February 16 coronavirus news

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6:27 a.m. ET, February 16, 2020

Italy to evacuate 35 nationals from Diamond Princess cruise in Japan

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has announced his government is planning to bring back 35 Italians currently on Diamond Princess cruise in Japan.

In a statement released on Sunday, Di Maio said a flight is expected to depart to bring the Italian citizens back, without giving more specific details of the flight.

“Italy never leaves its citizens alone. We are Italians, no one should be left behind,” the statement added without giving specific details about the flight.

Di Maio thanked all of those in his country and abroad providing support to his citizens.

8:27 a.m. ET, February 16, 2020

British passengers on Diamond Princess feel "forgotten" as US plans evacuations

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has thousands of quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, is seen through a fence at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 16, 2020. 
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has thousands of quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, is seen through a fence at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 16, 2020.  Photo by Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

A British man quarantined on board the Diamond Princess has said British nationals on board the cruise liner feel “forgotten,” as other countries start to evacuate their citizens from the ship. 

Outside China, the largest outbreak of novel coronavirus is on board the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama, a port south of Tokyo. Thousands of passengers have been under strict controls on board for almost two weeks now, and on Sunday, a US government chartered flight is expected to evacuate nearly 400 Americans from the ship back to the United States where they will be placed in another 14-day quarantine.

On Saturday, Canada also announced plans to charter a plane to evacuate its citizens from the Diamond Princess. 

Passengers are getting despondent. Americans are going to be leaving the ship very soon,” passenger David Abel said in a Facebook live broadcast on Sunday. 
“Every country except the UK has become involved, and that is really wonderful for the people on board the ship. Every country except for the United Kingdom,” he said. 
“It feels that we have been forgotten. That you don’t really care about us, and that you’re actually not wanting us to come home,” he said, calling on the UK government to evacuate British nationals aboard the ship. 

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement:

We are urgently speaking to authorities in Japan and the UK. 
“We are working around the clock to ensure the welfare of the British nationals on board.” 
5:24 a.m. ET, February 16, 2020

Hong Kong confirms one new coronavirus case, bringing total to 57

Hong Kong authorities says one more coronavirus case has been confirmed, after a 54-year-old man tested positive.

The man initially did not show symptoms but was later confirmed to have the virus after a second test Saturday evening. He had not been in contact with high-risk patients, authorities said on Sunday.

Hong Kong cases: This new case brings the total confirmed coronavirus cases in Hong Kong to 57, including one fatality.

5:02 a.m. ET, February 16, 2020

Princess Cruises cancels Diamond Princess voyages through April due to prolonged quarantine

Princess Cruises has cancelled voyages aboard the Diamond Princess through April 20 because of the prolonged quarantine period, the company announced in a tweet. 

Customers with questions about their itineraries are being asked to consult the Itinerary Modifications and Cancellations page on the company's website. 

Whats happening on the ship? The Diamond Princess cruise ship is currently quarantined at Yokohama, a port south of Tokyo with thousands of passengers who have been under strict controls on board since February 5.

US evacuations: On Sunday, a US government chartered flight is expected to evacuate nearly 400 Americans from the ship back to the United States where they will be placed in another 14-day quarantine. 

Americans who have already tested positive for coronavirus, as well as those showing symptoms of the virus, will not be allowed to board the evacuation charters, and will remain in Japan for treatment. 

On Saturday, Canada also announced plans to charter a plane to evacuate its citizens from the Diamond Princess. 

8:28 a.m. ET, February 16, 2020

Three Israelis on Diamond Princess test positive for coronavirus

Two buses arrive next to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new coronavirus, at the Daikaku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 16, 2020
Two buses arrive next to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new coronavirus, at the Daikaku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 16, 2020 Photo by Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

Three Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess, Israel’s Ministry of Health said Sunday morning. The three are not in serious condition, officials said in a statement.

The Israelis who have tested positive are being moved to a hospital in Japan, the Ministry said. Israel will send a specialist doctor to Japan as part of their treatment. The Ministry of Health is also working with other Israeli citizens on board the Diamond Princess to bring them home on a direct flight if they do not test positive for coronavirus. 

In Jerusalem, a mass prayer will be held at the Western Wall in the Old City on Sunday afternoon “in hope to stop the coronavirus epidemic,” the Community Rabbinical Association announced over the weekend.

2:00 p.m. ET, February 16, 2020

Coronavirus cases by the numbers outside mainland China 

There are now at least 69,260 global confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, and 1,666 deaths. Here's where:        

1. Australia (15 cases)         

2. Belgium (1 case)         

3. Cambodia (1 case)        

4. Canada (7 cases)         

5. Finland (1 case)         

6. France (11 cases, 1 death)         

7. Germany (16 cases)         

8. Hong Kong (56 cases, 1 death)         

9. India (3 cases)         

10. Italy (3 cases)         

11. Japan (407 total: 51 cases on land including 1 death + 356 from cruise ship)  

12. Macao (10 cases)         

13. Malaysia (19 cases)        

14. Nepal (1 case)         

15. Philippines (3 cases, 1 death)         

16. Russia (2 cases)         

17. Singapore (72 cases)                 

18. South Korea (29 cases)  

19. Spain (2 cases)         

20. Sri Lanka (1 case)         

21. Sweden (1 case)         

22. Taiwan (18 cases)         

23. Thailand (33 cases)        

24. United Arab Emirates (8 cases)        

25. United Kingdom (8 cases)         

26. United States (15 cases)        

27. Vietnam (16 cases)

28:  Egypt (1 case) 

3:40 a.m. ET, February 16, 2020

46 Americans among those who have tested positive for coronavirus on Diamond Princess

There are 46 Americans among those from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, now in Yokohama, Japan, who have tested positive for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, Princess Cruises told CNN on Sunday.

These are not new cases, but rather a clarification on the nationalities of the 286 that have already been announced.

Any Americans who have the coronavirus, or anyone who shows symptoms, will not be able to take the US government charter planes on Sunday. Those people will have to remain in Japanese hospitals.

3:14 a.m. ET, February 16, 2020

Cambodia asks Malaysia to re-examine positive coronavirus test of American Westerdam passenger

Health officials in Cambodia have asked Malaysia to re-examines the positive coronavirus test results of an American traveler who was on board the Westerdam cruise ship.

The request was made by the Cambodian Ministry of Health shortly after Malaysian health authorities confirmed the case, according to Cambodian state media.

The Westerdam docked in Cambodia late last week after it was turned away from several other ports in Asia due to fears of the coronavirus, because the ship had docked in Hong Kong.

State media initially reported that all passengers and crew on board the Westerdam underwent temperature checks and "not one person had an elevated temperature." Health examinations conducted on the Westerdam passengers followed the international health regulations of the World Health Organization, according to state media.

As of February 15, Cambodia had one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.

3:05 a.m. ET, February 16, 2020

If you're just joining us, here's what happened overnight

Global infections and deaths: More than 69,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been recorded worldwide, with the vast majority in China. There have been 1,669 deaths from Covid-19, the disease the virus causes, all but four of which occurred in mainland China.

China on lockdown: Much of China remains on lockdown or quarantine, which is having a major toll on the country's economy. Millions across China are working from home.

Cruise ship evacuations: Outside of China, the largest outbreak is on board the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama, a port south of Tokyo. Thousands of passengers have been under strict controls on board for almost two weeks now.

Some will leave Sunday evening Japan time, when a US government chartered flight is due to fly Americans to California. They will then be put in another 14-day quarantine -- a decision that has angered some.

Other passengers are due to begin disembarking next week.