The recent coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, a large number of infected cases has risen, spreading across the world and even causing fatalities.
Believed to have spawned from a wild animal wet market in the city, from bats, in particular, the nation has placed Wuhan under lockdown, and stricter measures on wet markets have come about. Many of these exotic animals are eaten or used for medicinal purposes in China.
Below is the latest information on the coronavirus, to keep you up to date.
The situation in Wuhan, China
Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, is a city based in Hubei province in China. The city itself is in lockdown, with public transport at a standstill and minimal operations of trains or planes in and out of the city.
In an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, over 56 million people in roughly 20 Chinese cities, including Wuhan, are prevented from traveling. Currently, the U.S. has confirmed 12 cases of the coronavirus, although no one has yet died in the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the outbreak is an emergency in China, but that it is still too early to call it a public health emergency of international concern. The WHO has, however, described the global risk as being high.
Globally, there are 84,173 cases of coronavirus infections, with 36,322 in mild condition, and 8,095 in critical condition. 2,876 people have died of infection, and 36,880 have recovered. Keep up to date with the facts here.
UPDATE March 1, 4:00 AM EST: Ireland and Armenia report their first coronavirus cases
On Sunday, Ireland and Armenia reported their first coronavirus cases while Thailand and Australia reported their first coronavirus deaths.
UPDATE February 29, 8:00 AM EST: Qatar reports its first case of coronavirus while Iran's death toll rises
Qatar reported ist first case of coronavirus on Saturday and said the patient was a recent visitor to Iran. Meanwhile, Iran's coronavirus death toll rises to 43 and includes a member of parliament. Still in the Middle East, Kuwait calls on its citizens to stop traveling outside the country.
UPDATE February 28, 3:30 PM EST: Bill Gates pens op-ed "How to respond to COVID-19"
Microsoft CEO and co-founder Bill Gates has published an op-ed on his website, GatesNotes, in which he argues the COVID-19 pandemic presents world leaders with an opportunity to help African countries and South Asia prepare for a pandemic now.
"The long-term challenge — improving our ability to respond to outbreaks — isn't new. Global health experts have been saying for years that another pandemic rivalling (sic) the speed and severity of the 1918 influenza epidemic wasn't a matter of if but when. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed significant resources in recent years to helping the world prepare for such a scenario," he wrote on his website.
He goes on to say the novel coronavirus may become the "once-in-a-century pathogen we worry about," and while he hopes for the best, he encourages everyone to expect otherwise.
Gates continues with an analysis of the current fatality rate of the coronavirus, which so far is reportedly 1%, compared to the much lower rate of the typical seasonal influenza, which puts it between the 1957 pandemic (0.6%) and the 1918 influenza pandemic (2%).
To Gates, preparing vulnerable or already-exposed areas of the world to curb the virus will help save lives and "slow the global circulation of the virus."
UPDATE February 28, 2:47 PM EST: US Federal Reserve chair warns that the deadly coronavirus is an "evolving risk" to economic activity
He also said that the Fed is closely monitoring developments and that the central bank plans to use its "tools and act as appropriate to support the economy."
UPDATE February 28, 2:31 PM EST: Amazon asks its employees to postpone all non-essential travel
Amazon is attempting to keep its employees from traveling due to fear of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus.
"We're asking employees to defer non-essential travel during this time," said the company in a statement to CNN.
This comes on the heels of a statement from the cloud computing arm of Amazon, called Amazon Web Services, which declared it would not attend a major conference for video game developers in San Francisco.
"While we won't get to see everyone at GDC this year, we will still have exciting things to share," said the company in an online post. "AWS Game Tech has decided to host a global online event, open to everyone, to showcase our planned content for GDC and more."
UPDATE February 28, 2:31 PM EST: Google has canceled summit amid growing coronavirus concerns
Google canceled its scheduled Google News Initiative Global Summit amid fears of the "novel coronavirus situation," according to an email sent to registered attendees on Friday.
The two-day event was to be held in Google's Sunnyvale, California office and was expected to bring hundreds of media industry experts to meet.
"We regret that we have to cancel our global Google News Initiative summit but the health and wellbeing of our guests is our number one priority," said Maggie Shiels, Google spokesperson, in the email.
UPDATE February 28, 11:01 AM EST: President Trump wants a "miracle" as fear of the deadly coronavirus grows
U.S. President Donald Trump hopes a "miracle" will make the coronavirus disappear but plummeting stock markets and increasing signs the disease will soon enter the U.S. are exacerbating Trump's inconsistent management of the health crisis, reports CNN.
The first case on U.S. soil that couldn't be traced to travel to countries fighting the virus, a significant Wall Street sell off, and worry that drug shortages are leaving White House efforts to demonstrate control wanting.
"It's going to disappear. One day it's like a miracle, it will disappear," said the U.S. President at the White House on Thursday as the coronavirus moved across Asia and Europe after U.S. officials warned the country to brace for severe disruption to everyday life.
Questions were raised about whether Trump will prioritize science as the reality of the deadly coronavirus sweeps the world when a White House ordered public health officials to clear all television appearances.
UPDATE February 28, 11:01 AM EST: Vietnam stopped granting visas to South Korean citizens.
The South-East Asian government said the measure is an attempt to help Vietnam contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus epidemic and minimize the impact of the deadly virus on its economy and greater society.
The government of Vietnam also declared that any other foreign nationals who recently visited South Korea will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
South Korea has confirmed 2,337 cases of coronavirus — second only to mainland China.
On Friday, 16 cases of the coronavirus are confirmed in Vietnam.
UPDATE February 29, 2:45 AM EST: The number of coronavirus cases worldwide hits 85,000 and more travel bans are put into effect
The number of worldwide cases of coronavirus hit 85,000 with new cases reported in Washington State, U.S. and Ontario, Canada. Meanwhile, Australia banned travelers from Iran and Kuwait called on its citizens to avoid traveling.
UPDATE February 28, 11:01 AM EST: South Korea has confirmed 571 more cases of coronavirus
This brings the total of infected patients in South Korea to 2,337 cases — the largest outbreak of the virus outside of mainland China.
The latest count includes one additional military person, which brings the total infected of South Korea's military up to 26,
There were no new deaths reported on Friday, which leaves the South Korean death toll at 13.
Of the 571 cases, 447 are Daegu residents, where the outbreak is concentrated. Many of these cases are linked to a religious group in the city.
UPDATE February 28, 11:00 AM EST: Lithuania has confirmed first coronavirus case within its borders
A female patient with "mild symptoms" is now the first case of the deadly coronavirus in Lithuania, said the country's Ministry of Health to CNN in a statement on Friday.
