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Coronavirus Cases Spike in S. Korea

Iran reports first 2 cases
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2020 7:19 AM CST

(Newser) – The coronavirus outbreak has now killed more than 2,000 people in mainland China and while authorities say the number of new cases in China fell for a second straight day, numbers are climbing in other countries. Reuters reports that South Korea reported 20 new cases Wednesday, bringing the total in the country to 51. Authorities say 14 of the cases are linked to church services in the city of Daegu. In China, authorities reported another 136 deaths Wednesday, bringing the total to 2,004. The National Health Commission said 1,749 new infections were reported, but only 56 of them were outside Hubei province. More:

  • Americans leave quarantine. Almost 350 Americans evacuated from Wuhan have been cleared to leave two military bases in California where they spent 14 days in quarantine, the AP reports. But at Travis Air Force Base in northern California, another passenger evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred to a medical center.

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  • China accused of focusing on crackdown. In Hong Kong, which recorded its second coronavirus death Wednesday, activists who accused Beijing of focusing more on cracking down on human rights than containing the outbreak protested outside Beijing's liaison office, reports RTHK. They said 350 activists and citizen journalists on the mainland had been detained for allegedly "spreading rumors."
  • Virus reaches Iran. Iran confirmed its first two coronavirus cases Wednesday, the AP reports. According to the semi-official ISNA news agency, the two confirmed cases are in the central province of Qom, where more cases are suspected.
  • Cambodia says passengers are virus-free. After an American woman who left the Westerdam cruise ship in Cambodia tested positive for the virus, there were fears of a wider outbreak, the New York Times reports. But unlike on the Diamond Princess, the remaining passengers are now believed to be virus-free. Authorities say 740 passengers have been cleared to return home. They say those who departed for their home countries before the US woman tested positive will be contacted by their local health authorities.
  • Diamond Princess passengers leave. On the Diamond Princess, passengers have started leaving the ship after 14 days in quarantine. In the biggest cluster of cases outside, some 542 passengers tested positive for coronavirus, leading to criticism of Japanese authorities' handling of the situation.
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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