LONDON/LOS ANGELES: Twenty-one (21) people aboard a cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco have tested positive for coronavirus, US officials said on Friday, adding to the more than 100,000 cases of the fast-spreading illness across the world.
Vice President Mike Pence, recently appointed as the U.S. government’s point man on the outbreak, said the cruise ship Grand Princess will be brought to an unspecified non-commercial port where all 2,400 some passengers and 1,100 crew members will now be tested.
“Those that need to be quarantined, will be quarantined. Those that require additional medical attention will receive it,” Pence told reporters at the White House.
The outbreak has killed more than 3,400 people and spread across more than 90 nations, with seven countries reporting their first cases on Friday. The economic damage has also intensified, with business districts starting to empty and stock markets continuing to tumble.
President Donald Trump on Friday signed a bill to provide $8.3 billion to bolster the capacity to test for coronavirus and fund other measures in the United States.
15 deaths in the US
Cases have now been reported in more than half of the 50 US states. Fifteen people have died in the country.
In many affected countries, people were being asked to stay home from work, schools were closed, large gatherings and sports and music events were canceled, stores were cleared of staples like toiletries and water, and face masks became a common sight.
On Friday, the United States government said they are considering ways to discourage US travelers from taking cruises as part of a broader Trump administration effort to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to four officials familiar with the situation.