The Japanese Ministry of Health has diagnosed another 39 cases of coronavirus among the people aboard Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess, bringing the total to 175, the cruise line reported late Tuesday night.
Carl and Jeri Goldman, owners of Santa Clarita radio station KHTS and passengers on the Diamond Princess, reported they were still OK on Tuesday afternoon, as the ship remains docked at Yokohama Harbor in Japan, quarantined by Japanese health officials until February 19, and possibly longer.
“We are following guidance from the Japan Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases,” Princess Cruises stated in an 11 p.m. update Tuesday.
Of the latest 39 cases, 38 are passengers and one is a quarantine officer.
About 3,700 people are aboard the Diamond Princess, which usually carries a crew of 1,100 and 2,670 passengers.
Not all quarantined passengers have been tested by health officials. Japan’s Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told government officials he wanted to expand testing to all passengers and crew onboard and that authorities could conduct more than 1,000 tests per day, according to Japanese television channel NHK.
China’s National Health Commission on Wednesday said 2,015 new cases of the disease caused by the new viral infection had been reported over the last 24 hours, declining for a second day, Marketwatch reported Wednesday afternoon.
That brought the number of cases in mainland China to 44,653. Experts have warned a substantial number may have gone uncounted. The commission said there were 97 additional deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the mainland total to 1,113.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing for the coronavirus, now named COVID-19 (short for Corona Virus Disease), to “take a foothold in the U.S.,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Wednesday morning.
“At some point, we are likely to see community spread in the U.S. or in other countries,” Messonnier said. “This will trigger a change in our response strategy.”
U.S. health officials have confirmed 13 cases of the virus in the States as of Wednesday morning.
Check out the recommendations the CDC sent in a letter to Diamond Princess passengers and crew.
Princess Cruises is a division of the Carnival Cruise Line, which on Wednesday said if it is forced to suspend operations in Asia, earnings could be dented by as much as 65 cents per share this year.
“While not currently planned, if the company had to suspend all of its operations in Asia through the end of April, this would impact its fiscal 2020 financial performance by $0.55 to $0.65 per share, which includes guest compensation,” the company said in a statement.
Carnival shares are down 13% this year but rose more than 2% on Wednesday despite the disclosure. The conmpany is scheduled to report fiscal first-quarter earnings at the end of March.
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