A US passenger thumbs up to reporters while arriving at the Haneda Airport, in Tokyo on February 17, 2020 after disembarking in Yokohama from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where people are quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus.
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All times below are in U.S. Eastern Standard Time.
China’s National Health Commission reported that there were 2,009 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 142 additional deaths as of Feb. 15. The total number of cases in mainland China has reached 68,500, and the total deaths has reached 1,665, according the latest statistics from the commission on Sunday.
11:30 am: American citizens begin evacuating quarantined cruise ship in Japan
American passengers quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan began evacuating on Sunday. Officials said they would be taken on a charter flight to one of two U.S. military air bases, where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Passengers will be screened for symptoms prior to boarding. Americans that decide to not return on the charter flight will be unable to travel to the U.S. until March 4, according to the American Embassy in Tokyo.
Japanese officials said the quarantine aboard the ship should end on Feb. 19. There were 355 cases of the virus confirmed as of Sunday, with roughly 3,700 total passengers and crew on board.
10:50 am: China pharmaceutical company to sell Favipiravir drug as potential virus treatment
Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical, one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in China, has received approval to start selling Favipiravir as a potential treatment for the virus, according to a company filing. The company must still continue clinical trials of the antiviral drug, which is being developed by Toyama Chemical of Japan, after it hits the market.
6:21 am: Taiwan confirms death of man with no known history of travel to China
Taiwan said a man in his 60s with a history of hepatitis B and diabetes has died of the virus. It’s the first death on the island. The man died Saturday after nearly two weeks in a hospital, but does not have a known history of traveling to China.
Health officials are investigating how he became infected. Taiwan has 20 confirmed cases of the virus.
3:40 am: American from cruise ship tests positive for second time in Malaysia
An 83-year-old American woman who was previously aboard the MS Westerdam cruise ship in Cambodia last week has tested positive for the virus a second time since flying back to Malaysia, officials there said on Sunday. She was one of 2,257 passengers and crew onboard at sea for nearly 14 days, and the first to test positive for the virus.
Officials said that more than 140 of the passengers on the ship traveled through Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur airport, and all but eight traveled on to destinations in the U.S., Europe and Australia.
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