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Coronavirus: four cruise-ship passengers taken to New Jersey hospital to be tested for the disease

Robert Delaney

US health authorities on Friday sent four passengers arriving on a cruise ship that docked in a New Jersey port, just south of Manhattan, to a hospital to be tested for the novel coronavirus.

The four individuals were among 27 passengers who had been screened by staff from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the Royal Caribbean vessel, according to a statement issued by the New Jersey state government. All of those screened had recently travelled to mainland China.

"The hospital is following proper infection control protocols while evaluating these individuals," it added.

Neither New Jersey nor New York so far have any confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, which originated in China's Hubei province and has spread across the planet, including six US states, California and Massachusetts among them.

Passengers exit the port in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Friday after disembarking the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas. Twenty-seven passengers were screened for the coronavirus, four of whom were taken to a nearby hospital for further tests. Photo: Getty Images via AFP alt=Passengers exit the port in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Friday after disembarking the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas. Twenty-seven passengers were screened for the coronavirus, four of whom were taken to a nearby hospital for further tests. Photo: Getty Images via AFP

New York City has had five suspected cases, but tests for three of those have come back negative while the other two are pending.

There are currently more than 30,000 confirmed cases of the disease worldwide and more than 630 deaths, most of them in mainland China.

The CDC is to release a statement about the situation later on Friday.

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This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.