Germany sends more medical aid to China to fight virus

Germany is sending a second shipment of medical aid supplies to China to help the Asian giant fight the coronavirus epidemic that has infected over 73,000 people.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Tuesday the government is sending 8.7 tons of aid supplies worth 150,000 euros ($162,000), including protective gear and disinfectants.

"Germany stands firmly on the side of China in the battle against coronavirus and works closely and trustfully with the Chinese officials," Maas said. "We have the utmost respect for the efforts China has already undertaken."

The virus, which emerged in central China in December, has killed 1,868 patients in mainland China and five others elsewhere. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19.

China has instituted a strict lockdown on over 60 million people in central Hubei province and other nations are taking their own measures — including mandatory 14-day quarantines — to stop the virus from getting established on their territory.

Europe has had one virus death among its 47 confirmed cases, an 80-year-old Chinese tourist in Paris who was initially turned away by two French hospitals.

Italy says 14 of 25 Italian crew members aboard the troubled Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been struck under quarantine in Japan, will take an Italian evacuation military flight home. The other 11, including the captain of the ship, will stay, the Italian Foreign Ministry said. No date for the Italian air force plane’s departure for Japan has been decided yet.

The Russian Embassy in Japan announced Tuesday that one Russian is among the 542 people on the Diamond Princess confirmed with the virus. The statement clarified earlier reports about two Russians getting infected.

On Monday, a Russian court sent a woman who had broken out of a locked 14-day hospital quarantine back into quarantine and Russian health authorities are suing others who have defied quarantine requirements.