Coronavirus live updates: Cruise ships to house Wuhan medical workers; South Korea cases spike

  • China’s National Health Commission said 2,345 people have died in the country from the new coronavirus, which has infected 76,288 people.
  • South Korea reported that two people have died as the country’s total cases rose to 346.
  • Organizers for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics have postponed volunteer training that was scheduled to begin Saturday, citing efforts to limit the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19.

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

All times below are in Beijing time.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health said in a statement that an 83-year-old U.S. citizen has now tested negative for the new coronavirus twice. It said that the woman’s condition has remarkably improved, but that she’s still being monitored for a small cough.

The ministry said it tests people confirmed with the disease twice within 24 hours if they have displayed good progress in symptoms, in an attempt to determine if the person has been cured.

A week ago, the woman had been identified as the 22nd case in Malaysia after she arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Sihanoukville, Cambodia. She had been a passenger on the MS Westerdam cruise ship, which had been turned away by five countries amid coronavirus fears. —Wang

Chinese state media reported that seven ships brought into the city of Wuhan in Hubei province will be converted into temporary accommodations for medical staff in the city.

Thousands of medical workers from across the country have been brought into Hubei to help the province contain the outbreak.

Xinhua News reported that the ships normally operate as river cruises in the Three Gorges, a popular and scenic tourist area along the Yangtze River. The state news agency said, however, that the cruise ship business in the Three Gorges had been closed due to the outbreak.

The move comes amid heightened scrutiny after hundreds of passengers on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship contracted the new coronavirus. —Wang

Four South Korean soldiers have been infected with the new coronavirus, a military official told NBC News.

The official said the military has suspended outdoor training and will instead conduct training indoors until further notice. He also told NBC that all holiday breaks and visitors have been suspended for soldiers in an effort to limit their contacts outside military facilities.

Earlier, South Korea reported a sharp uptick in confirmed cases. (See 9:09 a.m. update) —Wang


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