TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE (CBS SF) — Federal health officials were scrambling Monday to find a medical destination to send Diamond Princess evacuees, who are quarantined at Travis Air Force Base, for treatment when they are diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Peggy Honein, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, held a call with the 156 evacuees under quarantine at the base over the weekend.
According to the East Bay Times, she told the passengers that a destination was being sought “to meet the medical needs” for anyone who tests positive, even if they did not need immediate hospitalization.
“We need to move them for observation and care, and to make sure people are being medically evaluated and their needs met,” Honein said in the phone briefing according to the paper.
A plan to move infected passengers to a Southern California medical facility was halted when the Costa Mesa officials got a court order blocking the relocation from a federal judge on Friday. There is a hearing scheduled for Monday to further discuss whether the plan was permanently blocked or could proceed.
There are currently 11 of the Travis evacuees with confirmed cases of coronavirus who have been treated off base. Seven were sent to Northern California hospitals, four were being treated in Washington state. Five other passengers with respiratory symptoms are also at local hospitals.
Honein told the passengers to expect more confirmed cases this week, when tests results return from the CDC lab in Atlanta.
“We do expect to see additional cases in your group and are working to ensure that each and every person is monitored to see if they develop illness,” she said.
In other coronavirus developments in the last 24 hours.
- Italy tries to contain virus as neighbors fear its spread
Police manned checkpoints around quarantined towns in Italy’s north on Monday and residents stocked up on food as the country became the focal point of the outbreak in Europe and fears of its cross-border spread. A bus from Milan was barricaded by police in the French city of Lyon for health checks and Alitalia passengers arriving in Mauritius threatened with quarantine.Civil protection officials said 219 people had tested positive for the virus in Italy and five people had died, including two elderly men in northern Lombardy.
- Coronavirus fears impact Milan’s famed fashion week
Giorgio Armani made a last-minute decision Sunday to stream his latest collection from an empty theater out of concerns for guests’ health. The show ended with what notes said was a ‘’message of love for China,” where the coronavirus first broke out. Models in glistening, sculpted gowns from archival couture Armani Prive’ collections inspired by China stopped along the runway.
- Coronavirus spread continues to grow in Korea
South Korea President Moon Jae-in has placed his country under a red alert, the highest level, allowing for “unprecedented, powerful steps” to stem the crisis. A Chinese-style lockdown of Daegu — a city of 2.5 million people that is the country’s fourth largest — appeared unlikely, even as signs of the response to a broadening problem could be seen nearly everywhere in the nation. South Korea has reported 833 cases confirmed cases of coronavirus with 7 deaths.
- Iran rejects reported Qom coronavirus death toll of 50
A staggering 50 people have died in the Iranian city of Qom from the new coronavirus this month, a lawmaker was quoted as saying on Monday, even as the Health Ministry insisted only 12 deaths have been recorded nationwide. The new death toll reported by the Qom representative, Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani, is significantly higher than the 47 total cases of infections state TV had reported just hours earlier.