Passengers and crew leave coronavirus-hit ship as quarantine ends
Hundreds of people who have been stuck on board a coronavirus-hit cruise ship for two weeks are being allowed to disembark. The controversial quarantine on the Diamond Princess has now ended - and over the past fortnight, more than 540 passengers and crew have fallen ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.About 500 people are going to be allowed to leave the ship on Wednesday, and about 2,000 others will be gradually evacuated between now and Friday.
(Video by Bloomberg)
In the space of a week South Korea has gone from dealing with a couple of dozen COVID-19 cases to being the next frontier for containing coronavirus.
With seven deaths already, rapidly multiplying cases and a government scrambling to respond, there are concerns this is just the beginning, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.
And what has experts worried the most is how rapidly the number of infections has grown.
South Korea reports first virus death as 2.5m urged to stay home in city
The mayor of Daegu asked all citizens to stay indoors and pleaded for help from the central government. (Lee Moo-ryul/Newsis via AP) South Korea has reported its first death from coronavirus, as officials in one major city urged its 2.5 million residents to avoid going outside as cases spiked.The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention did not immediately provide details of the death, but authorities earlier said the country had confirmed a total of 82 cases of the Covid-19 virus.
In the middle of last week South Korea's efforts were still aimed at preventing people with the virus coming into the country from China.
Back then, there were just a few dozen cases. But by Friday, that number had soared above 200.
Now the country has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases outside China.
In response, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has raised the highest alert level for infectious diseases, delaying the return of schools and deploying extra resources to the main outbreak zone in the southern city of Daegu.
But unlike the heavy-handed lockdowns imposed in China, Mr Moon is yet to enforce traffic blocks, and is urging cooperation from religious groups to contain the outbreak.
Public should not be afraid to eat Chinese food over coronavirus fears, top doctor says
Exclusive: The message not to be fearful comes after owners claimed their businesses have been hugely impacted since the outbreak of Covid-19 . There are no confirmed cases of the deadly virus in Ireland after around 75 suspected cases here tested negative.Director of the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre Dr John Cuddihy said: “The risk of catching this virus in Ireland is very low and the chances of picking up the virus from anybody here in Ireland is very low. “The coronavirus is not related to any particular nationality. “Several nationalities may have been in China and travelled back to Ireland.
"The next several days will be very critical," he said.
How did this all unfold?
Many of the 763 cases relate to a secretive religious sect and an alleged "super spreader" reportedly dubbed a "public harm auntie" by angry South Koreans for ignoring advice to get tested.
China has been battling an outbreak of a new SARS-like coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in Wuhan. The virus has claimed over 2,000 lives in mainland China – surpassing the death toll during the SARS outbreak in 2003 – and infected more than 75,000 people around the world. Outside mainland China, Philippines reported its first fatality on Feb. 2, Hong Kong on Feb. 4, Japan on Feb. 14, and France and Taiwan on Feb. 15. A second person died in Hong Kong on Feb. 19. The other countries and regions infected by the novel coronavirus are Egypt, Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, UAE, the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam. On Feb. 11, World Health Organization (WHO) announced a new name for the virus – COVID-19, which stands for Corona Virus Disease 19. The WHO, on Feb. 17, said that the data provided by China indicates a drop in the number of new cases but cautioned that “every scenario is on the table.”
Media personnel chase after a passenger (C) who disembarked from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was in quarantine due to fears of the new COVID-19, at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, Japan, on Feb. 19. Several hundred passengers who endured the horrid 14-day quarantine started de-boarding the ship, if tested negative, on the day. Seven new infected cases were reported in Japan raising the total to 68 outside the ship.
People wearing face masks pass by an electric screen about precautions against COVID-19 in Seoul, South Korea, on Feb. 18. The country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 15 new cases on Feb. 19.
A tourist, wearing a protective face mask amid COVID-19 fears, takes photographs at Marina Bay in Singapore on Feb. 18. The country has more than 80 infected cases so far and has unveiled $4.6 billion in financial packages to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has battered the city-state’s economy and sparked fears of a recession.
Iran official running anti-coronavirus task force has virus
Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour confirmed Harirchi had the virus. (Pictured) A man wearing a face mask rides an escalator at the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station in China, on Feb. 18.
Indians who were airlifted from Wuhan wait to collect their release certificates before leaving the ITBP quarantine facility in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 17.
Coronavirus: Case of deadly bug COVID-19 confirmed in 'eastern part of Ireland'
Any person concerned that they may have symptoms should immediately isolate themselves from others and contact their GP by phone, the HSE saidThe patient had recently returned from northern Italy, the National Public Health Emergency Team said this evening.
People stand near the Westerdam cruise ship in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Feb. 18. The liner was docked five days ago after being refused entry at other Asian ports due to fears of the novel coronavirus.
Liang Yu, ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Peru, gives a press conference about the coronavirus outbreak and economy to foreign correspondents in Lima, Peru, on Feb. 17.
