Category Archives: Travel Warnings

10 people on cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus


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Since arriving at the Japanese port of Yokohama, the Diamond Princess has been quarantined at sea while all passengers and crew on board undergo health screenings. The 10 people who tested positive for the newly identified virus have been taken ashore to a hospital in the coastal prefecture of Kanagawa, according to a statement from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

“Quarantine of the cruise ship continues to be implemented,” the ministry said.

A spokesperson for Princess Cruises, which operates the ship, said that those who tested positive include three Japanese guests, three guests from Hong Kong, two Australian guests, one American guest and one crew member from the Philippines. There were 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members aboard the Diamond Princess. Approximately half the guests are from Japan, according to the cruise line spokesperson.

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U.S. announces more coronavirus cases, details quarantine plans for returning travelers

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By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday announced a second case of transmission of the new coronavirus within the United States and provided more detailed plans on how it will handle travelers returning from China as the country works to limit the outbreak.

“We expect to see more cases of person-to-person spread,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a conference call that included confirmation of a handful of new cases, bringing the U.S. total to 11.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is making nearly $250 million in emergency funds available to cover the cost of the response, an agency spokesman said on Monday.

Some of that may be used to support screening and monitoring returning U.S. citizens from China who are exempt from the presidential proclamation issued on Friday suspending entry of foreign nationals who had visited China within the past 14 days.

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Philippines detects first African swine fever outbreak in southern province

Reuters

February 2, 2020, 12:37 AM CST

MANILA, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Blood samples taken from pigs in a southern province in the Philippines, the world’s 10th-largest pork consumer, tested positive for the African swine fever virus, the Department of Agriculture said on Sunday.

It was the first reported case of African swine fever infections in Davao Occidental province and elsewhere in Mindanao, the southern island of the Southeast Asian nation.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has ordered regional department officials to restrict animal movement in that part of the archipelago, the department said in a statement.

The Philippines, also the world’s seventh-biggest pork importer, reported its first African swine fever outbreak in September 2019, in some backyard farms near the country’s capital, Manila.

The disease quickly spread to other parts of the main island of Luzon, including Manila, prompting some central and southern provinces to ban pork and pork-based products from disease-hit areas.

Dar has said pork smuggled from China, where millions of pigs were culled because of the disease, could be behind the outbreak in the Philippines.

Although the blood samples from pigs in Davao Occidental had already tested positive for African swine fever, further tests were to be undertaken by the department’s Bureau of Animal Industry for confirmation.

The department said the initial tests covered blood samples from more than a dozen villages in the province.

The provincial government has already imposed a “complete, but temporary, lock down”, prohibiting the transport of pigs and pork products from and into Davao Occidental, it said.


“Backyard pig farmers in the area practice group rearing of hogs, from different owners, most (of them without) proper housing provisions nor biosecurity practices,” the department said.

There was also no regular vaccination, vitamin supplementation and deworming of pigs in the province, and household butchering is common, especially with animals exhibiting weakness or disease, it said.

Around a thousand pigs in Davao Occidental have been culled amid the outbreak, according to local media reports, citing information from the provincial government.

Philippine agricultural output grew at an annual pace of 0.4% in the last quarter of 2019, slower than the 2.9% gain in the September quarter, as hogs production contracted.

Though not harmful to humans, the disease is deadly to pigs, with no vaccine available.

(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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First US case of coronavirus hits Washington state, CDC says


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday confirmed the first U.S. case of a new coronavirus that has killed six people in China.

The CDC and Washington state officials said the man, a Snohomish County resident in his 30s, was in good condition at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. The symptoms presented Sunday, and the diagnosis was confirmed Monday.

Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, called the news “concerning,” particularly in light of reports that the virus has begun to spread from person to person.

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Eleven dead, 300 treated after drinking coconut wine in Philippines

MANILA (Reuters) – At least 11 people have been killed and more than 300 treated in hospital after drinking coconut wine in the Philippines, including some who were celebrating at a Christmas party, health and local authorities said on Monday.

The poisoning occurred in Laguna and Quezon, two provinces south of Manila, and all had consumed lambanog, a drink popular in provinces and consumed widely during holidays and celebrations.

Many were admitted to hospitals on the urging of mayor Vener Munoz in Rizal, Laguna, where the deaths occurred between Thursday and Sunday.

Two people who had been in critical condition were improving, he told local radio. The coconut wine that was consumed had been made in his town, he added

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Police: 63-vehicle pileup in Virginia results in injuries

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — A pileup involving more than 60 cars on a major interstate in Virginia on Sunday morning injured dozens of people, some critically, according to state police.

The accident happened just before 8 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 64 in York County and for a time shut down traffic in both directions, Virginia State Police Sgt. Michelle Anaya said in a statement.

The agency tweeted that there was fog and ice along a bridge when what was described as a chain-reaction wreck began.

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Crews work to clear vehicles from the Queens Creek overpass on I-64 in York County, Va., Sunday December 22, 2019 after a chain-reaction crash involving multiple vehicles cars. The crash happened Sunday morning. (Rob Ostermaier/The Daily Press via AP)
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Temperatures drop, bringing snow and ice warnings, but it doesn’t mean we’ll have a white Christmas


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Ellen Manning

Parts of Britain could be in line for a white Christmas, with a cold snap starting this week.

The Met Office has forecast ice and freezing temperatures for Monday, and some parts of the country already had two inches of snow on Sunday night.

A yellow weather warning was in place for parts of the country on Monday, with the Met Office warning that temperatures would plummet “widely below zero”, leading to icy stretches on the roads and up to 2cm of snow.

The lowest minimum temperature was recorded at Kinbrace in the Scottish Highlands, where the mercury dropped to -3.6C.

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ARGENTINA SHOOTING: WHAT ARE THE RISKS TO BRITISH TOURISTS WHEN VISITING LATIN AMERICA?


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While the vast majority of tourists to South and Central America find nothing but a warm welcome and rewarding experiences, there are some clear risks – especially in the big cities. 

Most crime is relatively petty, involving pick-pocketing or bag-snatching. But in some locations there is a more serious threat, especially if a robbery does not go according to the perpetrators’ plan.

What is the official advice about Argentina?

The Foreign Office warns mainly about street crime.

“Keep a close eye on your personal possessions at all times. Thieves normally work in teams of two or more and tend to target small bags and pockets.

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Wintry storm to unleash snow, ice and rain as it marches across 2,000-mile stretch of US

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AccuWeather meteorologists have been monitoring for a parade of storms to sweep across the country throughout the middle of the month, and the next one in line threatens to deliver a dose of wintry weather to more than 100 million Americans over a three- to four-day period. 

A cross-country storm is set to bring enough snow to shovel and plow along a stretch of about 2,000 miles from the Colorado Rockies to Down East Maine with a wintry mix and rain to the south and pockets of ice along the way.

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