With different parts of the world reeling from the coronavirus outbreak, the US State Department on February 17 stated that a total of 14 people out of more than 300 American evacuees tested positive for COVID-19, days after they were tested for the same. According to reports, the Americans were evacuated from the quarantined cruise ship in Japan.
The US State Department and Department of Health and Human Services in a joint statement said that the passengers had already left Diamond Princess and were planning to return to the United States when authorities informed that 14 people had tested positive for COVID-19, days after being subject to tests.
Two Department of State charter flights with more than 300 passengers from the #DiamondPrincess will land in the U.S. later today. The United States remains committed to protecting Americans and fighting the spread of #COVID-19. https://t.co/kAX0ry0Dii— Department of State (@StateDept) February 17, 2020
According to reports, both the departments' statement further added that the infected people were shifted to a specialised containment area onboard the chartered evacuation aircraft and were put in isolation. The 14 people were isolated from the rest of the evacuees during the entire journey.
The first evacuation aeroplane would be landing at a United Staes Air Force base located in California where all the passengers will be subject to a 14 days quarantine period. A second evacuation flight will be heading towards another base located in San Antonio, Texas.
The death toll from China's novel coronavirus epidemic surpassed 1,700 after 100 more people died in the country's Hubei province. As per the Chinese government, the new death toll now stands at 1765. At least 70,400 people have now been infected nationwide in China, with most cases being recorded in Hubei, where the virus first emerged in December.
On February 16, the IMF warned that the coronavirus epidemic could damage global economic growth this year. The International Monetary Fund's managing director Kristalina Georgieva while addressing the Global Women's Forum in Dubai stated that while there may be a global decline, a sharp and rapid economic rebound could follow.
"There may be a cut that we are still hoping would be in the 0.1-0.2 percentage space," she said. She also said that the full impact of the spreading disease that has already killed more than 1,700 people would depend on how quickly it was contained".