Captain announces an additional 44 new coronavirus cases on board Diamond Princess

UNTV News   •   February 13, 2020   •   501

Japan is allowing elderly passengers on the quarantined cruise liner the Diamond Princess to disembark and continue their quarantine on shore, according to announcements from the captain and the health minister made on Thursday (February 13).

Another 44 new cases were confirmed aboard the cruise ship, as elderly passengers who have pre-existing conditions or are in windowless rooms will now be allowed to leave starting from Friday.

An announcement from the captain was recorded by Philip Courter and Gay Courter, two Americans who have been quarantined aboard the vessel since February 3. “The Courter family supports the triage approach and removing anyone possible from the boat, especially crew, as diluting the concentration of illness makes everyone on board safer,” said Blake Courter, the son of Philip and Gay Courter, in an emailed statement.

The 44 new cases means that the total number of those infected is now up to 218. About 3,500 people remain on board, with an estimated 80% of ship passengers aged 60 or over. 226 passengers are above 80 years old, according to Japanese media.

The Diamond Princess was quarantined upon arrival in Yokohama near Tokyo in early February, after a man who disembarked from the liner in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the coronavirus. (Reuters)

(Production: Yi Shu Ng, Feline Lim)

Filipino worker in Hong Kong tests negative of novel coronavirus

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino worker in Hong Kong who was placed under observation for contracting novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is expected to be released within the week after testing negative of the virus, the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong said Tuesday.

In a Facebook post, the consulate said the infection of the Filipino migrant worker is the first reported case involving a household worker in Hong Kong.

Citing a report from the Hong Kong Health Department, the Consulate two more Filipinos were released Tuesday after completing their 14-day mandatory quarantine.

There were eight Filipinos placed on quarantine for possible infection of COVID-19. Seven have so far been released.

The consulate said the remaining Filipino undergoing quarantine is healthy and asymptomatic, and will possibly be released on Friday, February 28.

As of February 24, Hong Kong has 81 confirmed coronavirus cases with two fatalities as reported by China’s National Health Commission.

The commission also said that the death toll in mainland China has reached 2,663 with confirmed infections of 77,658.

850 people infected with coronavirus in Japan

UNTV News   •   February 25, 2020

Japan confirmed ten new cases of novel coronavirus infection on Monday, driving the number of infected patients up to 850.

Of the ten infected, four were in Hokkaido and one of them a teacher. Thus the local authorities decided to suspend classes of the school where the teacher works from Tuesday to March 6.

The total confirmed cases in Tokyo Prefecture reached 32, including three new confirmed cases on Monday.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed on Monday that a staff member of the Ministry and a quarantine officer who worked at the cruise ship got infected.

So far, six civil servants, two quarantine officers, three staff members of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and a staffer of the Cabinet Secretariat, who worked on Diamond Princess cruise ship have been infected with the disease.

Japanese experts on Monday issued a statement saying the coming one to two weeks will be a critical time for the disease to spread rapidly or subside.

The statement also says confirmed cases without identified infection sources have emerged in several places, implying that the epidemic may speed up spreading and asks the people to avoid gathering. (CCTV via Reuters Connect)

South Korean president vows to win battle against COVID-19 during visit to Daegu

UNTV News   •   February 25, 2020

In his first visit to Daegu since the outbreak began, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday (February 25) that the government will “win the fight” against the coronavirus as the number of cases in the country rose to 893.

About 68 percent of South Korea’s cases have been linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Of 60 new cases reported on Tuesday, 16 were in the southeastern city of Daegu, where the church is located.

Last week the government decided to designate Daegu and neighboring Cheongdo County as “special care zones”.

Moon on Tuesday sought to reassure residents that the government was not considering locking down the area. (South Korea’s Presidential Office via Reuters Connect)

(Production: Hyunyoung Yi)

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