Coronavirus Live Updates: South Korea Evacuates Citizens on Cruise Ship in Japan

Countries around the world are taking measures to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, as the death toll continues to rise.

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South Korea Evacuates Citizens on Cruise Ship in Japan

A South Korea presidential jet will take off at around noon local time on Tuesday and land in Japan’s Haneda Airport to pick up South Korean nationals confined on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, local newspaper The Korea Times reported, citing the country’s vice health minister Kim Gang-lip.

The plane will return to Gimpo International Airport, which is located west of South Korea’s capital Seoul early Wednesday.

None of the 14 South Koreans on the Diamond Princess cruise, including nine passengers and five crew members, are thought to have contracted the novel coronavirus.

According to The Korea Times, only five of the 14 South Koreans will board the plane while the rest want to stay in Japan “largely due to their residential status and lack of connection to South Korea.”

Of the 14, 11 are permanent residents in Japan, the paper reported, citing the country’s foreign ministry.

South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan Report New Infections

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday a new case of novel coronavirus, bringing the national total to 31.

The new case involves a 59-year-old Korean woman whose test results just returned positive. She does not have any recent travel outside of the country.

Malaysia’s Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah wrote on his official Facebook page on Tuesday that two Malaysians on the cruise ship Diamond Princess have tested positive for the virus. The two are under isolation under the care of Japanese authorities.

The cruise ship, which has been quarantined in Japan since Feb. 4, remains docked in Yokohama. At least 454 passengers and crew members have tested positive for the virus among the almost 3,700 that were abroad the ship.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health announced on Monday two new cases of infection, bringing the country’s total to 77.

One new case involves a one-year-old Singaporean boy who was among a group of Singaporeans repatriated from Wuhan on Feb. 9. He did not have symptoms of the virus when he was onboard the flight home. The boy tested positive on Feb. 16.

The second case involves a 35-year-old Singapore man with no recent travel history to China. He tested positive on Feb. 17. However, the man did come in contact with the country’s 50th confirmed case—a 62-year-old Singaporean man who also did not travel to China recently.

Of the 77 cases, 24 people have fully recovered and been discharged from hospital. Four patients are in critical condition.

Mask-clad commuters get off a train at a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stop in Taipei, Taiwan, on Jan. 30, 2020. (SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control reported two new cases late Monday night, bringing the total known cases on the island to 22.

The two new patients, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 30s, are both relatives of the island’s first death from the virus—a taxi driver living in central Taiwan. They both tested positive on Feb. 17.

Chen Shih-chung, Taiwan’s health minister, said on Monday that the dead taxi driver might have contracted the virus from a Taiwanese businessman working in eastern China’s Zhejiang province.

The taxi driver picked up the businessman on Jan. 22, the latter having a serious cough at the time. However, the businessman—who was not tested for the virus back in January—tested negative for the virus when authorities tracked him down for a health check a few days ago.

For updates from Feb. 17, click here.

Frank Fang contributed to this report.

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Author: Epoch Times Staff

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