Coronavirus latest news: US 'to bring home American citizens stuck on Diamond Princess'

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The United States will evacuate some of its citizens aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the biggest cluster of coronavirus cases outside China, according to officials.

About 380 people will be offered seats on two evacuation flights from Japan back to the United States, an official of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told the Wall Street Journal.

The evacuees will arrive in the United States as early as Sunday.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been quarantined since arriving in Yokohama, Japan, on February 3, with 3,500 passengers and crew on board, of whom 218 have tested positive for the coronavirus.

There are 78 Britons on board the cruise ship. The Foreign Office has not yet responded to a request for comment regarding possible evacuation.

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On Off 4:00AM China to hold steady on fiscal policy China has been hit hard by the outbreak with a huge impact on retail and services Credit: KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES

China will maintain its prudent monetary policy, a central bank official said on Saturday, as the nation’s economy is hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

Fan Yifei, vice governor at the People’s Bank of China, told a press briefing that consumer prices were unlikely to rise sharply.

He added that non-performing loan ratio remained relatively low in China and he saw space to deal with bad loan problems. 

There are growing fears that the virus could push China into a “secret” recession.