Health minister of Japan has apologised after a woman who was allowed to disembark coronavirus-stricken cruise ship tested positive for the virulent virus on February 23. The woman believed to be in her 60s was allowed to leave the Diamond Princess on Wednesday after a two week quarantine period was found to be positive after a test in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, as per reports. Katsunobu Kato, the health minister told a news conference in Tokyo on Saturday evening that 23 people who had disembarked on Wednesday and Thursday had not carried any further since before Feb 5, and the ministry is trying to locate them for retests.
Kato said that they deeply apologise for the situation caused due to their negligence. He added that necessary preventive measures will be taken to contain the spread of the virus. Amid the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, the death toll in China rose to over 2,400 as 96 more people died in Hubei province, according to Hubei's health commission. The authorities further also reported 630 new confirmed cases which brought the total within China to nearly 77,000. However, China has also reported a significant decline in new cases as well as deaths caused by the deadly virus.
First detected in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province of China, the virus outbreak has now spread across more than 25 countries since December 2019. More than 1,700 people have recovered from the disease, whereas, nearly 12,500 coronavirus patients have by now been discharged from hospitals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has dubbed the virus as COVID-19.
Even though China announced a significant drop in new infected cases, reports have indicated that the number of cases has surged in South Korea, Iran, Italy and Lebanon.
The World Health Organisation has reportedly welcomed the decline in new cases in China but continues to be concerned about the growing number of infections in other countries. The real disturbing trend, as reported by WHO, is that the new cases have no links to China such as travel history or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, prompting the mystery around how these individuals were infected.