TWO passengers on board the stranded coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship have died, as panicked passengers are evacuated.
These are the first two deaths on board the cruise, as more than 620 of the total 3,700 passengers and crew members originally on board tested positive for the virus.
Two passengers on board the coronavirus-struck Diamond Princess cruise ship have died[/caption]
Passengers have just begun to disembark the cruise ship in batches, as more than 620 on board tested positive for the virus[/caption]
A man and a woman in their 80s are the two dead, Japanese broadcaster NHK said, citing a government source.
The cruise ship has been stranded near Tokyo for weeks, since Feb. 3, amid fears the coronavirus would spread after a passenger who got off the ship in Hong Kong reportedly tested positive for the virus.
In an effort to halt the spread of the virus on board the cruise ship, passengers have been required to stay in their rooms since Feb. 5, the health ministry said in a statement.
This comes amid concerns that passengers may be infected for 14 days before they show symptoms of the deadly virus.
A group of passengers who had tested negative for the virus left the cruise Wednesday.
Around 500 passengers were set to get off the cruise ship Thursday, as another 100 were headed for charter flights back home, a health ministry official said.
The U.S. evacuated more than 300 nationals on chartered flights earlier this week, but more than 45 citizens were on board the ship Thursday, a U.S. State Department official said.
It was unclear exactly how many passengers remained on board, but those who shared a room with people who tested positive for the virus were to remain under quarantine.
The ship has been stranded off the coast of Japan since early February, amid fears that the virus would spread[/caption]
The passengers who died were a man and woman in their 80s[/caption]
Passengers were shuttled on buses after they disembarked from the cruise[/caption]
It was unclear how many passengers were on board the ship as they continued to disembark in groups[/caption]
Around 500 passengers were set to get off the ship Thursday, and another 100 were set to take charter flights home[/caption]
A California woman claims that her husband fell ill on a flight to Nebraska after they were evacuated from the ship.
Jari Seratti-Goldman says her husband, Carl, was unable to walk after the plane landed, and he was rushed to a bio-containment unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
All the other passengers who landed in Omaha will be monitored for symptoms by UNMC for two weeks.
In addition to the U.S. citizens facing a quarantine, around 150 passengers from Australia, and citizens returning to Hong Kong will also have to complete 14-day quarantines.
Japanese citizens departing the ship, however, will not have to spend an additional two weeks in quarantine, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said, referring to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases’s advice.
Japan’s NIID said if people tested negative for the virus and did not show symptoms during the 14-day quarantine, it should not be a problem.
The deaths come as a total of 75,204 cases of the virus — given the name Covid-19 — have been confirmed worldwide, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization.
A total of 2,006 people have died since the outbreak first began two months ago in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province.
Panicked passengers have begged to be let off the ship, amid fears everyone on board would inevitably become sick[/caption]
Although other countries have implemented mandatory quarantines as passengers return home, Japan says passengers are good to go if they showed no symptoms and did not test positive[/caption]
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In the U.S., 15 cases have been confirmed, according to the latest numbers from the CDC.
As the virus continues to spread, countries have implemented travel restrictions or additional screenings in airports in an effort to halt its spread.
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