The USA fly out passengers of the "Diamond Princess". On the ship "Westerdam" there are new concerns about German guests. China, meanwhile, is now reporting more than 70,000 virus cases.
The number of infections with the new coronavirus has exceeded 70,000 in China. With 105 new deaths within one day, there are now a total of 1770 deaths, as the health commission in Beijing announced.
After the discovery of an infection among the passengers of the cruise ship "Westerdam", some of whom had already disembarked in Cambodia, at least no symptoms of the lung disease known as Covid-19 have so far occurred, according to the shipping company.
However, there is an incubation period of up to 14 days before symptoms appear, and infected people can then be contagious. Previously, an 83-year-old American woman tested positive on her onward journey in Malaysia and was taken to the hospital, the Malaysian health authority announced.
According to the shipping company, 57 Germans were among the travelers. According to information from the German Press Agency, some are still on board the "Westerdam", while others have already started their journey home. The guests who have already traveled home will be contacted by their local health authorities, the Holland America Line said.
About 300 passengers who have already left the ship are said to be still in Cambodia. The US passenger Christina Kerby wrote on Twitter that the travelers who were in the hotel in Pnomh Penh were being tested.
Health officials in neighboring Thailand have announced that they will expand virus screening to travelers from Japan and Singapore, as well as travelers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
In addition, Thailand does not want to allow entry of foreigners who were passengers of the "Westerdam".
Evacuation of the "Diamond Princess"
After the virus spread on the cruise ship, which had been quarantined in the port of Yokohama for two weeks, the United States picked up hundreds of – uninfected – compatriots from Japan on board the "Diamond Princess". Two chartered planes took off from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Monday.
So far, 355 cases of the pathogen have been confirmed among the people on board. There are also two Germans among them. Of the approximately 400 US passengers, 44 had tested positive. The infected were taken to local hospitals.
The United States had its compatriots fetched from the port area in Yokohama in Japanese military vehicles that night. The drivers wore protective suits. Those affected are said to be in quarantine for 14 days at US military bases in California and Texas.
Australia announced that it would take 200 compatriots off board on Wednesday. You are supposed to be in Quran in Northern Australia for 14 days.
3000 people on board
Anyone who develops symptoms on the flight will be separated from others on the plane and taken to special facilities in the USA, said the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases in the USA, Anthony Fauci, the TV broadcaster CBS.
Canada, Hong Kong and Israel are also preparing, according to Japanese media reports, to bring their own compatriots back from the ship in Japan. There are currently around 3,000 people on the cruise ship. In addition to the two infected Germans, eight other German citizens are on board.
Meanwhile, Japan continued to bring back citizens and loved ones from the virus-hit city of Wuhan in central China. A fifth charter plane from the Japanese government landed at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport with 36 compatriots and 29 of their Chinese family members.
Japan had previously flown 763 compatriots from Wuhan.
State of emergency in China
With a driving ban for private car traffic, new radical restrictions on people’s freedom of movement were enacted the day before in the crisis region, which was already largely isolated from the outside world. In provincial cities, only service and emergency vehicles as well as transports with everyday goods are allowed on the streets. At the end of January, flights, train connections and long-distance buses had already been suspended.
While the number of infections and deaths from the new corona virus in China continues to rise, the situation in Germany eased over the weekend. The quarantine for around 120 returnees from China ended on Sunday in Germersheim, Palatinate. In Bavaria, corona patients were discharged as cured.
First death in France
France, on the other hand, reported the first death from the new lung disease Covid-19 in Europe. The Chinese tourist, an 80-year-old from Hubei province, died of the disease in a Paris clinic.
Five patients have died outside mainland China. More than 700 virus cases have been discovered in more than two dozen countries – most of them in Japan because of the cruise ship.