The number of deaths in China’s central Hubei province from a coronavirus outbreak rose by 93 to 1,789 as of Monday, the province’s health commission said on its website on Tuesday.
There had been a further 1,807 cases detected in Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, taking the total in the province to 59,989.
Coronavirus updates, as of 06:30am, Feb 18, 2020
More than 300 American cruise liner passengers, including 14 who tested positive for coronavirus, were flown home to military bases in the United States after two weeks under quarantine off Japan.
The cruise ship Diamond Princess, which with more than 400 cases has by far the largest cluster outside China, has become the biggest test so far of other countries’ ability to contain an outbreak that has killed 1,772 people in China and five elsewhere.
A ground crew in anti-contamination suits met the chartered jet that touched down at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas, and passengers could be seen climbing down the stairs wearing face masks in the pre-dawn mist. Another flight landed at Travis Air Force Base in California hours earlier.
All the passengers were taken into a two-week quarantine.
Although U.S. officials had said passengers with coronavirus symptoms would not be repatriated, 14 passengers found at the last minute to have tested positive were permitted to board the planes. The U.S. State Department said the infected passengers were exposed to other passengers for about 40 minutes before they were isolated.
Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill/ Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Nandita Bose in Washington, David Stanway in Shanghai, Claire Baldwin in Sihanoukville, Daniel Trotta in New York, John Geddie and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore, Farah Master in Hong Kong and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Writing by Andy Sullivan and Peter Graff; Editing by Mike Collett-White, Nick Macfie and Sonya Hepinstall @ Reuters