Secondary school to close for two weeks after students and staff treated as 'close contacts' with coronavirus case
Last night the department confirmed the first case of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland .The principal, staff and parents of pupils of the school have been notified.Following risk assessment, all pupils and teachers are being treated as close contacts of the confirmed case.The school will close for 14 days, the duration of the incubation period.All pupils and teachers have been asked to restrict their movements until the end of the incubation period and will receive guidance on the meaning of ‘restricted movements’.
A volunteer cuts a man's hair in Chongqing, China, on Feb. 16. Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, most barbershops have been closed. A community in the Beibei district of Chongqing organized a team of volunteer barbers to provide free haircuts for its residents.
Pictures of Pakistani students studying in Wuhan, China, are displayed by their family members during a demonstration in Lahore, Pakistan, on Feb. 16. The family members are demanding the evacuation of their relatives.
Jewish worshipers take part in a prayer for those affected by the coronavirus, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel, on Feb. 16. The placard in Hebrew and Chinese reads "The Jewish people pray for China."
Nepalese nationals who were in Wuhan walk out from a Nepal Airlines plane at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, on Feb. 16. The chartered plane brought back 175 nationals from Hubei province.
The big screen displays a message of support in relation to the ongoing fight against coronavirus during a Premier League football match between Southampton and Burnley FC in Southampton, England, on Feb. 15.
A passenger reacts as he disembarks from the Westerdam cruise ship in Sihanoukville, on Feb. 14, where the liner docked after being refused entry at other Asian ports due to fears of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Passengers and children stand on the deck of the cruise ship Diamond Princess, as the vessel's passengers continue to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, Japan, on Feb. 13. Aboard this quarantined ship, 219 people have tested positive with the virus.
Pedestrians wearing face masks walk through an underground passage in Tokyo on Feb. 13. The Japanese government will approve 15.3 billion yen ($140 million) to fight the virus, the prime ministers's office said on Feb. 14.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) speaks to passengers on board the Westerdam cruise ship in Sihanoukville on Feb. 14, where the liner on Feb. 13 was docked after being refused entry at other Asian ports due to fears of the virus.
Jay Butler, deputy director for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), speaks to the media inside the Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Feb. 13.
The Westerdam cruise ship is seen past fishing boats as it approaches the port in Sihanoukville on Feb. 13, where the liner had received permission to dock after been refused entry at other Asian ports due to fears of the virus.
Workers produce protective clothing at a factory in Wuxi, China, on Feb. 8. The factory, which previously produced suits and sportswear, switched to production of protective clothing as demand increased due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Family members of passengers from the cruise ship World Dream docked at Kai Tak cruise terminal, wave on shore in Hong Kong on Feb. 8. The cruise ship with approximately 1,800 passengers remained quarantined in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor on Feb. 8. Several passengers from mainland China on a previous World Dream cruise were found to have the new coronavirus on returning home.
French Health and Solidarity Minister Agnès Buzyn leaves after attending a meeting about the situation of the n-CoV 2019 coronavirus, in Paris, France, on Feb. 8. The minister said that five British nationals including a child have tested positive for the new coronavirus in France.
Tourists wearing face masks line up near a departure gate at the airport in Bali, Indonesia, on Feb. 8. Thousands of Chinese tourists are reportedly stranded in Bali following suspension of all flights to and from China.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks to the media during a press conference on the coronavirus situation in Hong Kong on Feb. 8. Lam said that the government has bought 48 million masks and received 17 million more from China to counter the shortage of masks in Hong Kong.
People look on from the quarantined cruise liner Diamond Princess, in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on Feb. 7. About 64 passengers from the ship have tested positive for the virus. Another ship, the World Dream, has been docked and quarantined at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong. It has 3,600 passengers and crew on board.
Flight attendants wearing protective clothing and masks serve snacks to Canadians, who had been evacuated from China due to the outbreak of novel Coronavirus on an American charter plane, on another aircraft taking them to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton from the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, Canada, on Feb. 7.
Members of U.S. President Donald Trump's Coronavirus task force – (L-R) Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun – attend a news conference about the virus at the Health and Human Services headquarters in Washington, D.C, U.S., on Feb. 7.
Members of an emergency team participate in a drill to prepare for the potential arrival of passengers infected with the coronavirus at the Viru Viru International Airport, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, on Feb. 6.
Joe Parisi, Dane County executive, discusses the first confirmed case of coronavirus in a Wisconsin resident as Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway looks on during a news conference in Madison, Wisconsin, on Feb. 5.
Passengers watch as ambulances transfer passengers, who tested positive for coronavirus, from the cruise ship Diamond Princess to a hospital, after the ship arrived at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, on Feb. 6.
A group of medical personnel meet evacuees, carried by a Russian military plane at an airport outside Tyumen, Russia, on Feb. 5. Russia evacuated 144 people, Russians and nationals of Belarus, Ukraine and Armenia, from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, on the day. All evacuees will be quarantined for two weeks in a sanatorium in the Tyumen region in western Siberia, government officials said.
