Coronavirus Update: ‘Public Health Emergency,’ 9,800 Cases Reported, 200 Deaths, Cruise Ship’s Quarantine Lifted

By Anna Breuer on 31 January 2020
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Worker wearing mask in open market in China

The number of reported cases of the novel coronavirus is now up to 9,800, according to figures reported by officials in China. Over 200 have died from the virus thus far, all of them in China.  The majority of the coronavirus cases are in China as well.

Shortly after the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern late Thursday, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory telling Americans not to travel to China.  The Level 4 “Do Not Travel” warning from the State Department is the agency’s most severe, placing China on the same list as North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Venezuela.

Singapore, which has 13 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, announced a ban on Chinese visitors and any foreigners who had been in China over the past 14 days.  In addition, the government of Mongolia said it would close its border with China to prevent importation of the virus.  Mongolia is located between China and Russia.

Russia confirmed its first cases of the virus and said it would close its border with Mongolia.  It had closed its 2,485-mile (4,000-kilometer) far-eastern border with China on Thursday.

The Japanese health ministry said that a citizen who returned from Wuhan on a government-chartered flight tested positive for the coronavirus.  More Japanese evacuees from the Chinese city arrived in Tokyo.

Additional airlines including LOT Polish Airlines, RwandAir, and Kenya Airways,suspended flights to China.

Over 100 people in 20 countries outside China have become infected with confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday.

Meanwhile, the 7,000 people who were being held in quarantine at Civitavecchia port on the cruise ship Costa Smeralda after a 54-year-old passenger developed a fever prepared to leave the ship.  Authorities confirmed that the woman did not have the coronavirus.  The Costa Smeralda is the fifth largest cruise ship in the world.  It is operated by Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival and went into service in 2019.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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