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Coronavirus live updates: China goes back to work as cases exceed 40,000 – latest news | World news


WHO says we may only be seeing ‘tip of the iceberg’




Six more people quarantined aboard a luxury cruise liner moored at the Japanese port of Yokohama tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the number of confirmed infections on the Diamond Princess to 70.

The new infections were found among five crew members and one passenger – four Filipinos, one American and one Ukrainian aged from their 20s to 70s, Japan’s health ministry said, adding that none was displaying serious symptoms.

Japan health authorities have now tested 336 of the ship’s 3,700 passengers and crew. Initially, 273 “at risk” people were tested, but all passengers and crew have since been given thermometers and told to take their temperatures every four hours. Those with temperatures of 37.5C have to inform medical workers onboard the ship, British passenger David Abel said in a Facebook post on Monday morning.

The Diamond Princess has been quarantined in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, for a week after it emerged that an 80-year-old man who disembarked in Hong Kong late last month had tested positive. Japan’s government has said that “in principle” the quarantine will end on 19 February.

Kyodo news agency said the government was responding to requests to secure medicine for passengers with chronic health conditions.

The overall number of infected people in Japan now stands at 96 – the highest number outside mainland China. They include 10 people who were evacuated from Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the outbreak is thought to have started.

A Japanese man suspected of being infected with the coronavirus died in Wuhan at the weekend. If the virus is confirmed as the cause of death, the man, in his 60s, would be the first Japanese victim of the respiratory illness.

Passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship gesture from their balcony

Passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship gesture from their balcony Photograph: Jiji Press/EPA


Tens of millions of people plan to go back to work on Monday as a prolonged Lunar New Year holiday comes to an end. Authorities had extended the end of the holiday, which sees tens of millions of people criss cross the country to go back to work and school from their hometowns, by 10 extra days because of the virus.

Many cities have been turned into ghost towns over the last few weeks. But it is unclear how much life will go back to normal. Schools are still shut. China’s state council has said that staff should come back in “batches” rather than all at once. Many factories remain shut and many businesses have asked their staff to work from home.


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