Presently she is in isolation in Republic Siauliai Hospital, which has sufficient infrastructure to handle the case, said the ministry.
Others who may have been in contact with her are being tracked down, to test for possible infection, the ministry added. None so far have experienced any symptoms.
"Despite the efforts made and the proactive preventive measures that we took among the first, we regret to declare that Lithuania did not avoid the coronavirus," Minister of Health Aurelijus Veryga said. "We were well aware that the threat existed, and we were actively getting ready for this scenario."
UPDATE February 28, 10:30 AM EST: President of Mongolia in quarantine after visiting China
The state news agency, Montsame, said Battulga along with numerous other government officials, including the minister of foreign affairs, visited China to confer with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
The Mongolian delegation — which includes the President — were placed in a 14-day quarantine immediately following their return to Mongolia on Thursday night, as a precautionary step.
Battulga reportedly met with Xi while in China, said Montsame, to discuss joint efforts to reverse the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Battulga also declared a donation of 30,000 sheep to China.
There are no reported cases of the virus in Mongolia, at present.
UPDATE February 28, 10:13 AM EST: US Navy ships that have put to port in Pacific under orders to self-quarantine
The United States Navy has ordered all ships that have made stops in Pacific countries to self-quarantine and stay at sea for at least 14 days, to monitor sailors for possible coronavirus symptoms, reports CNN.
"Out of an abundance of caution, Pacific Fleet is implementing additional mitigations to prevent Sailors from contracting COVID-19, and to monitor Sailors who have traveled to higher-risk areas," Lt. James Adams, US Navy spokesman, said to CNN.
Lt. Adams said that "at this time, there are no indications that any US Navy personnel have contracted" the deadly virus but added that the Navy acted out of caution.
UPDATE February 28, 10:12 AM EST: Nigeria confirms first coronavirus case, an Italian citizen
The first patient confirmed infected with the deadly coronavirus was confirmed in Nigeria, and is an Italian citizen who traveled to Lagos, said Nigeria's Health Ministry in a statement, reports CNN.
The patient works in Nigeria, and returned from Milan on Feb. 25, said the ministry.
"The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos," said the ministry.
Nigeria is Africa's largest country by population, with more than 200 million people.
Health officials in the country are working to identify everyone the patient had contact with since returning to the country, and have urged Nigerian citizens to remain calm.
"Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic," said the statement.
The government of Nigeria has strengthened its ability "to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly," read the statement.
Nigeria's first case of the deadly coronavirus is also the first such case in Sub-Saharan Africa.
UPDATE February 28, 10:12 AM EST: First coronavirus case confirmed in Belarus
Belarus has confirmed its first case of the deadly coronavirus within its borders; a student from Iran, said the Belarus Ministry of Health on its official website on Friday, reports CNN.
"During a laboratory test on February 27, the virus was detected in an Iranian citizen who arrived on a flight from Baku on February 22," read the statement. "The patient and those who were in contact with him are quarantined in Minsk, the young man's condition is satisfactory."
The country's health ministry also said it started testing all travelers coming from Iran, Italy, and South Korea on February 20.
UPDATE February 28, 10:11 AM EST: The UN sanctions committee approves export of medical equipment to North Korea
A sanctions committee of the United Nations has permitted Doctors without Borders, — also called Médecins Sans Frontièrs (MSF), to lend support to North Korea with equipment for diagnostic work. They hope the equipment will help prevent coronavirus outbreaks in the isolated country, reports CNN.
However, it's unclear when the equipment will reach North Korea.
The shipment will include thermometers, stethoscopes, and goggles, including kits to detect if sick people have the deadly virus, said Christoph Heusgen, leader of the committee and German UN Ambassador, to CNN.
"The committee immediately had given permission to export the equipment. The problem is that right now North Korea has closed the border. Around the table the appeal was made for North Korea to allow this equipment in so that the population can be better protected," said Heusgen.
UPDATE February 28, 10:04 AM EST: Foreign diplomats will evacuate from North Korea
The source spoke to the news service on condition of anonymity, in consideration of the extreme sensitivity of the developing situation.
The French Cooperation Office, the German Embassy, and the Swiss Development Operation will completely close their Pyongyang operations, the source told CNN.
Other countries with diplomatic posts in North Korea also have plans to reduce operations, said the source.
"I would expect around 60 people to be on the flight," the source told CNN.
The evacuation flight has yet to be confirmed, but CNN's source says it will fly from Pyongyang to Vladivostok, Russia. The exact number of foreign diplomats posted in North Korea is not known, but the estimated number is a few hundred.
UPDATE February 28, 8:16 AM EST: Visits between Rome priests and Pope Francis have been canceled as the pontiff is "slightly" ill, as well as the coronvirus outbreak in Italy
Pope Francis has canceled a Mass with priests from Rome that was due to happen on Thursday.
No official statement from the Vatican has been declared, however the Pope was seen blowing his nose and coughing at an Ash Wednesday event this week. So far, all the Vatican has said is that the pontiff has a "slight indisposition."
Moreover, Italy currently has over 400 infected cases of coronavirus, making it the most infected nation outside of Asia so far. There have only been three cases reported in Rome, all of which have been cured.
Commenting on the coronavirus oubreak on Wednesday, the Pope expressed his "closeness to those who are ill with coronavirus and to health care workers who are caring for them”
UPDATE February 28, 8:10 AM EST: Apple CEO, Tim Cook, says he's confident China will "curb" the coronavirus impact
In an interview held on Thursday with Fox Business, Apple's CEO Tim Cook stated that he believes China has the coronavirus "under control."
Cook stated "It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control. You look at the numbers, they're coming down day by day by day. I'm very optimistic there ."
Earlier this month Apple had stated that the virus has hurt Chinese demand on their products, as wellas impacting its production capabilities in China. Many of Apple's products are assembled in China, where there has been a lockdown of many factories amid fears of the outbreak.
UPDATE February 27, 5:00 PM EST: The first US coronavirus case of 'unknown' origin has happened
The patient has no history of contact with people or places known to be at risk for coronavirus infections, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In other words, this was a "community spread" transfer, which is when the source of viral infection is not known.
The patient resided in Solano County, California and was moved to UC Davis Medical Center last week, but had to wait until Sunday for proper testing, according to a letter sent Wednesday to UC Davis staff.
UC Davis initially requested coronavirus testing for the patient, but they "did not fit the existing CDC criteria" for testing, said the letter.
