Coronavirus death toll rises above 900; cruise ship remains quarantined

Cruise ship quarantineddue to coronavirus outbreak The Princess Diamond cruise ship is under a quarantine order after a disembarkedpassenger tested positive for coronavirus. The ship is docked at Japan’s Yokohama port, wherepassengers are currently confined to their rooms andhave undergone mandatory health screenings. So far, 135 of the 2,666 guestsand 1,045 crew members havetested positive for the deadlyWuhan coronavirus. Those infected include eleven Americans. All of the infected have been tra

As of Monday, there were still only 12 cases confirmed in the United States

The death toll from coronavirus rose to 908 Sunday and the total number of cases soared to 40,171 as a cruise ship where 11 Americans were diagnosed with the virus last week remains quarantined in Japan, officials said Monday.

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In mainland China, the epicenter of the outbreak, 97 new deaths were reported overnight along with 3,062 new cases, according to The Associated Press.

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In a sign of the severity of the outbreak, Chinese President Xi Jinping was shown on state TV visiting a Beijing neighborhood wearing a protective face mask, reports said.

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A government statement told the public to “strictly abide by” regulations requiring wearing of masks in public and to avoid group activities, the AP reported.

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More than 440 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China, including two deaths in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Last Thursday, a 60-year-old man living in Wuhan, China, became the first American to die from the virus, according to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and news reports.

The fast-growing toll has surpassed the 774 people who died from the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, which had a total of 8,098 cases, the AP reported.

In the United States

As of Monday, there were still only 12 cases confirmed in the United States.

The U.S. has banned entry to any foreigners who recently traveled to China.

During  the last two weeks, five flights have evacuated about 840 Americans from China, according to the U.S. State Department. Those people have been quarantined at several military bases across the country.

Situation aboard cruise ship

An additional 65 coronavirus cases were found Sunday aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been quarantined since Wednesday in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, raising the total number of cases on the boat to 135, Japan's health ministry said, according to the AP.

On Friday, only 61 of the ship’s passengers were confirmed with the virus, all of whom were taken to local hospitals for treatment.

The remaining 3,711 passengers and crew have been confined to their cabins under a strict 14-day quarantine.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the Japanese government would consider testing all those aboard, the AP reported. Health authorities are scrambling to deliver medicine requested by more than 600 passengers.

Elsewhere, reports were circulating that Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line would prohibit guests holding passports from China, Hong Kong and Macau from its ships until further notice.

Britain declares emergency

The British government declared the virus a “serious and imminent threat to public health,” which it said gives authorities powers to forcibly detain infected people if necessary, the AP reported.

The change comes after a British man who caught the virus in Singapore in January appeared to be linked to at least seven other confirmed cases in Europe.

Five Britons, including a 9-year-old boy, contracted the virus in the French Alpine ski town of Contamines-Montjoie after staying in the same chalet as the British man.

French medical authorities tested 45 children and their families Sunday from the area and temporarily closed three schools where the boy spent time.

— Information from The Associated Press was used to supplement this report.