The lone Electoral College vote awarded by Nebraska’s Second Congressional District has gone to Joe Biden. It could be the vote that gets him to 270.- Advertisement –
British passenger David Abel, who became a minor celebrity with his upbeat video messages in the early days of the quarantine – including a cheeky request to the captain for whisky – typified the mood shift aboard.”It’s all getting to us now and it’s not just me, it’s the other passengers as well. It’s the not-knowing factor that is the real challenge. Mentally, it’s now taking its toll. Right now, it’s very hard to remain focused on anything,” he said.He later announced he and his wife Sally had tested positive.China announced Wednesday there were 1,749 new infections, the lowest number of new cases this month. All but 56 new cases were in the epicenter of Hubei province.Michael Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program, said the outbreak was “very serious” and could grow, but stressed that outside Hubei, it was “affecting a very, very tiny, tiny proportion of people.”There have been 900 cases around the world, with five deaths in France, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.But in Japan, some have raised concerns about allowing people from the cruise ship to board flights home or spread out into the notoriously crowded Japanese capital.Kentaro Iwata, a professor at the infectious diseases division of Kobe University, blasted the on-ship quarantine as a “major failure, a mistake”.”It is highly likely secondary infections occurred,” Iwata told AFP, saying skepticism from abroad of the quarantine was “only natural”.He later said in a video published online that he was self-quarantining after a brief visit to the ship where he raised major concerns about the procedures on board.”It was completely chaotic,” he said.Several countries appear to have lost patience with the on-board quarantine and have prepared chartered planes to bring back their citizens.In the first such evacuation Monday, more than 300 Americans flew home even though 14 of the passengers had tested positive.Early Wednesday, South Korea flew six of its nationals plus a Japanese spouse to Seoul. They will be placed in isolation for 14 days, the Yonhap news agency reported.Britain, Hong Kong and Australia are among other countries that have vowed to repatriate people from the ship but will insist on a further 14-day quarantine on home soil.Nathalie MacDermott, a medical expert at King’s College London, stressed the importance of continued quarantine even after leaving the ship.”Given the circumstances on board the Diamond Princess, those passengers leaving the boat should be managed in a similar manner to those individuals departing a highly affected city or region,” said MacDermott.She recommended “further 14-day self isolation or quarantine period would be advisable even in the absence of symptoms.”Disembarkation is expected to take around three days as more test results become available. Anyone who has had contact with an infected passenger will have to undergo 14 more days in quarantine.In addition, the crew will begin a new quarantine when the last passenger has disembarked.But people in Yokohama appeared supportive of the decision to allow the passengers out despite the virus fears.”I am sure those people on board must be really worried. I hope they can go back to their normal life soon,” said 51-year-old Isamu Habiro.”As a Yokohama resident, I don’t want them to be treated unfairly. I want to cheer for them,” Habiro told AFP.Topics : For some 500 passengers allowed to disembark after testing negative, a difficult 14-day quarantine period has come to an end after their dream cruise turned into a nightmare of fear and crushing boredom confined in many cases to small windowless cabins.”NEGATIVE! Me, son, husband, mom and dad! Thank you Lord for protecting us… So emotional now,” tweeted passenger Yardley Wong, who has been cooped up with her six-year-old son.Those with no symptoms and a negative test received an official certificate saying they posed “no risk of infection of nCoV, as the said person has also presented no symptoms including fever at the time of infection.”But not everyone was so lucky. Relieved passengers began leaving a coronavirus-wracked cruise ship in Japan on Wednesday after testing negative for the disease that has now claimed more than 2,000 lives in China.The Diamond Princess has proved a fertile breeding ground for the virus with at least 542 positive cases, and there is mounting criticism of Japan’s handling of quarantine arrangements as passengers ready to disperse into the wider world.The ship is the biggest cluster outside China, where new figures showed the death toll surging beyond 2,000 with more than 74,000 infected. Hundreds more cases have been reported in two dozen countries.
But the state’s top health official voiced optimism that a partial lockdown of five million people, now in its third week, was working.Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said modeling showed “today should be the peak” even if the number of new cases continues to fluctuate and new daily records could yet be set.The number of daily new cases has passed the March peak of 459 at least three times in the last week, according to data compiled by AFP.Sutton indicated any future increase would likely be driven by closely monitored outbreaks at care facilities for the elderly. Australia on Monday posted its highest number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, even as officials expressed hope outbreaks in locked-down Melbourne may have peaked.A day after Australia reported its highest daily death toll, authorities confirmed at least 549 new COVID-19 infections -— almost entirely driven by an outbreak in the southeastern state of Victoria.Authorities admitted a second wave of clusters in Melbourne was taking longer to suppress than hoped. Topics : Australia had dodged the worst ravages of the pandemic, logging around 15,000 cases in total — fewer than many hard-hit countries see in one day.But the second outbreak is still proving deadly, with the nation’s death toll rising to 161 on Monday.”The outbreaks are really volatile,” Sutton said pointing to some virulent clusters. “In aged care settings the numbers can increase very significantly in a very short period of time.”Officials around the country are eyeing the situation in Victoria nervously, as neighboring New South Wales monitors several clusters sparked by a Melbourne traveller to Sydney earlier this month.”Whilst we are holding the line … we only have to tragically look at what is happening in Victoria to realize that could be us in a few weeks,” New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said.Almost all of New South Wales’ cases have been traced to a specific source or cluster, making management much easier.Nevertheless the chief minister of the Northern Territory, which like most of Australia has effectively suppressed the virus, delayed plans to open travel with Sydney until at least late August.”In recent weeks I think the entire nation got a reality check, any hopes that we’d be through this crisis in a few short months have been dashed,” Michael Gunner told media in Darwin.