Coronavirus: US to evacuate citizens from Diamond Princess

The US plans to evacuate Americans from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the site of the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside China, officials say.

The ship has been held in quarantine in a Japanese port since 3 February. Out of 3,700 people on board, 218 have tested positive for the virus.

US citizens will be offered seats on a government-chartered flight on Sunday, the US embassy in Tokyo said.

Over 1,500 people have died from the virus, which originated in Wuhan city.

China’s national health commission on Saturday reported 143 new deaths, bringing the toll to 1,523. All but four of the latest victims were in Hubei province.

A further 2,641 people have been newly confirmed as infected, bringing the national total to 66,492.

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Outside mainland China, there have been more than 500 cases in 24 countries, and three deaths: one each in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.

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