Death toll rose to 490 in China due to novel coronavirus. while 10 new cases in Japanese cruise ship. Hong Kond, Thailand and some other countries also showed the increasing spread of the outbreak and renewed attention toward containing it.
Ten people from the cruise ship tested positive and were taken to hospitals, while all 3,700 crew and passengers on the ship will be quarantined on board for up to 14 days, Health Minister Nobukatsu Kato said. More tests are pending.
In Hong Kong, hospitals workers are striking to demand the border with mainland China be shut completely to ward off the virus, but 4 new cases without known travel to the mainland indicate the illness is spreading locally in the territory.
Epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, cut off by rail, air and road to try to contain the virus, the U.S. and other countries were organizing more evacuation flights for their citizens still in the central Chinese city.
To treat the thousands of patients, China rushed to build hospitals and converted a gymnasium, exhibition hall and cultural center in Wuhan.
Patients were being moved into a new, 1,000-bed hospital with prefabricated wards and isolation rooms. A 1,500-bed hospital also specially built opens in days. The hospitals made from converted public spaces to treat patients with mild symptoms have a total of 3,400 beds, the simple cots placed in tight rows in cavernous rooms without any barriers between them.
The 10 cases confirmed on the Japanese cruise ship raised that country’s total to 33 cases. They were among 273 people tested because they had a cough or fever, which are symptoms of the virus, or had close contact with a man who got off the ship in Hong Kong and was infected.
Thailand confirmed six more cases Tuesday, raising its total to 25. Two are motorcycle taxi drivers who had driven for Chinese tourists. Earlier a Thai taxi driver was also diagnosed with the virus. The cases are concerning because they suggest the virus can spread more easily between people than has been suspected.
Nevertheless, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries outside China to share more data on infections, saying detailed information has been provided in only 38 per cent of cases. “Without better data, it’s very hard for us to assess how the outbreak is evolving or what impact it could have and to ensure we’re providing the most appropriate recommendations,” Ghebreyesus said.