The unknown origin of this infection is significant, said Dean Blumberg, a specialist in infectious disease at UC Davis Medical Center, to CNN.
"That suggests that the virus is out there in the community, and that means pretty much that everybody's at risk," he said to CNN affiliate KCRA. "We don't know who might be carrying it. We don't know who we can get it from."
He added that whoever exposed this patient to the coronavirus probably exposed other people who are as of yet undocumented. Health officials are currently working to trace those who may have been in proximity to the UC Davis patient.
"We currently have people in the field working in the community from the local, from the state and also from the CDC," said Director of the California Department of Public Health, Sonia Angell, to CNN.
Angell said that "the risk of infection to the general public remains low."
There are at present 60 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., according to Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary.
- 42 of the infected are former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
- 3 are Americans returned from Wuhan, China, the outbreak's epicenter.
- 1 patient was infected by unknown means and is currently at UC David Medical Center.
- The majority of the other 14 patients have either recently visited China, or are married to another who has returned from China.
UPDATE February 27, 2:27 PM EST: Northern Ireland reports its first case of the deadly coronavirus
"Testing of a patient in Northern Ireland has resulted in a presumptive positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19)," read the statement.
No additional details as to the patient's nation of origin, or how they contracted the virus are available.
"The patient is receiving specialist care and Public Health Agency personnel are working rapidly to identify any contacts the patient had, with the aim of preventing further spread," said the statement, reports CNN.
UPDATE February 27, 2:50 PM EST: Germany reports a total of 19 new coronavirus cases, reports U.S. News
Three western German states have confirmed a total of 19 new cases of the deadly coronavirus on Thursday, one day after the federal health minister said the European country is at the beginning of an epidemic, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The health ministry of Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, had said 14 more people were confirmed to have the coronavirus on Thursday in the Heinsberg region, which is also where a couple were the first who tested positive for the disease in the state.
The new cases bring the total of confirmed cases in the Heinsberg area up to 20. Of the latest new cases, all were isolated at home, and do not require hospital treatment, said the state's health ministry.
The state of Rhineland-Palatinate also declared on Thursday that a man in the region, specifically located in Kaiserslautern, was confirmed infected with the virus.
"The male patient is doing well so far. He's in isolation," tweeted the Rhineland-Palatinate's state government.
UPDATE February 27, 2:10 PM EST: France reports 20 new cases of the deadly coronavirus
The new Health Minister of France, Olivier Véran, confirmed on Thursday night that the country has experienced a 20-person jump in the total cases of coronavirus, on Wednesday.
Repeating the words of French President Emmanuel Macron earlier Thursday, Véran said: "We are preparing for an epidemic."
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has asked the public not to panic, and instead to practice basic health protection advice, like using disposable tissues, coughing into one's elbow, and regular hand washing.
UPDATE February 27, 2:01 PM EST: Collective Friday prayers in Tehran, Iran have been canceled due to coronavirus fears
It has been announced that collective Friday prayers — an essential part of Iranian culture —
due to coronavirus fears in Tehran, the capital of Iran, according to a tweet of a local news source.
🕌Tahran'da Koronavirüs nedeniyle toplu cuma namazı kılınmayacak— dokuz8HABER (@dokuz8haber) February 27, 2020
👉İran'ın başkenti Tahran'da ve bazı eyaletlerde Koronavirüs nedeniyle bu hafta toplu cuma namazı kılınmayacağı açıklandı. pic.twitter.com/uYW5whqXfr
This measure will also be taken in other states of the Iranian country.
No further details are available, but be sure to check back here for more updates on the deadly coronavirus.
UPDATE February 27, 1:38 PM EST: Several Iranian senior officials, including Vice President, Head of Parliament's National Security, confirmed infected with coronavirus
An Iranian cabinet member who sits only a few seats down from President Hassan Rouhani has contracted the deadly coronavirus, reports the New York Times. This makes her the sixth Iranian official to test positive for the virus, counting another prominent cleric who has been killed by the deadly virus.
Mr. Rouhani's Deputy for Women's Affairs and the highest-ranking woman in the government, Masoumeh Ebtekar, said on Thursday she was confirmed infected with the coronavirus and had been quarantined in her home. Her announcement came one day after a cabinet meeting where she may have been exposed to other carriers, like Mr. Rouhani.
A photo tweeted by
for BBC Persia shows her just a few meters (yards) from Mr. Rouhani.
معصومه ابتکار، معاون رییسجمهوری ایران، که تایید شده به ویروس کرونا مبتلا ست، طبق عکسهای منتشرشده، دیروز در جلسه هیات دولت شرکت داشته. از جمله حدود سه متر با خود رئیسجمهور حسن روحانی فاصله داشته. https://t.co/0Dixl1MFxN pic.twitter.com/cMmd26fslj— Hadi Nili (@HadiNili) February 27, 2020
Ms. Ebtekar was previously known to Americans as Mary during the Tehran hostage crisis 40 years ago. During the crisis, Ebtekar was a young revolutionary and spoke for the captors of the 52 Americans held at the United States Embassy.
More than any other country, Iran has the highest number of officials infected with the deadly coronavirus, which first made landfall in the holy Iranian city of Qom. The coronavirus is believed to have spread there from China, which has kept close economic relations with Tehran despite severe sanctions from the U.S.
UPDATE February 27, 12:14 PM EST: US Vice President Pence's handling of coronavirus under scrutiny in light of previous "mishandled" HIV outbreak
U.S. President Trump said Vice President Mike Pence has been tasked with leading the American response to the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday, but critics have said Pence's previous record on a "mishandled" HIV outbreak put his ability into question, reports Now This News.
As governor of Indiana, Pence's leadership contributed to the worst HIV outbreak in the Midwestern state's history. The outbreak — which happened in 2015 — has been linked to the sharing of drug needles, which may have been prevented with a needle exchange program, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At the time, the CDC had advised Pence to implement the program, but he only followed their suggestion after infections in the state had grown far beyond control. Under Pence's leadership, Indiana also spent 5% more than other comparable states on public health.
UPDATE February 27, 10:00 AM EST: Facebook has canceled F8 developer conference amid fears of the rapid spread of coronavirus
Facebook announced on Thursday that the annual F8 conference for developers will not go forward amid concerns regarding the rapid spread of the coronavirus, reports CNET. This move shows how the expanding outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 impacts the livelihood of the world's biggest tech companies.
More updates to come.
UPDATE February 27, 3:31 AM EST: San Francisco declares a state of emergency to combat the coronavirus outbreak
San Francisco in California has issued a state of emergency in a bid to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus — even though there have been no confirmed cases in the city.
