Washington, United States:
A senior US health official said on Sunday that more than 40 Americans on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan were infected with the deadly coronavirus and would not be part of an evacuation measure.
"Forty of them were infected," said Anthony Fauci, a senior official at the National Institutes for Health, on the CBS Face the Nation Show.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Saturday that 400 Americans would be evacuated on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and flown back to the U.S., where they would be subject to a 14-day quarantine period.
But Fauci said that those who have been confirmed with infections are not allowed to fly.
"You won't go anywhere," he said. "You will be in hospitals in Japan."
When asked about the severity of the disease of infected Americans, Fauci said it was different.
"You could be infected and have minimal symptoms, but you still have the option to transfer it to someone else," he said.
"Or you could be infected and have a major lung condition that would require hospitalization and possibly even serious intervention."
He added that anyone who shows potential symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, cannot get on evacuation planes.
"When people develop symptoms on the plane, they are separated inside the plane. So there is a very firm plan with this 747 that will accommodate those passengers who were now there."
Some American passengers on the cruise ship have indicated that they would refuse to evacuate because they were asymptomatic.
But Fauci said that anyone who had been on the ship would still be quarantined when they returned to the United States.
"And the reason is that the level of portability on this cruise ship is essentially comparable to a hot spot. A lot of portability on this cruise ship," he said.
More than 1,600 people in China have died from the novel corona virus since it was first discovered in downtown Wuhan, and five others have died outside of China.
The United States has imposed a temporary travel ban on foreigners who have visited China and quarantine measures for its own citizens who are returning to the epicenter of the provincial outbreak.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)