Mainland China virus cases rise again after earlier decline

(AP) - Mainland China has reported another rise in cases of the new virus after a sharp decline the previous day, while the number of deaths grow by 97 to 908, with at least two more outside the country.

A woman wearing a face mask walks past empty shelf of tissue papers at supermarket in Hong Kong, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Source: AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

On Monday, China’s health ministry said another 3,062 cases had been reported over the previous 24 hours, raising the Chinese mainland’s total to 40,171.

Monday’s rise was a turnaround from a significant reduction in new cases reported Sunday that briefly prompted optimism prevention methods such as a strict quarantines may be working.

An infection specialist who worked on the earlier outbreak of SARS says “dramatic reductions” in the pace of the disease’s spread should begin this month if containment works.

SARS killed 774 people and sickened 8,098, mainly in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Elsewhere, France closed two schools after five British visitors contracted the virus at a ski resort.

Malaysia, South Korea and Vietnam reported one new case each. Japan reported six more cases on the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess.

Meanwhile, the mother of a physician who died last week in the hardest-hit city of Wuhan said she wants an explanation from authorities who reprimanded her son for warning about the virus.

Spain, UK report new virus cases as they hunt down carriers

The U.K. has confirmed its fourth case of the new virus from China and Spain reported its second case.

European authorities pressed Sunday to contain the spread of the coronavirus by hunting down those who came into contact with infected people.

Both the new cases were acquired during trips to France.

Italian health authorities in Tuscany are trying to re-trace the steps of a Taiwanese couple who stayed four days in a Florence hotel and were found to have the virus later.

Europe has seen a total of 39 coronavirus infections in nine countries, including 14 in Germany.

Where did they go? Millions left city before quarantine

The coronavirus virus has claimed more than 800 lives and sickened over 37,000.

Chinese officials have quarantined Wuhan, the central city where the first cases were reported. But during the first big wave of migration for China’s Lunar New Year festival, city officials said some 5 million possibly infected people left the city.

An Associated Press analysis of domestic travel patterns using map location data from Chinese tech giant Baidu shows where they went.

The travel patterns from Wuhan broadly track with the early spread of the virus to other cities.

Hong Kong lifts quarantine on cruise ship

Hong Kong has lifted a quarantine on the World Dream cruise ship after clearing all crew members of the new virus.

The ship has been placed under quarantine since it docked Wednesday after eight mainland Chinese passengers on a voyage last month were diagnosed with the virus.

Port official Leung Yiu-hon says tests on all 1,800 crew members were completed ahead of schedule and were negative.

He said Sunday that the quarantine of the ship, which has more than 1,800 mostly Hong Kong passengers, will end and all those on board will be allowed to leave.

Some passengers who were symptomatic had tested negative, and Leung said there was no need to test all passengers because they had no contact with the eight who were infected.

He said there was "no need for further surveillance or follow-up" of those on board.

There are 26 virus cases in the financial hub, which has sealed almost all its border checkpoints with mainland China and imposed a quarantine on all arrivals from the mainland in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

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