Daily US Times: The American citizens who have been quarantined on a cruise ship have left Japan by two planes. Diamond Princess, the cruise ship, has been quarantined since 3 February when authorities found coronavirus positive passengers on board.
The ship was carrying 3,700 passengers.
Local media reported that the two planes were chartered by the US government departed Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in the early hours of Monday.
In the cruise ship, there were some 400 Americans on board and the ship has been held since 3 February due to infections from the new coronavirus which has hit China. But those who have already been infected by the virus, are not heading to the US now. At least 40 US citizens tested positive and they will be treated in Japan.
The ship was held after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man was found to have the virus.
On Sunday, Japanese authorities said the number of new cases on board the ship had risen by 70 to 355 which makes the ship the largest cluster of coronavirus cases outside China.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci said the infected Americans will receive medical treatment in Japan.
It is not clear how many are on the evacuation flights which are expected to take them to US Air Force bases.
The Americans will be taken to a 14-day quarantine, on top of the time they have already spent confined on the ship.
Some of the Americans denied being evacuated while they urged to wait until the ship quarantine comes to an end on 19 February.
One of the passengers Matt Smith, a lawyer, said he would not want to travel on a bus to the plane with possibly infected people.
In the meantime, Japan’s government has given away 2,000 iPhones to passengers on the ship – one for each cabin. The phones will be used to assist relief efforts as the phones have an app created by Japan’s health ministry, which links users with doctors, pharmacists, and mental health counselors.
Situation in China
Another 100 people died from the virus in China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. The number was down from 139 on Saturday.
On Monday, a total of 2048 new cases were reported across the country, 1933 of which were from Hubei. The province experienced the most deaths and reported cases so far.
More than 70,500 people have already been infected by the virus across China, while in Hubei alone, the official number of cases currently stands at 58,182, with 1,692 deaths.
Most new cases and deaths have been reported in Wuhan, the province’s largest city.
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