The death toll from the coronavirus has now risen to 1,016 in China, one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong, overtaking those from SARS in 2003 (774) and from MERS in 2012 (858). Reported cases have reached 42,638 in mainland China and 466 in 27 other countries, including Hong Kong and Macau. A total of 4,043 people have now recovered from the virus.
There are only 12 severe cases outside mainland China – seven in Singapore, two in Italy, and one each in Thailand, France, and the UAE. However, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, addressing a two-day meeting aimed at accelerating development of drugs, diagnostics and vaccines against the virus, said: “With 99% of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world.”
Singapore is estimating a daily loss of 18,000 to 20,000 international arrivals, according to the Singapore Tourism Board. Chief Executive Keith Tan said that the drop could “very well increase” depending on how the outbreak unfolds, adding that tourism receipts would likely fall at a similar rate to arrivals. Singapore recorded €17.9 billion in tourism spending last year, €2.1 billion of which came from its 3.6 million Chinese visitors.
A total of 439 people have now been tested among the 1,045 crew and 2,666 passengers onboard Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess, which has been quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, near Tokyo, since 3 February, and 135 cases have been confirmed. These are now being transferred to medical facilities ashore. Japan’s health minister Katsunobu Kato said his government was considering now testing all of the crew and passengers before allowing them to disembark from the ship.
The 3,600 passengers and crew stuck on Dream Cruises’ World Dream in Hong Kong for four days have been allowed to disembark after tests for coronavirus came back negative. The ship was quarantined amid fears some staff could have contracted the virus on a previous voyage.