• Global death toll rises to at least 638 as confirmed cases reach more than 31,000 in mainland China
• 12th coronavirus case confirmed in U.S.
• 10 more cases found on cruise ship quarantined off Japan
• Taiwan bans all international cruise ships from docking
• China cuts tariffs on U.S. imports as it struggles with coronavirus outbreak
27 Royal Caribbean cruise passengers screened for coronavirus in N.J.; 4 taken to hospitals
Twenty-seven Chinese nationals were screened after getting off a Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas cruise that docked in New Jersey Friday morning.
One passenger who had a fever on the cruise was given Tylenol and the fever went away, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis said.
That person and three others, who were under close observation for their health on the ship, were taken to University Hospital in Newark, which has isolation rooms.
The other 23 Chinese nationals who were screened showed no symptoms and were headed to Newark Liberty International Airport for flights back to China on Friday.
The Bayonne mayor said he was told that none of the 27 people are from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, or have traveled there recently, and the screenings were being done out of an abundance of caution.
Two planes with American evacuees leave Wuhan for U.S.
Two chartered flights with around 300 passengers aboard have left the Chinese city of Wuhan amid a novel coronavirus outbreak centered there, U.S. officials said.
"Two planes have departed Wuhan en route to the United States," a State Department spokesperson said Thursday night.
U.S. Northern Command said the two State Department chartered evacuation flights carried around 300 passenger bound for military bases in Southern California and Nebraska, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.
One of the flights will land at Travis Air Force Base in California for refueling before continuing to Omaha. The other will go to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Northern Command said. The quarantines will be managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s the second round of flights from Wuhan to the U.S. this week.
A total of 540 American citizens and family members have already been evacuated and are under federal quarantine on three military bases in California: March Air Reserve Base, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Travis Air Force Base.
The coronavirus has killed at least 638 people globally, although all but two of those deaths were reported in mainland China. China’s national health commission said that as of Friday morning, there were more than 31,000 confirmed cases in the country. There have been 12 confirmed cases and no deaths in the U.S. — Abigail Williams
61 now confirmed with coronavirus from cruise ship quarantined in Japan
Further tests from people aboard a quarantined cruise ship in Japan has revealed 41 more people have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 61, Japan’s health minister said Friday.
The Diamond Princess, which has around 3,700 passengers and crew aboard, is quarantined off Yokohama for at least 14 days. A passenger who later tested positive for coronavirus in Hong Kong had been on the ship late last month.
The 41 new cases are all passengers, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato, and they were discovered after the final batch of results from more than 270 people came back. Earlier this week, 20 people had been confirmed to have novel coronavirus, which is also known as 2019-nCoV, health officials and Princess Cruises have said.
Those 20 people have been taken to hospitals for treatment, and the 41 newly confirmed will be checked into medical centers across five prefectures around Tokyo, Kato said.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has killed at least 636 in mainland China, and two deaths have been reported elsewhere — one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong. There are more than 31,000 confirmed cases in mainland China as of Friday morning local time, China’s national health commission said.
There have been no deaths in Japan. Everyone on board the Diamond Princess will be required to remain there during the 14-day quarantine, Japanese health officials said. — Arata Yamamoto and Phil Helsel
Coronavirus deaths in mainland China rise to 636, confirmed cases more than 31,000
Seventy-three new deaths from novel coronavirus were reported in mainland China as of Friday, bringing the total deaths there to 636, according to numbers from China’s national health commission.
Novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, has been confirmed in more than 31,000 people in mainland China, the commission said. Two people confirmed to have the virus have died elsewhere, one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.
Almost all of the new deaths — 69 — occurred in Hubei province, which is where the Chinese city of Wuhan is located.
China’s national health commission said of the confirmed cases on the mainland, nearly 29,000 are "currently confirmed." Some people who had been confirmed have been treated and released.
There are 12 confirmed cases in the United States, but there have been no deaths. A second U.S. citizen in Wuhan has been confirmed to have novel coronavirus, and both are being treated at a local hospital there, a U.S. official said Thursday. — Eric Baculinao and Phil Helsel
Two more charter flights to evacuate U.S. citizens from Wuhan
Two more charter flights have been sent to the Chinese city of Wuhan to evacuate American citizens, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the plans.
Over 500 people are expected to board the planes which are scheduled to land at U.S. military bases Friday. Passengers will then be quarantined to check for symptoms of the respiratory illness.
A total of 540 American citizens and family members have already been evacuated and are under federal quarantine on three military bases located in California: the March Air Reserve Base, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and the Travis Air Force Base.
