Coronavirus death toll tops 600 as number of cases passes 31,000 and more evacuees head to U.S.

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Follow Friday’s latest updates on the coronavirus here.

Two more U.S. government-chartered evacuation flights departed Wuhan, China, on Thursday, a day after two planes carrying about 350 people arrived in California. The 300 additional evacuees are scheduled to arrive in San Diego and Omaha Friday. They’ll spend up to two weeks under quarantine while they’re monitored for symptoms of the flu-like virus. 

The death toll from the virus was at least 638 as of Thursday evening. All but two of the deaths were in mainland China, with one person succumbing in the Philippines and another in Hong Kong. More than 31,000 people have been infected with the virus worldwide, the vast majority of them in China.  

One of those who died was Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor who was threatened by the government after he voiced concerns about the new coronavirus. Wenliang died at 2:58 a.m. local time on February 7, the Wuhan Central Hospital said in a statement

In Japan, at least three Americans were among 61 passengers confirmed to have the new coronavirus on a cruise ship quarantined at a port. 

The number of cases in the U.S. rose to 12 on Wednesday, with officials in Wisconsin confirming the state’s first case. There are also cases in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Washington and Illinois. 

Japan Screens Cruise Ship Diamond Princess For The Wuhan Coronavirus

Emergency workers in protective clothing prepare to remove coronavirus patients from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, docked at Daikoku Pier where it remains in quarantine off the port of Yokohama, Japan, after a number of the 3,700 people on board were confirmed to have coronavirus, February 6, 2020.

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