Mayor London Breed stated "This declaration of emergency is all about preparedness."
The move will help the city to receive reimbursements by state and federal governments for the money it puts towards its preparations.
Other Californian cities, such as San Diego and Santa Clara have issues similar statements.
UPDATE February 27, 3:25 AM EST: Australia issues emergency response plan to the novel coronavirus
- The clinical severity of the outbreak (how severe cases are, and many people need to be hospitalised)
- Tts transmissibility (how easily it is spread, currently it has a preliminary reproduction number of 1.4 to 2.5)
- The capacity of the health system to treat infected patients
- The effectiveness of interventions to treat the illness or stop it spreading
UPDATE February 27, 3:21 AM EST: Japanese tour-bus guide has tested positive for the coronavirus a second time
In a first known case in Japan, a woman operating as a tour-bus guide in the city of Osaka has been tested positive for the coronavirus a second time.
China so far has been the only country to confirm cases of re-infection (see below), and this is now the first reported case of re-infection of the novel coronavirus in a person in Japan.
As of Thursday, Japan confirmed 186 infection cases of the virus, up from 170 the day before. These 186 cases are separate from the 704 reported from the Diamond Princess cruise liner. Seven people have died in Japan from the virus, four of which were from the cruise liner.
UPDATE February 27, 3:15 AM EST: World's biggest iPhone maker reopens factory in China, and hires "SARS hero" to oversee its reopening
During the early 2000s SARS outbreak, Zhong Nanshan, was credited with discovering the Severy Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as how to treat it. Zhong is now leading China's investigation against the coronavirus.
It comes as no surprise that Zhong is held in high regard. Hence why Foxconn, the world's largest iPhone maker, has hired Zhong as an adviser while they reopen their factory. Moreover, the company is offering $1,000 to each new employee in a bid to entice more people to return to work.
Production came to a screeching halt during the coronavirus outbreak, but now some doors are slowly opening up again, Foxconn included. The company hopes to resume at least half-production by the end of the month.
UPDATE February 27, 3:11 AM EST: 14% of cured coronavirus patients in Guangdong province have tested positive once again for the virus
A local health authority in Guangdong province, China, has confirmed that 14% of patients cured of the novel coronavirus and were discharged from hospital, have caught the virus once more.
A positive test could suggest that recovered patients could still carry the virus, adding more complexity to the outbreak.
UPDATE February 27, 3:00 AM EST: Korean Air flight attendant with coronavirus reportedly worked on to the U.S. and Israel, potentially affecting over 400 passengers
The South Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a Korean Air flight attendant infected with coronavirus serviced a flight between Seoul and Tel Aviv, Israel on February 15th, which subsequently confirmed 31 cases of coronavirus from the flight.
The airline has yet to disclose other routes this flight attendant serviced, however it's believed that the employee flew to U.S. destinations as well.
UPDATE February 26, 4:59 PM EST: Energy and oil stocks crushed amid fears of coronavirus
The rapid spread of coronavirus worldwide has sent shockwaves through an oil market that is simply not prepared for the significant blow to the world's energy demand, reports CNN.
Oil prices fell lower on Wednesday, which reflects the rampant fears about economic repercussions from the fast-growing health crisis. Economists have warned that the coronavirus could spark a severe economic slowdown, and possibly a recession, in the U.S. and globally.
U.S. crude oil stock fell another 2.3% on Wednesday, to $48.73 per barrel. This is the lowest price since January of 2019, and it marks a 23% fall from the last recent peak of $63.27 per barrel on Jan. 5.
"You're seeing the ripple effects of the coronavirus proliferate outside of China. That is what is turning investor sentiment on oil and other risk assets as well," said Director of global energy strategy at RBC Capital Markets, Michael Tran.
UPDATE February 26, 3:50 PM EST: Norway has confirmed its first coronavirus case
Norway has confirmed its first case of a person infected with the deadly coronavirus, according to the country's Institute for Public Health (NIIPH), declared in a statement.
The infected person has shown no symptoms but was tested after a return trip from China, specifically an area affected by the outbreak. The NIPH elaborated that the new case is a "weak positive result."
"The NIPH considers it very unlikely that the person poses an infection risk to others," said Director of the Department of Infection Control and Preparedness at NIPH, Line Vold.
The person is currently under quarantine at their home, as a precautionary measure, added Vold.
UPDATE February 26, 3:47 PM EST: It is "highly probable" New York will see cases of the deadly coronavirus, says governor
The state of New York has "explored" 27 cases of the deadly coronavirus, and so far all tests have had proved negative, excluding one test, which is still pending, said Andrew Cuomo, NY State governor at a press conference.
Cuomo added that he believes the pending case is in Nassau County, on Long Island, NY.
"It is highly probable that you will see a continuing spread of the virus. It is highly probable that we will have people in New York State who test positive," said Cuomo.
He also said he'd submit an emergency supplemental appropriations bill to the state legislature, to ask for an additional $40 million for the New York Department of Health to adequately respond to the threat of the deadly virus.
Cuomo also said that New York State is presently engaged in the "containment phase" of handling the virus. "Our operating paradigm is always prepare for the worst and hope for the best," said Cuomo.
Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association was with Cuomo at the press conference, and said that hospitals have prepared for the coronavirus for weeks.
He added that resources available to the system in confronting potential cases are "significant."
UPDATE February 26, 3:35 PM EST: More coronavirus cases were reported outside than inside China today
For the first time in the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the number of new cases reported outside of China in a single day outweighs those reported inside China, reports the World Health Organization.
In China, 412 cases were confirmed today, while 459 cases were confirmed outside of China, according to the WHO's daily report.
The majority of cases in China came from Hubei province, which had 401 new cases. Six came from outside mainland China, which included four from Hong Kong, counted in WHO's total China count.
More than half of the new coronavirus cases outside of China happened in South Korea, which has reported 284 cases.
UPDATE February 26, 6:37 AM EST: European cases of coronavirus continue to spread, with France confirming its first death due to the virus
On Tuesday night, a 60-year-old French citizen died of the coronavirus in a Paris hospital. This is the first confirmed death in the nation that has now 17 cases of infected people.
Europe's cases of coronavirus are spreading rapidly, with Italy harboring the highest number of coronavirus cases outside of Asia — see information below.
Jérôme Salomon, France's health minister, confirmed the death of the 60-year-old unnamed French citizen on Wednesday morning.
