Coronavirus live updates: WHO calls on leaders to stop stigma and hate amid reports of discrimination

  • Chinese officials on Saturday reported 2,641 new coronavirus cases and 143 additional deaths in the last 24 hours.
  • Total confirmed cases: More than 66,000
  • Total deaths: At least 1,523

This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

All times below are in U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Chinese officials on Saturday reported 2,641 new coronavirus cases and 143 additional deaths in the last 24 hours.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship that is in quarantine in Japan confirmed 67 new cases of the virus on board. The ship was put under quarantine last week in Yokohama with about 3,700 people on board.

American passengers aboard the ship will be evacuated on Sunday with chartered aircraft, according to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. There are 400 U.S. citizens on board and at least 40 Americans who were infected have been taken off the ship for treatment. Those who are evacuated will undergo 14 days of quarantine once they reach the U.S.

Chinese President Xi Jinping issued internal orders regarding the virus outbreak roughly two weeks before his first public statements on the epidemic, according to a newly published speech on Saturday in the Qiushi Journal, the Communist Party’s top publication.

The speech indicates that Xi started giving orders about the outbreak as early as Jan. 7. His first public instructions on the epidemic was Jan. 20, in which he provided brief instructions on the virus.

China’s release of the speech is an apparent effort to mitigate public anger over the handling of the outbreak, and show that Xi has led the battle against the epidemic — including quarantining millions of people in Hubei, the province at the epicenter of the outbreak.

Xi gave the speech on Feb 3, about the time when the virus was becoming a national crisis.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged global leaders on Saturday to stop stigma and hate amid the virus outbreak. His comments follow reports that people of Asian descent have faced discrimination amid fears of the virus.

“It’s easy to blame, it’s easy to politicize, it’s harder to tackle a problem together and find solutions together,” Ghebreyesus said during an address at the Munich Security Conference. “We will all learn lessons from this outbreak, but now is not the time for reclamations or politicization.”

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/15/coronavirus-live-updates-france-confirms-first-death-outside-of-asia.html

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