The World Health Organization (WHO) says Coronavirus cases are not rising dramatically outside China despite a spike in Hubei province, the only exception was on a cruise liner docked in Japan, where 44 new cases were reported, bringing the total there to 218.
The head of WHO’s health emergencies programme Mike Ryan, in a statement said there was also a huge increase in cases, with 14,840 people diagnosed but most of this was down to Hubei using a broader definition to diagnose people.
Hubei recorded 242 deaths on Wednesday, the deadliest day of the outbreak.
“This does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak,” he said.
Outside China there had been two deaths and 447 cases in 24 countries, he said.
On Thursday Japan announced its first coronavirus death – a woman in her 80s who lived in Kanagawa, south-west of Tokyo.
The woman’s diagnosis was confirmed after her death and she had no obvious link to China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, Japanese media reported.
The vessel is in quarantine in Yokohama. Not all the 3,700 people on board have been tested yet. People with the virus are taken to hospitals on land to be treated, while those on board are largely confined to their cabins.
on Thursday Japan. Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said it would allow those aged 80 or over who have tested negative for the coronavirus to disembark they could be allowed off the ship as early as Friday but would have to stay in accommodation provided by the government, the Japan Times reported.
Meanwhile another cruise ship – the MS Westerdam – carrying more than 2,000 people docked in Cambodia after being turned away by ports in Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand despite having no sick patients on board.