UPDATE February 26, 3:45 AM EST: Top U.S. health official says the nation needs at least 300 million face masks for healthcare workers, however, masks aren't enough to stop the coronavirus
Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary in the U.S., has stated that at least 300 million face masks are needed for local healthcare workers. However, the effectiveness of these masks in stemming the coronavirus' spread is questionable.
So far, the Trump administration has requested that Congress allocate $2.5 billion towards the coronavirus relief. These funds would be used for vaccine development, protective equipment, and other measures.
The issue with face masks is that they can't entirely filter out airborne coronavirus particles. Coronavirus particles measure between 0.05 and 0.2 microns in diameter, and the masks can block out particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter, according to the Lancet journal.
As of Tuesday, 57 U.S. nationals have been infected by the coronavirus.
UPDATE February 26, 3:41 AM EST: The latest numbers of cases of coronavirus infections and deaths show a surge in fatalities outside of China
The WHO's latest report on the coronavirus outbreak explains that four new Member States have confirmed coronavirus cases: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, and Oman.
Moreover, the report stated that confirmed cases worlwide have reached 80,239 (908 of these are new in the last 24 hours). The majority of these cases are in China, 77,780 in total.
Outside of China, 33 countries have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and there have been 34 deaths (11 of which were new in the last 24 hours). China has confirmed 2,666 deaths.
UPDATE February 26, 3:37 AM EST: Samsung reopens Galaxy Z flip phone factory after an emergency shutdown last weekend
A Samsung factory in Gumi, South Korea, shut down all operations over the weekend amid fears that an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. This person was in charge of phone production.
The factory reopened on Monday, and Samsung does not expect any impact on its production to take place. The company stated that "The health and safety of our employees are our highest priority. The company plans to implement all necessary measures for disinfection and containment promptly."
UPDATE February 25, 3:00 PM EST: Woman in mainland Spain tests positive for deadly coronavirus
A woman in Barcelona has been confirmed infected with the deadly coronavirus, according to the Secretary of Public Health in Catalonia, Joan Guix, CNN reports.
The patient is a 36-year-old Italian citizen living in Barcelona, Guix said Guix. She traveled to Bergamo and Milan, Italy, from Feb. 12 to Sunday, Feb. 23. She is presently in isolation in a hospital.
Two other people had previously tested positive for the virus on the Spanish resort island of Tenerife, causing their hotel to go into lockdown.
Eight additional cases are presently under investigation.
UPDATE February 25, 2:25 PM EST: The Dow has now dropped more than 700 points
Stocks have made a sharply negative turn amid growing coronavirus fears. The Dow has fallen more than 700 points.
Yesterday, the Dow plummeted by more than 1,000 points; its worst day in two years.
UPDATE February 25, 2:22 PM EST: US-South Korea military exercises are expected to be scaled down amid coronavirus fears
South Korea and the U.S. are expected to announce Tuesday that a critical joint military exercise will be scaled down because the deadly coronavirus is severely reducing the ability of both militaries to participate, according to three U.S. officials, reports CNN.
If this happens, it will be the first major impact of coronavirus on U.S. military readiness, added the officials. Instead of a full-scale exercise, the U.S. may lose ground in its ability to effectively conduct future operations in a coordinated and highly-synchronized manner with the Republic of Korea, should the North Korean government take advantage of the crisis, one of the officials said.
The two allies are finalizing details of the reduced effort.
UPDATE February 25, 1:25 PM EST: France has confirmed 2 new coronavirus cases
Two additional people in France have been confirmed infected with the deadly coronavirus, said Jérôme Salomon, the country's general director of Health.
"We have two new cases tonight. Case No. 13 is the case of a young Chinese woman who returned from China on February 7 and was hospitalized in Paris. Case No. 14 is a French man returning from Lombardy; he's being hospitalized in Auvergne Rhône Alpes," said Salomon.
This comes on the heels of France declaring yesterday that it had "cured coronavirus" in its country, in that the last known case of the virus was cured.
UPDATE February 25, 1:25 PM EST: DOW plummets more than 500 points amid coronavirus fears
Stocks have reversed an earlier rise on Tuesday, overwhelmed by coronavirus fears. The Dow plummeted by more than 500 points on Tuesday.
Yesterday the Dow fell more than 1,000 points — its worst day in two years.
UPDATE February 25, 12:46 PM EST: Goldman Sachs employees are restricted from travel to South Korea and parts of Italy amid coronavirus fears
Goldman Sachs is restricting all business travel to South Korea, and also some regions in Italy amid coronavirus fears, according to an investment bank announcement on Tuesday, reports CNN.
Employees who have recently traveled to South Korea, or the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy, or who have experienced proximity to anyone who has been to these areas, are compelled to stay out-of-office for at least 14 days, said Goldman Sachs on Tuesday.
Goldman has also asked employees to delay non-essential travel to other parts of Italy and Asia. The company previously asked employees not to travel to China when the novel coronavirus first took hold in Wuhan.
Here is the full press release from Goldman Sachs:
"We are restricting all business travel to, from and within South Korea, as well as the Lombardy and Veneto regions in Italy, and asking that non-essential business travel to other parts of Italy and Asia be postponed. In addition to the previous policy for mainland China, all employees who have traveled to South Korea or the impacted regions in Italy, or who have been in close contact with individuals who have been to these areas, are required to remain out of the office for at least 14 days."
UPDATE February 25, 12:26 PM EST: US health official warns coronavirus is close to becoming a pandemic
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the deadly coronavirus has satisfied some of the criteria for a pandemic — but not all, reports CNN.
"The fact that this virus has caused illness — including illness that has resulted in death — and sustained person-to-person spread is concerning. These factors meet two of the criteria for a pandemic," Messonnier said.
She added that the virus is "moving closer" to satisfying the third criteria: the worldwide spread of the new virus.
Messonnier also added: "But as more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder."
"Ultimately we expect we will see community spread in this country. It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness. We will maintain, for as long as [is] practical, a dual approach where we continue measures to contain this disease, but also employ strategies to minimize the impact of our communities," said Messonnier.
UPDATE February 25, 11:20 AM EST: US Senators briefed on coronavirus, and share thoughts on the crisis
U.S. Senators discussed the coronavirus during a classified briefing on Tuesday morning.
On their way out, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Lamar Alexander, and Dick Durban shared concerns over the spread of the deadly coronavirus in countries around the world, reports CNN.
According to Democrat Whip Durban, a key question is "whether or not [countries] will be aggressive in quarantine in cases and reduce the spread beyond their borders. We still have to wait and see."
GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy said that the end of the briefing was met with officials saying "it didn't need to be" classified. Sen. Roy Blunt (Republican) affirmed that nothing "top secret" was happening.
