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Novel Coronavirus death toll climbs to 1,669 as US passengers trapped on cruise ship awaiting to fly home 

To date, the number of novel coronavirus cases has risen to over 69,000 globally with the first recorded death reported in Europe. This is an 80-year-old Chinese tourist who has been receiving treatments and medication for the novel coronavirus since January 25. In mainland China alone, the recorded virus cases were 68,500. Almost 9,500 patients infected with the said virus have been treated and fortunately discharged from hospitals across China. Deaths also occurred in other places namely in Hong Kong, Philippines, and Japan.

It is still a question if the stringent quarantine measures taken and adapted across the country is enough to contain the virus’ spread wherein several huge and major cities have now been on lockdown for almost a month. The authorities in Beijing ordered a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for those travelers returning to the city. Those who are proven to violate such rules are subject to potential legal repercussions.

Thousands of passengers onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship are just a few days away from the official end of their two-week cruise ship quarantine. They ship is currently docked at the Japanese port of Yokohama. A total of 286 cases had been confirmed on board the ship which makes it the largest outbreak of the virus outside of mainland China.

Not all of the passengers will be able to leave as the United States is providing a charter flight to transport its citizens back to their home. Also, those who boarded the aircraft need to endure an additional 14-day quarantine which will either at Travis Air Force in Fairfield California or Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonia, Texas. Passengers will not be housed alongside those who have been placed under quarantine after returning home from China.

The passengers onboard the Diamond Princess are said to be at high risk of exposure to the virus and therefore, the government is chartering flights to lessen the risks. Also, no infected or symptomatic passengers will be allowed to board.

To date, China is still struggling to return to work after several businesses were shut and school classes were suspended for weeks. Millions are now working from home. But it’s not only China that is affected by this outbreak. The closing of the Chinese plants also disrupted supply chains internationally. It is indeed threatening and may cause a recession in Germany and smartphone shortages worldwide. If the novel coronavirus outbreak will continue, the economic damage will increase rapidly.

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