Federal officials have scrapped plans to transfer coronavirus patients from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to a facility in Alabama for quarantine after a backlash ensued. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Twitter that President Trump told them via phone that the patients from the cruise ship who tested positive for the virus would not be transferred to the state. “I thanked him for his support of AL! We always want to help our fellow Americans, but this wasn't fully vetted,” Ivey tweeted. The decision came after the Calhoun County Commission approved a plan earlier on Sunday to pursue legal action against the federal government over the prospective patient transfer to Anniston’s FEMA facility. “I’m fighting to bring this to a full stop. Leave these people in the place they came to, don’t spread them around the US, and keep them OUT of Alabama,” Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) wrote on Twitter a day before the decision was reversed. The Diamond Princess cruise ship had 634 reported cases of the virus and two deaths on Sunday.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday called for an “all-out, concerted response” to fight the coronavirus and put South Korea on high alert as the country reported 602 confirmed infections and six deaths. “The coming few days will be a critical time for us,” he said at an emergency meeting. Italy, which is dealing with the highest coronavirus outbreak in Europe, reportedly locked down more than 50,000 people in 10 towns where the virus has been detected. As of Sunday, the country reported 152 cases and at least three deaths.