Durbin added that he believes the Trump administration's request for roughly $2 billion in additional funds to confront the coronavirus is a "wise allocation" but was quick to add that it "may not even be enough," echoing warnings of other Democrats.
Durbin also criticized the Trump administration budget request, which cuts funds for health agencies like CDC, and NIH, as "completely backwards." He also expressed hopes that the president will reconsider his budget request, because "we've got to anticipate that more resources will be needed," reports CNN.
Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Mike Braun (Indiana) said "panicking about this does not make sense," when asked if people residing in the U.S. should worry about the coronavirus. Braun stresses the low-level impact of the 14 cases detected within the country so far, excluding those infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
UPDATE February 25, 11:11 AM EST: Austria, neighboring Italy, confirms first cases of deadly coronavirus
Two people in Austria have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the Tyrol Region government press office, reports CNN.
The genders and nationalities of the two infected people are still unknown, but they tested positive in the city of Innsbruck.
Austria shares a 404-kilometer (251-mile) border with Italy, where most of Europe's coronavirus cases have occurred. Currently, 7 have died in Italy, and more than 280 coronavirus infections have been confirmed.
UPDATE February 25, 11:08 AM EST: There are 10 Northern Italian towns on lockdown
Update on February 26, 6:40 AM EST: 11 towns in Italy are now on lockdown, with 11 deaths confirmed in the nation
As of Wednesday morning, Italy has become the most infected country outside of Asia, with 322 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
Italy's Lombardy region press office has released a list of towns and villages currently under lockdown inside the so-called "red zones" declared to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
2. Castiglione D'Adda
8. Terranova Dei Passerini
10. San Fioran
Measures taken in "red zones" include a total ban on public entry into the zone, closing of train stations, and complete suspension of public transit, including buses.
At present Italy has the highest number of coronavirus infections outside Asia, with 54 cases detected in the northern region of the country overnight, which brings the total up to 283, according to an Italian civil protection agency report on Tuesday. Cases are most common in the region of Lombardy, where there are 212 confirmed infections. So far, seven people have died from the virus in Italy.
UPDATE February 25, 11:07 AM EST: A vaccine to the coronavirus is at least one year away, US senators are told
Administration officials informed U.S. senators that a vaccine was at least 12 to 18 months away, according to three senators present at the closed coronavirus briefing that happened earlier on Tuesday.
In reply to questions about the wait-time for a coronavirus vaccine, Sen. Roy Blunt said: "We will not have a vaccine in the next 12 to 18 months."
Senator Joe Manchin claimed to have asked National Institutes of Health's Tony Fauci if they were close to a vaccine, and Faucci replied "no," said Manchin. "I guess Tony should know ... It's very contagious."
"The vaccine for the coronavirus is moving more rapidly than any vaccine we have already tried to approve — but it will take a year or 18 months. The way to stop (an outbreak) is quarantine and monitoring," said the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair, Lamar Alexander.
"I believe it's under control," Alexander said, reports CNN. "Do I think it will spread to the United States? The advice we got today is inevitably it will spread."
Meanwhile, U.S. President Trump has continued to express confidence to the public throughout his administration's engagement with the crisis. He added that he thinks the coronavirus crisis will be short-lived.
"I think that the whole situation will start working out. A lot of talent, a lot of brain power is being pushed behind it," said Trump during a Tuesday news conference in New Delhi, India.
UPDATE February 25, 10:54 AM EST: Iran's deputy health minister tests positive for deadly coronavirus, says state media
The Iranian deputy health minister tested positive on Tuesday, reports the country's ILNA news agency, according to Reuters.
During an interview on state television, a spokesperson for the health ministry confirmed a coronavirus infection of Deputy Iraj Harirchi and added that he has been quarantined.
There are 95 confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran, and 15 confirmed dead from infection.
UPDATE February 25, 10:13 EST: At least 4 passengers of from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died from coronavirus
The death of an 80-year-old passenger from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has been confirmed by Japan's Ministry of Health, reports CNN.
The man passed away in the hospital and is the fourth passenger from the cruise ship to die. The total death toll from the coronavirus is five people.
UPDATE February 25, 8:11 AM EST: Harvard scientist claims 70% of the world's population will catch the coronavirus
Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist from Harvard University, predicts that between 40% to 70% of the world's entire population will be infected by the coronavirus within a year.
Not wanting to alarm everyone, Lipsitch also stated that most people won't have severe illnesses or even show symptoms, which is already the case for current coronavirus cases.
This is why he believes the virus can't be stopped. As it is sometimes asymptomatic, Lipsitch believes many people will go about their day to day lives without even realizing they've contracted the disease.
UPDATE February 25, 5:23 AM EST: U.S. woman on the Westerdam cruise line does not have the coronavirus and did not spread it to other passengers
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that a woman traveling on Holland America Line's Westerdam cruise ship does not in fact have the coronavirus. It had been believed that she had spread it to fellow passengers.
The Westerdam had been denied docking at five ports amid rumors that its passengers had the coronavirus, even after the cruise line had confirmed that none aboard had the virus.
In mid-February, passengers were finally allowed to disembark in Cambodia. However, fears were stoked later as an 83-year-old woman who had been aboard the cruise ship supposedly tested positive for carrying the virus.
It ultimately turns out that she does not have the virus, as per the CDC.
UPDATE: February 25, 5:20 AM EST: Major American companies are suffering amid the coronavirus outbreak
Major U.S. companies such as United Airlines, which had to suspend its flights to four major Chinese cities — routes that represent approximately 5% of its planned capacity — are suffering due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Another big company's business that's suffering because of the coronavirus is Mastercard, who updated its first quarter and full-year 2020 outlook, and it didn't look promising.
UPDATE February 25, 5:18 AM EST: Two-thirds of coronavirus cases may still be undetected
A report by Imperial College London has shared the worrying information that a potential two-thirds of coronavirus infections have yet to be discovered, or disclosed.
As lead researcher of the study, Sangeeta Bhatia, stated "We compared the average monthly number of passengers traveling from [outbreak epicenter] Wuhan to major international destinations with the number of COVID-19 cases that have been detected overseas. Based on these data, we then estimate the number of cases that are undetected globally and find that approximately two thirds of the cases might be undetected at this point."
UPDATE February 24, 12:00 PM EST: "We are in the phase of preparedness for a potential pandemic," says health official
Executive Director of the World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Programme Mike Ryan said on Monday that it's too early to declare the deadly coronavirus a pandemic — but the time to prepare for one is now.
