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The Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama port on Feb. 27. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images

Many travelers are delaying or canceling previously scheduled cruise trips, AP reports, as some ships are turned away from ports amid fear of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Context: Two elderly passengers among hundreds quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, Japan's health ministry reported last week. All guests disembarked the ship on Thursday after being quarantined for weeks, the cruise line said, but roughly 500 employees remained on board as of Thursday.

What's happening: Cruise lines are barring passengers who have traveled to China in recent weeks, AP reports. Companies like Royal Caribbean are also refusing those who have recently been to South Korea, Iran or Italian regions Veneto or Lombardy.

  • A MSC Cruises ship couldn't dock in two Caribbean countries after a crew member caught a common flu, per AP.
  • The Dominican Republic turned away a Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship on Thursday "because officials feared eight of those aboard, including two U.S. citizens, showed potential symptoms of the virus," per AP.

Where it stands: The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to "very high" on Friday. COVID-19 has killed more than 2,870 people and infected about 84,800 others in almost 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China.

  • There are currently 2,337 confirmed cases in South Korea, 388 cases in Iran and 888 cases in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins' Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Go deeper: Cruise ship evacuations: More Americans test positive for coronavirus

Go deeper

Exclusive: GOP Leader McCarthy asks to meet with Biden about the border

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at CPAC. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

China's 5-year plan is hazy on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's highly anticipated 5-year plan revealed on Friday provides little new information about its climate initiatives, leaving plenty to discuss in multinational meetings this year and lots of blanks for China to fill in later.

Driving the news: The top-line targets for 2025, per state media, aim to lower energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon emissions intensity by 18% — that is, measures of energy use and emissions relative to economic output.