/Coronavirus news and live updates: Two Japan cruise ship passengers die – CNN

Coronavirus news and live updates: Two Japan cruise ship passengers die – CNN


A passenger who disembarked from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship peeks out of a bus window Wednesday in Yokohama, Japan.
A passenger who disembarked from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship peeks out of a bus window Wednesday in Yokohama, Japan. Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP

Infections drop in virus epicenter: Hubei, the Chinese province at the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, announced just 349 new cases today, the lowest daily number of infections officially recorded by China in weeks.

This appears to be partly due to a change in what is counted as a “confirmed case.”

The confirmed cases in mainland China increased by 394, according to the country’s National Health Commission, with only 45 of those new cases were outside of Hubei, according to the NHC’s official figures.

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China is now 74,576, bringing the global total to 75,730.

“Confirmed case” definition changes: The fall comes as the Chinese government said it would no longer count “clinically confirmed” cases among the official total infections. It was a reversal from a decision made a week ago to include patients who had tested negative for the virus but showed symptoms.

Death toll rises: The number of people killed by the virus continues to rise, with 114 more deaths announced in mainland China today. In total, the global death toll is now 2,126.

Diamond Princess deaths: Two passengers from the formerly quarantined cruise ship have died of the coronavirus, Japan’s health ministry announced today.

Both passengers were in their 80s and had been in hospital in Japan, but no further information is known about them at this stage. A total of 626 cases of the coronavirus have been found onboard the ship.

Passengers depart cruise ship: Hundreds of passengers who have tested negative for the virus are due to leave the Diamond Princess today after two weeks in quarantine on board. Cruise goers from Canada and Israel will be among those allowed to leave Thursday.

South Korea infections jump: A patient has died in South Korea, and tested positive for coronavirus after their death, according to the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The cause of death is still being investigated, a KCDC official said.

According to the KCDC, there have been 22 new confirmed cases, bringing South Korea’s total confirmed infections to 104 on Thursday.

China stands by journalist expulsions: At his daily press conference today, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang was asked multiple times about the decision by China to expel three Wall Street Journal reporters over a controversial opinion piece they were not involved with.

But Geng said there was only one Wall Street Journal and it had to bear the responsibilities of its actions. “Those media who blatantly insult China, pitch racial discrimination and maliciously smear China must pay their price,” he said.

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