"Look what's happened in China, we've seen a significant drop in cases, huge pressure placed on the virus and a sequential decrease in the number of cases, that goes against the logic of pandemic. Yet we see in contrast to that, an acceleration of cases in places like Korea, and therefore we are still in the balance," said Ryan, reports CNN.
"We are in the phase of preparedness for a potential pandemic," he added.
Ryan encourages countries of the world to prepare to take and treat patients and work toward containment.
UPDATE February 24, 10:28 AM EST: The deadly coronavirus has pandemic potential, but it's not there yet, says World Health Organization
Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization said on Monday that the deadly coronavirus has pandemic potential — but isn't a pandemic yet.
Tedros added that the decision to use the word pandemic is merely descriptive term that refers to the geographic spread of the virus, severity, and impact on society, and also that for the moment the WHO is not witnessing the uncontained global spread of the virus endemic of the word "pandemic."
He clarified that the virus is affecting countries around the world in disparate ways, which each require a unique and tailored response, not a "one-size-fits-all" response, reports CNN.
Previously, WHO had declared the novel coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern.
However, it's important to remember that there is no rigid definition of "pandemic;" mathematical or otherwise. Nor is it subjective.
Outbreaks are characterized as pandemics by epidemiologists — who have yet to use the term to refer to the coronavirus. This is because they haven't yet seen sustained transmission among people who've not recently traveled to China, or had close contact with someone who was recently there.
It is insufficient for a cluster of disease in one country to exist and even spread beyond — it must spread in a sustained way, from person to person, over and over, through several generations of transmission, before the word "pandemic" applies.
UPDATE February 24, 9:36 AM EST: US stocks plunge amid fears of coronavirus
U.S. stocks plunged this morning as worries surrounding the spread of the deadly coronavirus spreading beyond mainland China to other major economies of the world swelled, reports CNN.
- The S&P 500 declined by 3.1%
- The Dow dropped to 997 points or 3.4%
- The Nasdaq fell 3.9%
Having lost more than 1,400 points in three trading days, the Dow has been seriously affected by the deadly coronavirus. This massive drop virtually erased the Dow's gains for 2020, which leaves the index for the year in the negative. The S&P 500 remains, however, positive for 2020.
UPDATE February 24, 8:43 AM EST: First coronavirus case in Iraq is a student from Iran
An Iranian student who made entry into Iraq before the latter's travel ban on Iran is now confirmed infected with the deadly coronavirus, according to a statement from the Iraqi Ministry of Health on Monday.
The student has since been restricted to quarantine in the city of Najaf, added the ministry.
"The ministry would like to clarify that the tests (sic) results made today for one Iranian student showed a positive infection of a student who entered Iraq before the travel ban decision," said the statement, reports CNN.
UPDATE February 24, 8:30 AM EST: CDC declares new travel advisories for Iran and Italy
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared new travel advisories Sunday night for Italy and Iran, following a surge in confirmed coronavirus cases in both nations.
These constitute the fourth and fifth travel advisories the agency has issued beyond mainland China.
Specifically, the CDC advises travelers to "practice usual precautions" in both nations, according to a "Watch - Level 1" notice of the three possible such advisories.
UPDATE February 24, 7:40 AM EST: Chinese government approves implementation of policy to ban the consumption of wild animals
China's highest political body just approved a decision on Monday to officially ban the consumption and illegal trade of wild animals, believed by some experts to be the source of the virus.
The National People's Congress Standing Committee approved the ban on Monday, as a measure to help "safeguard the health and ecological security," according to state media of China.
The measure was created to "completely ban the eating of wild animals," while simultaneously "cracking down on illegal trade of wildlife," reports Chinese state media.
This means the use of wild animals for scientific research, exhibition, or medicine must now undergo "strict examination and approval" by the supervising department, according to regulations.
This comes nearly a month after Chinese authorities suspended the trade of wild animals on Jan. 26, which was an early measure taken to contain the virus.
UPDATE February 24, 7:34 AM EST: Passengers from Diamond Princess cruise ship were released by mistake, says Japan
Authorities in Japan are in contact with each of the 23 passengers who were mistakenly released from the Diamond Princess, the country's health ministry said to CNN, to which it added that at least three of the passengers have also retested negative for the deadly coronavirus.
The accidentally-free 23 passengers were compelled to take a second test because their first test came before Feb. 5, when a ship-wide quarantine was issued, according to the ministry, reports CNN.
Passengers in close contact with someone infected with the deadly coronavirus after their initial test were also compelled to take a second test, and reset their 14-day quarantine since their last contact with infected proxies, before receiving permission to disembark.
There was no specific time window in which the tests must be taken, the Japanese health ministry said to CNN, the 23 in question simply needed to arrange to be tested during their respective quarantine periods.
UPDATE February 24, 7:24 AM EST: Italy has confirmed 219 cases of coronavirus, with five deaths
Italy has confirmed 219 cases of the deadly coronavirus, said Angelo Borrelli, head of the country's civil protection agency, during a Monday press briefing.
Five of the 219 people infected with coronavirus have died, he said.
In addition, 91 of the cases are currently in isolation, at home, said Borrelli.
Hardest hit in Italy is the northern region of Lombardy, with 167 cases and four of the reported deaths, Borrelli added.
UPDATE February 24, 6:10 AM EST: Hundreds of tourists from East Asia to be flown from Israel back home
Hundreds of non-Israeli nationals from East Asian countries currently visiting Israel will be returned home via chartered flights in the coming days, the Israel Airport Authority said in a statement on Monday, reports CNN.
As of Monday, there are between 800 and 900 East Asian tourists in Israel. While there is no precise figure on how many South Koreans are present in the middle-eastern country, authorities have said that a representative of the South Korean embassy will be available, provided by the Ministry of Tourism.
As of Sunday night, 622 South Korean citizens touring Israel have returned to their home country. An additional 879 foreign nationals from different East Asian countries have also returned to their respective homes, the airport authority said.
Israel restricted entry for foreign nationals who have recently been to China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Macau in the last 14 days.
UPDATE February 23, 6:20 AM EST: Israel closes its borders to Japanese and South Korean nationals and Iran's death toll rises to 8
On Sunday, Israel closed its borders to Japanese and South Korean nationals in an attempt to control the virus' outbreak while officials announced Iran's death toll has now reached 8.
UPDATE February 23, 2:10 AM EST: Tehran universities suspend teaching while more deaths from the virus are reported
Tehran announced on Sunday it would suspend teaching amid coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile, South Korea reports 5th death and the death toll in China rises to 2442.
