The number of people infected by coronavirus continues to rise with the Health Organization (WHO) reporting 71,000 confirmed cases of the virus in 26 countries by Monday morning. Of them, 70,548 cases are located in China, according to WHO weekend updates.
China delayed the annual meeting of its legislature Monday as a result of the outbreak, the first time it has done so “in recent memory,” according to The New York Times. The move marks a “significant blow” to the leadership as the country grapples with controlling the public health crisis from the virus, the newspaper reported.
Since the outbreak began at the end of December, at least 1,770 people have died from coronavirus, or COVID-19. Most of the deaths occurred in China with other deaths also reported in Hong Kong, France, Japan, Philippines and Taiwan, according to Euro News.
In the United States, 14 passengers who were evacuated from a Japanese cruise ship tested positive for the virus Monday, according to The New York Times. They were among 300 Americans who were quarantined on the ship for 10 days and evacuated to the United States. Those who tested positive showed no symptoms of illness but were expected to be held for 14 days for observation and care, the Times reported.
With those passengers included, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases doubled in the U.S. to 29. Seven states have coronavirus patients—Texas, Arizona, California, Illinois, Washington, Wisconsin and Massachusets
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, there are 81 other cases of possible Coronavirus waiting to be confirmed in the United States. The CDC did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.
According to authorities, coronavirus spreads similarly to colds or the flu through person-to-person contact. In order to catch the illness, a person must come into close contact with someone carrying the disease. According to the CDC, symptoms of coronavirus can appear in as little as two days.
A rapid testing system is being developed by Chinese university students. The test, which was designed at Nankai University in Tianjin, has the potential to show if a person tests positive for Coronavirus in just 15 minutes, according to the New York Post. While there’s no official date the test kits will become widely accessible to medical providers, Nankai University claimed it will offer them soon.