US announces 15th virus case, this one in Texas evacuee

Coronavirus: Why North Korea hasn’t reported any cases

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. officials have announced the country’s 15th confirmed case of the new coronavirus — an evacuee from China who had been under quarantine in Texas.

The patient had been flown to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio last week. The person is now in isolation at a hospital and is reported in stable condition.

The infection was confirmed through a Wednesday night lab test.

Two earlier U.S. cases were found among evacuees flown to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California.

Tens of thousands of cases of the illness have been reported globally. The vast majority of them are in China.

China reports major drop in new virus cases; 143 new deaths

China has reported 2,641 new virus cases, a major drop from the higher numbers in recent days since a broader diagnostic method was implemented.

A notice from China’s National Health Commission says the number of new deaths rose slightly to 143, bringing the total fatalities in mainland China to 1,523.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 66,492.

COVID-19, a disease stemming from a new form of coronavirus, has spread to more than 24 countries since December, when the first infections appeared in central China.

Beijing issued a notice saying people returning to the capital will now have to isolate themselves for two weeks either at home or in a concentrated area for medical observation.

Japan is also reporting its first death.

Japan reports 1st death from virus, 44 more cases on ship

Japan has announced its first death from a new virus, hours after confirming 44 more cases on a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo as fears of the spreading disease mount in the country.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato says the first fatality is a woman in her 80s who had been hospitalized since Feb. 1.

He also confirmed two other cases of the virus, a Tokyo taxi driver and a doctor at a hospital in western Japan.

The cruise ship, which is still carrying about 3,500 people, now has 218 confirmed cases.

Fear, boredom, adventure fill each day on quarantined ship

Daily life on the cruise ship quarantined off a Japanese port can include fear, excitement and soul-crushing boredom.

Passengers on the ship describe tiny rooms and boring food in interviews with The Associated Press and on social media posts.

A passenger who caught the worrisome virus initially felt terror but then described surprisingly mild symptoms.

With the number of illnesses growing, there’s a nagging doubt that quarantining the ship’s hundreds of passengers and crew in tight quarters might spread the viral disease more.

And for the hundreds of crew members confined to the ship, there’s a difficult job to be done.

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