February 21 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 0104 GMT (0904 HKT) February 22, 2020
3 Posts
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9:19 p.m. ET, February 20, 2020

Eleven evacuees from Diamond Princess test positive for coronavirus in US

From CNN's Nick Watt

The building that houses the quarantine unit at Nebraska Medical Center is seen on Tuesday in Omaha.
The building that houses the quarantine unit at Nebraska Medical Center is seen on Tuesday in Omaha. Josh Funk/AP

Eleven evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship flown out by the United States have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

In total, 13 of the US evacuees were taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center earlier this week for testing, according to a news release from the UNMC.

All but two tested positive, the release said.

The 13 evacuees were transported from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan to the US on February 17 on two separate flights.

Ten of the evacuees taken to UNMC are in a quarantine unit, while three others are in the Nebraska Biocontainment unit, according to the release..

9:19 p.m. ET, February 20, 2020

South Korea announces 52 new coronavirus cases overnight

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Seoul

Workers spray disinfectant in Daegu, South Korea on Thursday.
Workers spray disinfectant in Daegu, South Korea on Thursday. Kim Jun-beom/Yonhap via AP

There has been a sharp jump in new cases of novel coronavirus in South Korea since Thursday, the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today.

A total of 52 new cases were diagnosed in just one day, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 156.

Among the new cases, 39 are linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southern city of Daegu. South Korean authorities said Thursday they were looking to test the entire congregation.

Moon and Xi agree to information sharing: As the outbreak worsens in South Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on the phone for 32 minutes on Thursday, agreeing to share information about the two countries’ clinical treatment experiences.

In a written statement, South Korea’s Blue House said that Xi ran Moon through how China had been handling its coronavirus outbreak.

He told Moon that “the Chinese people has broken away from the initial fear and are seeing the prospect and hope of overcoming the infectious disease.”

8:47 p.m. ET, February 20, 2020

Two Diamond Princess cruise ship evacuees test positive for novel coronavirus in Australia

From Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Two passengers from Australia who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Brendan Murphy, chief medical officer for the Australian government, said in a statement that 164 evacuees from the cruise ship arrived at the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility on Thursday to begin their 14-day quarantine.

But on arrival, six passengers were identified to have minor respiratory symptoms or fevers. They were moved into isolation and tested, where two tested positive for the virus.

Murphy said both patients "remain well" and are being housed in a special isolation unit at the quarantine facility. He added that "the development of positive cases after return to Australia is not unexpected" since there was continued evidence of spread of infection onboard the Diamond Princess.

Australia now has 17 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

Passengers departing: The Diamond Princess passengers are expected to continue leaving the cruise ship today, after going through 14 days of quarantine onboard.

The final passengers are expected to leave the ship in the next couple of days.

At least 626 cases of the coronavirus have been linked to the ship, including the deaths of two Japanese passengers in their 80s.