TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — More than 300 American cruise ship passengers, including 14 who tested positive for coronavirus, are being quarantined at military bases in California and Texas after arriving from Japan on charter flights overnight.
One plane carrying cruise passengers touched down at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California just before midnight Sunday.
Another arrived at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas early Monday.
The passengers will be quarantined at the bases for two weeks.
Japan’s defense minister tweeted earlier that Japanese troops helped transport 340 U.S. passengers from the port to Tokyo’s airport.
About 380 Americans were on the cruise ship.
Japanese officials have confirmed 99 more people infected by the new virus aboard the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess, bringing the total to 454.
The ministry has been carrying out tests on passengers and crew on the ship, docked in Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo.
The 14-day quarantine for those on the ship was due to end Wednesday.
Outside China, the ship has had the largest number of cases of the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus that emerged in China late last year.
The feel-good story of how Cambodia allowed a cruise ship to dock after it was turned away elsewhere in Asia for fear of spreading the deadly virus that began in China has taken an unfortunate turn after a passenger released from the ship tested positive for the virus.
News that an 83-year-old American woman who was on the ship and flew from Cambodia to Malaysia was found to be carrying the virus froze further movement of the passengers and crew of the MS Westerdam.
Some are now in hotels in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, while others are still aboard the ship. The virus has infected more than 71,000 people globally and killed more than 1,770, with the vast majority of the cases in China.
A Russian woman aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The news comes Monday from the Russian Embassy in Japan.
The woman is the first Russian national to have contracted the new virus. In January, Russia reported two confirmed cases of COVID-19 and hospitalized two Chinese nationals, who have since recovered and were released from hospitals last week.
The woman on the ship would be transferred to a hospital and receive treatment, the Russian embassy said. It wasn’t immediately clear whether she would be transported to Russia or treated in Japan.
China reported 1,886 new virus cases and 98 more deaths in its update on a disease outbreak that has caused milder illness in most people, an assessment that promoted guarded optimism from global health authorities.
The update raised the number of deaths in mainland China to 1,868 and the total confirmed cases to 72,436.
On Monday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a study of earlier cases of the disease, finding more than 80% of people infected had mild illness and the number of new infections seem to be falling since early this month.
Health officials in China have published the first details on nearly 45,000 cases of the novel coronavirus disease that originated there, saying that more than 80% have been mild and that new ones seem to be falling since early this month.
The World Health Organization says Monday’s report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention gives a clearer picture of the outbreak and where it’s headed but it’s too soon to tell whether it has peaked.
China may postpone its annual congress in March, its biggest political meeting of the year.
Quarantine efforts continue in other countries where the virus spread.