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Coronavirus quarantine ends for most on cruise ship in Japan as global deaths top 2,000

2020-02-20 08:54:53       source:CBS News

February 19, 2020

There were more than 75,500 people infected with the new coronavirus as of Wednesday night, and it has killed more than 2,100. The vast majority of cases are in China, but even as a quarantine ended for hundreds of people on a cruise ship with the biggest outbreak outside China, dozens more passengers tested positive, and a new cluster of cases emerged in South Korea.

Global health officials have voiced cautious optimism as the daily rate of new infections in China has declined for two days in a row, and authorities have waged an aggressive campaign to find any cases still lurking in the locked-down epicenter city of Wuhan. The World Health Organization warned, however, that the decline could reverse, and the biggest concern has been that the COVID-19 disease could start spreading significantly between people in communities outside China.

Japanese officials said another 79 cases were confirmed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship Wednesday, bringing the new total to 621. Wednesday marked the end of the two-week quarantine imposed on the vessel when it docked in Japan, and about 500 passengers who tested negative for the virus were allowed off the ship.

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