Coronavirus updates: The latest news on the outbreak and the global response
The first death outside mainland China was recorded in the Philippines over the weekend; another person with the virus died in Hong Kong on Tuesday. — Phil Helsel
10 coronavirus cases confirmed on cruise ship quarantined off Japan
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Ten people from a cruise ship quarantined off Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said.
All 10 people — one of whom is American — have now been taken ashore for treatment at local hospitals, the company that owns the cruise ship confirmed Wednesday.
Princess Cruises said that a guest who later tested positive for coronavirus sailed from Yokohama, a port city south of Tokyo, on Jan. 20 and disembarked at Hong Kong on Jan. 25. That person did not report any symptoms while onboard, but later tested positive for coronavirus. — Arata Yamamoto and Phil Helsel
Another cruise ship with 3,600 on board quarantined in Hong Kong
Another cruise ship with 3,600 people on board has been quarantined in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s health ministry said Wednesday three people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus were on board the World Dream cruise ship during a previous voyage that took place between Jan. 19 and 24.
The three passengers are from mainland China — all of them got off in Guangzhou on Jan. 24.
The ministry said around 1,800 passengers and another 1,800 crew members are on board at the moment — 90 percent of them are Hong Kongers while the remainder are foreign nationals.
They have had no contact with the previous group of passengers, the ministry added.
Officials said around 30 crew members have already declared that they have symptoms of the virus. Three of them have been taken to local hospitals for treatment.
While the ship is in quarantine, no passengers or crew members are allowed to leave.
The cruise ship was originally bound for Taiwan, but had to return to Hong Kong after Taiwanese government prohibited it from proceeding to its port of call in Kaohsiung. — Jasmine Leung and Yuliya Talmazan
Hong Kong to quarantine all people entering from mainland China
Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam announced that all people entering the semi-autonomous territory from the mainland, including Hong Kong residents, will be required to undergo 14 days of quarantine starting this Saturday.
She also added that two cruise terminals — including one where a cruise ship is currently under quarantine — will be shut down.
“This newly introduced measures are stringent,” Lam said. “We have to be vigilant in every step in the course of coronavirus outbreak.” — Jasmine Leung
Tokyo Olympics organizers raise concerns about coronavirus impact
Tokyo Olympics organizers on Wednesday said they are increasingly concerned about the disruption the coronavirus is causing ahead of the games, which open in just under six months.
“I am seriously worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the games,” Chief Executive Officer Toshiro Muto said. “I hope that it will be stamped out as soon as possible.”
Tokyo organizers have repeatedly said there are no plans to cancel the Olympics. That position has been repeated by the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee.
But some Olympic qualifying events have already been cancelled or relocated because of the outbreak. — The Associated Press
One man’s lies leave thousands in quarantine, state media claims
A man who lied about returning from Wuhan amid the coronavirus outbreak has led to thousands of people being quarantined, China’s state CCTV reported Wednesday.
The man, who was only named as Zhang, came to a village in China’s Fujian province in late January from Wuhan. CCTV reported that he lied to the villagers and told them he returned from the Philippines.
He then attended a number of events in the community, including a 3,000-people folk-custom banquet and a wedding banquet attended by nearly 1,000 people.
He showed symptoms in late January and was isolated for treatment. On Feb. 1 he tested positive for coronavirus.
A local police statement released Wednesday said when the man returned from Wuhan, the local county government and hospital staff requested that he be quarantined at home and not go out, but he didn’t follow the order.
The statement said “compulsory measures” were taken against Zhang, who was suspected of endangering public safety.
Xinjing newspaper quoted a local official as saying more than 4,000 people are currently under medical observation as the result of the man’s actions. — Dawn Liu