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Coronavirus live updates: China death toll passes 490 as UK urges citizens to leave – latest news


Britain has told citizens to leave China, New Zealand is the latest country to airlift people out of Wuhan and Nike is latest multinational to warn about the economic impact. Follow all the developments here

1.46am GMT

More on the Japanese cruise ship from our correspondent in Tokyo, Justin McCurry.

Tests for the virus have been carried out on 273 of the 3,700 passengers and crew on board the Diamond Princess after an 80-year-old man who had been on the ship last month tested positive when he arrived home in Hong Kong.

Japan confirms that at least 10 passengers aboard this cruise ship have been infected with the #coronavirus.

3,711 people were quarantined on board the Diamond Princess Monday after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong Jan. 25 tested positive for the virus. pic.twitter.com/2N36Pg9RFC

Japan’s health minister, Katsunobu Kato, said only passengers and crew who had been in close contact with the infected man or were feeling unwell had been tested. Of the 273 people tested, 31 results had come back – and of those 10 had tested positive, Kato said. The 10 infected passengers, who include three Japanese nationals, are being transferred to a hospital.

It was immediately not clear if health authorities planned to test other passengers. Kato said the remaining passengers and crew would be required to stay on the vessel for 14 days – the maximum incubation period of the respiratory illness.

1.38am GMT

The suspension of flights by airlines into China has now spread to Hong Kong.

The two biggest carriers in the United States, American Airlines and United Airlines, said late on Tuesday US time that they won’t fly in or out of the territory for two weeks.

1.09am GMT

Ten people onboard a cruise ship docked off the port of Yokohama have tested positive for coronavirus, the Japanese health minister said on Wednesday morning.

Hundreds more of the 3,700 passengers and crew on the Diamind Princess ship have been tested and are awaiting results.

12.58am GMT

Back to the Air New Zealand flight that left Wuhan on Wednesday morning. Radio New Zealand is reporting that one person was stopped from boarding the plane because they were found to be unwell after the screening process for passengers.

RNZ reports that New Zealand’s foreign ministry said about 60 people who registered for the flight did not turn up at the airport.

12.50am GMT

Our reporter Ben Doherty is on Christmas Island where Australian evacuees are being taken for quarantining. There are 35 Australians on board an Air New Zealand plane that left Wuhan for Auckland on Wednesday morning local time, along with 100 New Zealnders, some Britons and also people from several Pacific nations.

The Australians will then be flown from Auckland to Christmas Island, which is on the other side of Australia in the Indian Ocean, making for a journey of 17,000km.

12.43am GMT

It’s worth noting that the number of deaths in China rose by 65 from 425 on Tuesday to 490 today. That’s an increase of 15.3% compared with a percentage increase of 18% the day before. So perhaps there are signs that the rate of fatalities is slowing. The number was closer to 30% on some days last week.

12.34am GMT

The latest figures show that 490 people have died in mainland China from the virus. According to the very reliable Johns Hopkins University tracker, there are now 23,680 confirmed cases in the mainland meaning the mortality rate from the virus is 2.07% nationally.

Of the deaths, 479 have now occurred in Hubei province where the capital, Wuhan, is the eipicentre of the deadly outbreak. There have been 16,678 confirmed cases in the province making for a death rate of 2.87% in the province.

11.55pm GMT

Welcome to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll start by outlining the main developments today:

Related: Coronavirus quarantine precautions around the world

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