March Air Reserve Base, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Travis Air Force Base. — Abigail Williams

Deaths in mainland China hit 636

Seventy-three new deaths from novel coronavirus were reported in mainland China as of Friday, bringing the total deaths there to 636, according to numbers from China’s national health commission. That’s up from 563 deaths on the mainland previously reported.

Novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, has been confirmed in more than 31,000 people in mainland China, the commission said. Two people confirmed to have the virus have died elsewhere, one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.

Almost all of the new deaths — 69 — occurred in Hubei province, which is where the Chinese city of Wuhan is located.

China’s national health commission said of the confirmed cases on the mainland, nearly 29,000 are “currently confirmed.” Some people who had been confirmed have been treated and released.

There are 12 confirmed cases in the United States, but there have been no deaths. A second U.S. citizen in Wuhan has been confirmed to have novel coronavirus, and both are being treated at a local hospital there, a U.S. official said Thursday. — Eric Baculinao and Phil Helsel