All of the evacuees — about 1,000 in total — will remain on the bases for 14 days, starting from whenever their plane left China. All are undergoing medical screening for the coronavirus multiple times a day for the duration of the quarantine.
The evacuations are happening at a critical time because a second American citizen has been diagnosed with coronavirus in Wuhan, the U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Both are being treated at a hospital in the city, which is the epicenter of the disease, they said. — Abigail Williams and Erika Edwards
Crew members on quarantined ship test negative
Thirty-three crew members of a cruise ship that was quarantined in Hong Kong tested negative for coronavirus Thursday, according to a statement from the cruise company. All had reported symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
In addition, one crew member who developed fever symptoms is waiting for test results.
The health screening of the 3,600 passengers aboard World Dream was still in progress, the company, Dream Cruises, said.
On Wednesday, Hong Kong’s health ministry said three people who tested positive were on board the World Dream cruise ship during a previous voyage that took place between Jan. 19 and 24. — Jasmine Leung
China criticizes decision to suspend flights
Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s ministry of foreign affairs, on Thursday criticized some airlines' decision to suspend flights to and from China amid efforts to contain the global coronavirus outbreak.
“China is strongly concerned and dissatisfied,” she said after a spate of major airlines canceled flights. “We hope relevant countries will bear in mind overall relations and people’s interests and resume normal operation of flights to guarantee normal people-to-people exchange and cooperation.”
"I must stress that certain countries’ ill-advised decisions to suspend flights to and from China are neither cool-headed nor rational," she added during an online briefing. — Eric Baculinao
Death toll in mainland China reaches 563
The death toll in the novel coronavirus outbreak in mainland China has risen to at least 563 — up from 490 Wednesday. More than 28,000 cases have been confirmed across the country, according to figures released by China's National Health Commission.
Twelve cases have so far been confirmed in the United States.
Chinese health officials are also currently assessing nearly 25,000 suspected cases.
The vast majority of the deaths have been in mainland China. There was also one death each in the Philippines and Hong Kong, bringing the number of total global deaths to at least 565.
It's believed the epicenter of the epidemic is the city of Wuhan in central China, which has been on lockdown since Jan. 23. — Phil Helsel
10 more test positive on cruise ship off Japan
Ten more people aboard a cruise ship quarantined off Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Japan’s health ministry said Thursday.
That brings the number of people who have tested positive from the Diamond Princess to 20. The ship is quarantined off Yokohama with around 3,700 passengers and crew on board.
The first 10 were discovered in the first batch of testing, and the second 10 were confirmed after 71 more results were available, the health ministry said.
Of the newly confirmed 10, two are Americans — one a woman in her 60s, the other a woman in her 70s, health ministry officials said Thursday.
A former guest from Hong Kong had been on the ship and later tested positive, which set off testing for 273 people who either showed symptoms or had close contact with that patient. — Arata Yamamoto, Yuliya Talmazan and Phil Helsel
Taiwan bans international cruise ships from docking
Taiwan's health authority banned all international cruise ships from docking at the island from Thursday amid the increasing threat of the outbreak.
It came in the wake of the 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus aboard the cruise ship quarantined near Japan.
Taiwan's government also said Thursday it would suspend most visa applications from Hong Kong and Macau starting Friday. — Reuters
Another cruise ship quarantined in Hong Kong
Hong Kong authorities quarantined a cruise ship for a second day Thursday as they checked thousands of passengers and crew for coronavirus.
Hong Kong’s health ministry said Wednesday three people who tested positive were on board the World Dream cruise ship during a previous voyage that took place between Jan. 19 and 24.
The ministry said 3,600 passengers and crew members are currently on board.
The cruise ship was originally bound for Taiwan, but had to return to Hong Kong after the Taiwanese government stopped it from proceeding to its port of call in Kaohsiung. — Jasmine Leung and Reuters
Americans from Wuhan arrive in the U.S.
Hundreds of U.S. nationals, who were evacuated from Wuhan, arrived in the U.S. on Wednesday.
The first airplane with repatriated U.S. citizens landed last week at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California. All of the passengers are under federal quarantine orders for 14 days since they left Wuhan.
The same will be true for the 178 passengers who arrived Wednesday at the Travis Air Force Base, southwest of Sacramento, California.
A child on the plane developed a fever during the flight and was hospitalized with a parent in isolation pending testing for the coronavirus.
Several more planes from Wuhan are expected to arrive at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska. — Erika Edwards
China cuts tariffs on U.S. imports as it struggles with coronavirus outbreak
The reductions follow American tariff cuts last month on Chinese goods.
There was no indication Beijing altered its own cuts in response to the rising cost of efforts to contain the outbreak that have depressed business activity by closing factories, restaurants and shops. — Associated Press