US evacuates citizens from a coronavirus-riddled cruise ship off Japan as death toll reaches 1700


More than a dozen infected Americans from a coronavirus-riddled cruise ship off Japan, flew on evacuation flights to the US with other passengers on Monday, as the epidemic claimed more lives in China to take the death toll above 1,700.

The COVID-19 virus has infected more than 70,500 people in its epicenter of China and sparked panic buying, economic jitters and the cancellation of high-profile sporting and cultural events.

With fresh cases emerging daily in Japan, the government has advised citizens to avoid mass gatherings and cancelled public events, including annual celebrations in central Tokyo for the Emperor’s birthday and the amateur portion of the city marathon, affecting around 38,000 runners.

Beijing’s municipal authorities have ordered everyone arriving in the capital to self-quarantine for 14 days, the presumed incubation period of the virus.

Reports say china may postpone its annual parliament session, which has been held in March for the last 35 years.