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Infected Filipinos on Japanese cruise ship rise to 27

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Infected Filipinos on Japanese cruise ship rise to 27
Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, is docked at the Daikaku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 16, 2020.
AFP / Behrouz Mehri

MANILA, Philippines — The number of Filipinos aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess who tested positive for the coronavirus disease has climbed to 27.

The latest figure includes the 16 new cases confirmed Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday.

“The Embassy is in close coordination with the relevant Philippine and Japanese government agencies, and representatives of the World Health Organization and Princess Cruises to ensure that the needs of the Filipino crew and passengers are met and to facilitate their return to the Philippines,” the DFA said.

All crew and passengers onboard will be tested Monday so the laboratory results will be available once the vessel’s quarantine period ends.

Since February 3, thousands have been stuck inside their cabins under mandatory quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess, which is docked off Yokohama, Japan.

In an interview on CNN Philippines, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the planning for the evacuation of Filipinos aboard the cruise ship has begun.

The virus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year has infected more than 70,000 people and killed over 1,700. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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May 17, 2022 - 12:26pm

North Korean military medics ramped up the distribution of medicines to fight a growing coronavirus outbreak, state media said on Tuesday, with the number of reported cases of "fever" nearing 1.5 million.

Leader Kim Jong Un has ordered nationwide lockdowns to try and slow the spread of the disease through the unvaccinated population, and deployed the military after what he has called a botched response to the outbreak.

Hundreds of personnel in camouflage uniforms from the Korean People's Army medical units were seen rallying in the capital Pyongyang in photos released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The military "urgently deployed its powerful forces to all pharmacies in Pyongyang City and began to supply medicines under the 24-hour service system", KCNA said. — AFP

May 16, 2022 - 11:09am

Kim Jong Un slamms North Korea's pandemic response and ordered the army to help distribute medicine, state media said Monday, as the country said 50 people had died since first reporting an outbreak of Covid-19.

More than a million people have been sickened by what Pyongyang is referring to as "fever", state media said, despite leader Kim ordering nationwide lockdowns in a bid to slow the spread of disease through the unvaccinated population.

In a sign of how serious the situation may be, Kim "strongly criticised" healthcare officials for what he called a botched response to epidemic prevention — specifically a failure to keep pharmacies open 24/7 to distribute medicine. — AFP

May 15, 2022 - 9:28am

North Korea on Sunday reported 15 additional deaths from "fever" after the country recently announced its first-ever cases of Covid-19 and ordered nationwide lockdowns.

State media KCNA said a total of 42 people had died, with 820,620 cases and at least 324,550 under medical treatment.

Leader Kim Jong Un has said the outbreak has caused "great upheaval" in North Korea.

KCNA reported that "all provinces, cities and counties of the country have been totally locked down and working units, production units and residential units closed from each other."

Despite activating its "maximum emergency quarantine system" to slow the spread of disease through its unvaccinated population, North Korea is now reporting large numbers of new cases daily. -- AFP

May 14, 2022 - 1:41pm

North Korea announces 21 new "fever" deaths Saturday and says more than half a million people had been sickened nationwide, two days after confirming its first-ever cases of COVID-19.

Despite activating its "maximum emergency quarantine system" to slow the spread of disease through its unvaccinated population, North Korea is reporting tens of thousands of new cases daily.

On Friday alone, "over 174,440 persons had fever, at least 81 430 were fully recovered and 21 died in the country," the official Korean Central News Agency reported. — AFP

May 13, 2022 - 7:42am

North Korea on Friday announced its first Covid-19 death, saying that 187,000 people were being "isolated and treated" for fever as it confirmed the virus had spread nationwide.

"A fever whose cause couldn't be identified explosively spread nationwide from late April," the official Korean Central News Agency said.

"Six persons died (one of them tested positive for the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron,)" it added.

The isolated nuclear-armed country confirmed its first-ever cases of Covid on Thursday, saying it was moving into "maximum emergency epidemic prevention system" after sick patients in the capital Pyongyang tested positive for Omicron.

"On May 12 alone, some 18,000 persons with fever occurred nationwide and as of now up to 187,800 people are being isolated and treated," KCNA said.

With its 25 million people not vaccinated against Covid, North Korea's crumbling health infrastructure would struggle to deal with a major outbreak, experts say. -- AFP

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