[WCBS 880] Over 40 Americans Contract Coronavirus On Cruise Ship | WCBS Newsradio 880
NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) - Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, a top U.S. health official said "more than" 40 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus on a cruise ship in Japan and warned the outbreak is "on the verge" of becoming a global pandemic.
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed that dozens of Americans aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, have the coronavirus, according to CBS News.
NEW: Dr. Anthony Fauci of @NIAIDNews confirms to @margbrennan 40 Americans have tested positive for #Coronavirus aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship. pic.twitter.com/b2nkiIiZpf- Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 16, 2020
"Forty of them have gotten infected," Fauci said. "They are not going to go anywhere. They're going to be in hospitals in Japan."
More than 350 passengers aboard the ship are confirmed to have the virus.
About 380 Americans were on the Diamond Princess. The Japanese defense ministry said around 300 of them are preparing to be flown back to the United States, where they will have to spend another two-week quarantine period at a U.S. military facility.
PANDEMIC FEARS? Dr. Anthony Fauci tells @margbrennan that #Coronavirus is certainly "on the verge" of becoming a pandemic "unless containment is more successful than it is right now." pic.twitter.com/zOJeaSJk66- Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 16, 2020
Some Americans disembarked Sunday night and boarded buses to take them to Tokyo's Haneda Airport. The U.S. State Department has arranged for charter flights to fly the Americans back to the United States. Canada, Hong Kong and Italy said they were planning similar flights of passengers.
Fauci said the coronavirus is likely to become a global pandemic if containment measures aren't improved.
"Technically speaking, the (World Health Organization) wouldn't be calling this a global pandemic. But it certainly is on the verge of that happening reasonably soon unless containment is more successful than it is right now," Fauci said.
So far 24 countries outside China have recorded more than 500 cases collectively. A number of those cases have already reached their second and third transmission of the virus.
Fauci said there needs to be multiple person-to-person transmissions before the outbreak would be categorized as a pandemic.
More than 1,600 people have died from the coronavirus globally, with most of the deaths reported in China. Europe reported its first death this weekend-a person in France. Fifteen people in the U.S. have contracted the disease, while nearly 70,000 have worldwide.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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