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China’s coronavirus cases rise to almost 70,000

Bloomberg | Updated on February 16, 2020 Published on February 16, 2020

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China said on Sunday that the number of coronavirus cases nationwide had reached 68,500, with the death toll rising to 1,665.

Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported fewer new infections for a second straight day with 139 deaths overnight, the same as Saturdays toll. It had 1,843 new cases, dropping from 2,420 a day earlier.

Meanwhile, an infected 83-year-old U.S. woman from a cruise liner raised concerns of further cases as more than 2,200 passengers and crew headed home after being trapped for nearly two weeks searching for a port.

Singapore to announce budget stimulus

Singapore is set to deliver a massive budget stimulus this week to offset the damage to the economy from the coronavirus.

The city-state, which has more than 60 coronavirus infections, had already been planning support for businesses hit by the U.S.-China trade war when the disease emerged. The city-state is losing as many as 20,000 tourists a day amid the outbreak, and the economic impact is already more severe than during the 2003 SARS pandemic, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was cited as saying Friday.

Rate of New Cases Slows in Hubei

Hubei province had fewer new infections for a second consecutive day, government data showed early Sunday, and the total was sharply below the surge from revisions in how cases are counted.

New cases reached 1,843, a 24% drop from the 2,420 of the previous day and well below the 4,823 reported for Feb. 13. The province had 139 new deaths for two days in a row, the second-highest daily total for the province.

Wuhan, the provinces main city, accounted for three quarters of all the deaths, and 70% of the infections.

Hawaii Officials Downplay Risks

The risk of contracting the coronavirus remains low in Hawaii, state officials said after a recent vacationing visitor from Japan returned home and was confirmed as being infected, local media reported.

The man’ s symptom were not at full force during his late January early February visit, according to KHON-TV.

Thats some what reassuring to us cause we know when you have fever youre more likely to be more infectious, state epidemiologist, Sarah Park, said during a Friday press conference. As a precaution we are working with partners to identify potential close contacts.

Hawaii Airlines began letting its employees wear masks this week, a spokesperson for the Association of Flight Attendants said, according to the station.

Canadas Virus Risk Remains Low

The risks in Canada from the coronavirus remain low, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said Saturday as the government said total cases remained at eight.

Canadians under quarantine are healthy with no coronavirus symptoms, Tam said. Should this continue, evacuees who arrived Feb. 7 and Feb. 11 should be released on Feb. 21 and Feb. 25, respectively. At that time, health officials will confirm individuals in quarantine are healthy and able to leave, Tam added.

Hong Kong to Evacuate Residents on Cruise

Hong Kongs government said overnight that it would organize a chartered flight to bring residents quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where infections have been detected, home free of charge. They will then be placed in a 14-day quarantine, it said.

Once the Japanese authorities have confirmed the detailed arrangements, the Government will inform the affected Hong Kong residents details of the return date and related arrangements as soon as possible, the statement said.

U.S. Planes Set for Japan Evacuation

Aircraft chartered by the U.S. State Department are to arrive on Sunday in Japan to evacuate about 400 citizens from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship -- the largest infection cluster outside China with almost 300 confirmed cases.

Passengers will be screened before boarding and anyone with symptoms will receive the required care in Japan if they cannot board the flight, the department said. More checks will be made en route and upon landing at Travis Air Force Base in California.

Americans on the flights are subject to a 14-day quarantine at either Travis or Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.

Published on February 16, 2020
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