US evacuates citizens from quarantined cruise ship

The United States has begun evacuating its citizens from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been docked at Japan’s Yokohama port for more than a week in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Forty US nationals found to have been infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus will remain in Japan for treatment, a US health official said.

The evacuation came as the death toll in mainland China jumped past 1,600 and officials imposed a vehicle ban in Hubei province, where the virus originated in the capital. Wuhan.

Taiwan reported its first death from the disease while a newly-published speech revealed that Chinese President Xi Jinping was aware of the potential severity of the outbreak long before the public was informed.