Outbreaks outside China are just starting and with it, more people who disembarked from the Diamond Princess have tested positive of the novel coronavirus that already killed thousands around the world.
Australia Announces 8th Diamond Princess Case
Australia announced early Wednesday that an eighth person from the virus-infected cruise ship tested positive of the CoVID-19 strain. The man is the partner of a woman previously confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus, the Daily Mail reported.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the new patient was among people evacuated from the ship who were immediately put on quarantine upon touching down at home turf.
The new case brings Australia's total infected toll from the Diamond Princess to eight. The new patient is the third person from Victoria while the earlier confirmations are from Queensland, as well as western and south Australia.
Tests are currently being done on a potential ninth case from the cruise ship. The news came after it was revealed that a few dozens of the over 600 people from the ship are in critical condition after contracting the CoVID-19.
University of Melbourne Offers Reimbursement for Students
Amid Australia's battle to contain the virus, the University of Melbourne announced a new reimbursement program for students who are stranded in China due to the travel ban imposed on travelers from the mainland.
The school said it will offer up to $7,500 in reimbursement for students whose expenses due to the travel ban involve accommodation, forfeited flights, and remote study fees, The Guardian reported.
The travel ban will end on Saturday but the extension is possible since the Australian government continues to review the situation. The government did say that it will consider easing up on travel restrictions depending on the outbreak's route.
The University of Melbourne isn't the first to offer assistance for stranded students. Western Sydney University and the University of Adelaide already announced its own offers days earlier.
U.S. Reports More CoVID-19 Cases from Diamond Princess
In the United States, the total number of Americans who were on board the cruise ship and were infected with the novel virus has reached 40.
According to USA Today, health officials announced on Tuesday that four more passengers have tested positive of the coronavirus after they initially tested negative.
Following the report, the director of the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Dr. Nancy Messonnier urged schools, businesses, and other facilities to shut down in a bid to prevent further infections.
There are still 100 U.S. nationals who remain in Japan despite having disembarked from the Diamond Princess. The said Americans are not quarantined but they cannot touch down-home for at least two weeks.
Report States Ukrainian Crew Members Refused Evacuation
A new report from Ukraine cited a top Ukrainian diplomat as saying that Ukrainian crew members of the Diamond Princess refused to be evacuated by their government.
Of the 25 Ukrainians working for the cruise ship, 24 workers reportedly refused to be brought back home. The report cited head of Ukraine's Foreign Ministry crisis management department Maksym Kovalenko saying the workers' contract obligations were taken into consideration during discussions for repatriation.
The remaining Ukraine national is still being contacted to determine whether the worker wants to be repatriated or not. Two of the Ukrainian Diamond Princess crew members have already tested positive of the novel coronavirus.
As of writing, Ukraine has evacuated 27 foreign nationals and 45 citizens from Wuhan. The said city is believed to be where the CoVID-19 strain started an outbreak in China.
Japan Acknowledges Difficulties in Quarantine Method
Following backlash from governments around the world for its supposed failure in containing the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess, Japan admitted that it faced hardships in dealing with the situation.
Japanese officials revealed that one of the issues faced by health authorities was the lack of established rules for Japan to handle a situation involving a foreign-operated cruise ship. Such scenarios do not have a set of international regulations yet.
Former regional director for the World Health Organization (WHO) Shigery Omi explained that while the "isolation was somehow effective, to a large extent, it was not perfect."
Omi went on to explain that since the Diamond Princess was a ship, the effectivity of isolation methods use was not as feasible compared to a hospital set-up.