More than 100 Hong Kong passengers arrived home from the coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan, Thursday, February 20, on a plane chartered by the Hong Kong government.
READ MORE: The epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak is in China. On Thursday the country reported its biggest drop in new cases of the new coronavirus that has killed more than 2,000 people on the mainland since the outbreak began more than two months ago.
The country's National Health Commission said there were just 394 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) Wednesday, compared to the 1,749 cases the previous day, the biggest drop since last month. The death toll rose to 2,118 after another 114 people died from the virus, while the total number of confirmed cases rose to 74,576.
Outside of mainland China, at least 11 people have reportedly died from the virus, including one in South Korea, two people in Iran and an elderly couple in their 80s who were passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which been quarantined at the Japanese port city of Yokohama since its arrival on February 3. Japanese health officials placed the ship and its 3,700 passengers and crew under quarantine after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the coronavirus. But the attempt to contain the spread of the virus backfired, as 621 people became infected, making it the largest cluster of confirmed cases outside of China.