More than 3,000 travelers on two coronavirus-stricken Carnival Corp. cruise ships are returning home, fanning out to more than 40 countries and fueling fears of further contagion from the deadly virus.
The U.S. on Monday began evacuating its citizens from the Diamond Princess off Yokohama, Japan, where 70 new cases of the virus were confirmed over the weekend. Canada, Hong Kong and other countries also plan similar evacuations of hundreds. On Saturday, an 83-year-old American woman tested positive in Malaysia, a day after she and more than 2,200 others were cleared to leave the cruise ship Westerdam in Cambodia. The ship arrived there after being turned away by five other ports.
“This woman was on the boat and was infected for a few days — she could have potentially exposed other people on the boat who have now gone home,” said Stanley Deresinski, a Stanford University professor and infectious disease specialist at the university hospital. “There’s a possibility that anyone who is infected and asymptomatic could start a chain of infection wherever they return to.”