Coronavirus outbreak: Latest updates about Covid-19 (Feb 12)


Diamond Princess cruise ship still in quarantine off coast of Japan while 2,000 Hongkongers stranded in Hubei ask government for help

Wong Tsui-kai |

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An ambulance believed to carry an infected passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship leaves the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama.

The World Health Organisation on Tuesday gave an official name – Covid-19 – to the disease caused by the coronavirus that has ravaged the mainland and spread across the globe.

Meanwhile, an additional 39 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan have tested positive for the new coronavirus. This brings the total number of infections to 174 out of 3,711 passengers and crew, including around 260 Hongkongers.

The ship is expected to stay in quarantine until February 19, although passengers have expressed concern that the isolation period may be extended, as more cases are diagnosed.

Hong Kong authorities have received requests for help from around 2,000 Hongkongers who are stranded in Hubei, the hardest-hit province on the mainland. At least 10 of them are confirmed to have been infected with the Covid-19 virus and are being treated in local hospitals.

The Hong Kong government’s representative office in Wuhan said bringing hundreds of people back to the city would pose a “huge headache”.

In Hong Kong, there were 49 confirmed cases and 2,196 people were under quarantine as of Tuesday. Hong Kong police are hunting for two people who escaped from 14-day quarantines imposed by the government to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

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Hong Kong’s official postal service provider will offer night deliveries amid a citywide shortage of masks and other health products.

Since Hongkong Post resumed basic services on Monday, it has delivered about 30,000 express items containing masks.

“About 10,000 speed-post items containing surgical masks were received over the past few days,” Hongkong Post said in a statement on Tuesday.