This handout photo released by Malaysia's Ministry of Health shows citizens being directed onto a bus by health officials as they arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia in Feb. 4.
Medical workers hold a strike near Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong to demand the government to shut the territory's border with mainland China in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, on Feb. 3.
Members of the Association for Sri Lanka and China Social and Cultural Cooperation (ASLCSCC) hold candles during a vigil to pray for people who are suffering from coronavirus across the world, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Feb. 1.
German Minister for Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (R) and German Minister for Health Jens Spahn give a joint statement in Bonn, Germany, on Feb. 1, on the evacuation of more than 100 German citizens from Wuhan following the coronavirus outbreak.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, and Didier Houssin, chair of the emergency committee, at the opening of the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee for Pneumonia due to the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV in Geneva on Jan. 30.
Passengers are seen onboard the Costa Smeralda cruise ship as it sits docked at the Italian port of Civitavecchia on Jan. 30. The ship was quarantined over fears of coronavirus but the passengers were allowed to disembark later.
Medical staff with protective clothing are seen inside a ward specialized in treating people who may have been infected with the virus, at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General hospital in Chennai, India, on Jan. 29.
An official of Pakistan-based Chinese company (R) uses a thermo gun to check the temperature of the company's drivers in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Jan. 30, after instructions from authorities to take preventive measures against the virus.
Dr. David Williams, the chief medical officer of Ontario (C), speaks as Dr. Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health for the city of Toronto (L) and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, during a press briefing on coronavirus at Queens Park in Toronto, Canada, on Jan. 27. The Ontario health officials announced the confirmation of the first case of coronavirus in Toronto, along with a presumptive second case of the virus in the city.
Images captured by a thermographic imaging device to check the temperatures of arriving passengers at a quarantine station are seen on a monitor at the Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Luis Talpa, El Salvador, on Jan. 26.
A security force member stands in front of the pandemic center where a suspected case of coronavirus is under observation at Félix Houphouët Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Jan. 26.
(L-R) Sabine Hagenauer of the infection department at the 4th medical department of Kaiser Franz Josef Hospital, Michael Binder, medical director of the Vienna Hospital Association, and Judith Aberle of the department of virology, Medical University Vienna, address a press conference at Kaiser-Franz-Josef hospital in Vienna, Austria, on Jan. 26. A Chinese flight attendant was quarantined in the hospital with symptoms of flu, in what authorities suspected as the first coronavirus case in the country.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam addresses a press conference in Hong Kong on Jan. 25. Announcing a citywide virus emergency, Lam ordered the cancellation of all official trips to mainland China and school shutdown till Feb. 17.
A Rospotrebnadzor (Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being) official uses a thermal imaging device to conduct a temperature check of passengers arriving at Krasnoyarsk International Airport on a plane from Cam Rahn, Vietnam, in Russia on Jan. 23.
Locals wear face masks while browsing in a store ahead of the Lunar New Year, in Taipei, on Jan. 23, 2020. A day earlier, Taiwan stopped sending tour groups to, or receiving tour groups from Wuhan, China, due to concerns over the cornonavirus outbreak.
Passengers arriving from China are screened at Kolkata International Airport, India, on Jan. 22. Screening centers have been set up in the Indian cities of Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin apart from three airports at Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata to screen for the coronavirus.
Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, takes part in a news conference after a meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee to discuss about the outbreak of Pneumonia in China and other countries due to the 2019-nCoV, in Geneva, on Jan. 22.
Deputy Australian Prime Minister Michael McCormack (L) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison (C) are updated by Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy on the steps being taken to control the virus, at the National Incident Room of the Department of Health in Canberra, Australia, on Jan. 22.
Kazakh sanitary-epidemiological service worker uses a thermal scanner to detect travelers from China who may have symptoms possibly connected with the coronavirus at Almaty International Airport in Kazakhstan Jan. 21.
Dozens of diggers work to build a new hospital in Wuhan, on Jan. 25. Due to the large number of infected people, the government decided to establish a temporary 1,000-bed hospital.
And while authorities don't know how she contracted the virus, many South Koreans are blaming her for spreading it.
The unnamed woman has become the subject of an intense witch hunt, with many online calling her "reckless", "evil" and "crazy".
She's been criticised for reportedly ignoring symptoms, attending the church twice, lunching with friends and initially refusing to be tested for the virus because she hadn't recently travelled abroad.
The doomsday cult being blamed for helping the virus spread
But her church also contributes to the public angst.
Mainstream Christian churches in South Korea often deride the Shincheonji church as a doomsday cult, and followers sometimes even hide their membership from family members. The founder claims to be the second coming of Jesus.
Authorities say the style of worship — tightly packed congregations where worshippers kneel close together — means cases among followers will continue to rise.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus worshipers are also forbidden from wearing glasses and face masks during prayer services, which may have helped the virus spread.