US Embassy: Americans aboard quarantined ship to fly home

TOKYO (AP) - The U.S. Embassy in Japan says Americans aboard a quarantined ship will be flown back home on a chartered flight Sunday.

Two buses leave a port where the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship is docked Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 67,000 people globally. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it. (Source: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

About 380 Americans are aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has docked at Yokohama, a port city southwest of Tokyo.

So far, 218 people from the ship have tested positive for a new virus.

The embassy says the aircraft will arrive in Japan late Sunday, and people will be flown to Travis Air Force Base in California, with some passengers continuing to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

After arriving in the U.S., all will need to go through another two weeks of quarantine.

France announces 1st death in Europe of virus patient

The French health minister has announced the first coronavirus death in Europe.

French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn says Saturday that “I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who had been hospitalized ... since Jan. 25.”

The patient, a Chinese tourist from the province of Hubei, had a lung infection caused by the coronavirus. He arrived in France on Jan. 16, then was hospitalized on Jan. 25 under strict isolation measures.

His condition deteriorated rapidly.

His daughter was also hospitalized but authorities say she is expected to recover

China reports fall in new virus cases for 3rd straight day

China has reported a drop in new virus cases for the third straight day.
The National Health Commission says there are 2,009 new cases in mainland China, bringing its total number of confirmed cases to 68,500.

The fatality rate remained stable with 142 new deaths. The death toll in mainland China now stands at 1,665.

After Chinese President Xi Jinping played a muted public role in the early days of the epidemic, state media have published a speech Xi delivered Feb. 3 in which he said he gave instructions on fighting the virus as early as Jan. 7.

It indicates leaders were aware of the outbreak’s potential severity well before such dangers were made known to the public.

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