UPDATE February 22, 7:30 AM EST: Iran reports its 5th death from the virus while Lebanon confirms three more cases of infection
Iranian health authorities on Saturday reported a fifth death from the virus. The authorities also confirmed 10 new cases of the virus in Iran. In the meantime, Lebanon reported three new cases of infection.
UPDATE February 22, 5:40 AM EST: Second coronavirus death in Italy
A second patient infected with the coronavirus has died in Italy. The victim was a female resident in Milan's Lombardy region.
Furthermore, the outbreak of the coronavirus in Northern Italy has considerably worsened on Friday, and officials now confirm 30 cases in the wealthy region of Lombardy and two in the region of Veneto.
Before Friday, only three cases of the virus had been reported by Italy.
UPDATE February 23, 5:20 AM EST: South Korea raises alert to the highest level
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday put South Korea on the highest possible alert. “The coming few days will be a critical time for us,” Jae-in said at an emergency meeting.
“This will be a momentous time when the central government, local governments, health officials and medical personnel and the entire people must wage an all-out, concerted response to the problem.” In just days, the country has reached 602 confirmed infections and five deaths.
UPDATE February 22, 5:20 AM EST: Italy reports its first coronavirus death
A 78-year-old Italian man with coronavirus died on Friday becoming the first death of the country and marking the first European death. He was one of two people who had tested positive for the virus in the Veneto region. He died in the hospital.
UPDATE February 21, 1:47 PM EST: The United States changes its criteria for identifying coronavirus cases
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is switching-up its criteria for defining confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, to consolidate cases into two distinct and separate groups: those repatriated by the U.S. Department of State, and those who were identified by the U.S. public health network.
This means there are now 21 confirmed cases from repatriated citizens and 13 cases from Americans first identified within the country, according to Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease Nancy Messonnier, reports CNN.
Until Thursday, the CDC had reported 15 cases within the United States. The number has fallen to 13 because two cases have been reclassified as repatriated individuals.
This systemic change goes into effect on Friday.
UPDATE February 21, 11:05 AM EST: 253 people disembark from the Diamond Princess cruise ship
On Friday, 253 people who tested negative for the deadly coronavirus after a 14-day quarantine have disembarked from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to a press release by the Japanese Ministry of Health, reports CNN.
The process of offloading passengers who have tested negative for the virus will continue at least through Saturday, said a spokesperson for Princess Cruises, to CNN.
UPDATE February 21, 10:59 AM EST: "The window of opportunity is narrowing" for coronavirus containment, says health expert
There is growing concern regarding the spread of the deadly coronavirus in countries beyond mainland China among people without a connection to China or Wuhan, according to a statement made by the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reports CNN.
Tedros clarified that while there remains a possibility of containing the virus, "the window of opportunity is narrowing."
WHO is asking countries to continue containment procedures while also preparing for community transmission, Tedros said. He added that China's containment procedures in Wuhan and elsewhere are "hammering" the virus — in other words, the measures are working.
"We must not look back and regret that we failed to take advantage of the window of opportunity we have," said Tedros.
Tedros believes the outbreak can still move in any direction, which is why countries need to prepare for that inevitability now, instead of later.
UPDATE February 21, 10:00 AM EST: Lebanon declares its first confirmed coronavirus patient
The country of Lebanon has confirmed its first confirmed case of the infectious coronavirus, said Lebanese Health Minister Hammad Hassan during a news conference on Friday, reports CNN.
Hassan added that the patient is a 45-year-old female, returned yesterday from the city of Qom, Iran. Two more suspected cases exist in the nation, but neither are as of yet confirmed to be infected.
Hassan further announced that all travelers returning from Iran will henceforth be subject to quarantine for 14 days.
This comes on the heels of Iran's announcement that 18 coronavirus cases have occurred within its borders. Four have died of the deadly virus in Iran.
UPDATE February 21, 9:18 AM EST: Israel confirms first coronavirus patient
Israel's Ministry of Health has confirmed its first-ever case of coronavirus after a woman evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan was diagnosed with the illness, in a statement Friday morning, reports CNN.
The woman was one of eleven Israeli-bound passengers on the Diamond Princess, recently returned via a chartered plane. The other ten passengers have tested negative for the virus.
All passengers are currently in isolation at Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv, where they will remain for 14 days.
Four other Israeli citizens diagnosed with the coronavirus remain on the cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan.
UPDATE February 21, 9:05 AM EST: South Korea confirms second death from coronavirus infection
Another coronavirus patient in South Korea has died of infection, according to the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new victim was a woman born in 1965 and was confirmed infected with the coronavirus on Friday.
The first South Korean patient to die of the deadly coronavirus had a chronic lung disease which caused the patient to be hospitalized for a long time, according to Jung Eun-Kyeong, an official at the South Korean CDC, said CNN.
UPDATE February 21, 8:04 AM EST: Iran has confirmed 18 coronaviruses infections and 4 deaths
Two additional coronavirus-related deaths have happened in Iran, with 13 new cases of the infection, according to Iran's health ministry.
"According to the latest laboratory reports 13 contractions of coronavirus have been confirmed, including 7 in Qom, 4 in Tehran, and two in Gilan. Unfortunately, out of these cases two have lost their lives," said Kianoosh Jahanpour, the nation's health ministry spokesman, in a tweet on Friday. "Most of the cases are residents of Qom or have traveled to Qom in recent days and weeks," he added.
These developments come during Iran's parliamentary elections on Friday. Some voters have elected to don protective masks, and numerous polling stations are forgoing mandatory fingerprint screenings in hopes of slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
UPDATE February 21, 4:27 AM EST: Coronavirus may be spreading through fecal matter
Watch out, there may be another way in which the deadly coronavirus is spreading, and it's not a very pleasant one.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control published a report that stated that the coronavirus patients had "live virus in stool specimens," which suggests that the virus could be spread through fecal matter.
"This virus has many routes of transmission, which can partially explain its strong transmission and fast transmission speed," said the report.
Another study also published findings that showed the coronavirus showing up in both blood and anal swabs.
The advice to minimize risk remains the same: wash your hands regularly, avoid contact with farm animals, and stay away from people who show symptoms of having the virus.
UPDATE February 21, 3:20 AM EST: Coronavirus deaths rise to over 2,200, and new cases keep increasing
An additional 411 cases of infected people in Hubei province in China were confirmed on Thursday morning, which was 62 more than the previous day. In Hubei province alone the total number of coronavirus cases has reached 62,442.
Outside of the epicenter, there are around 14,000 cases in China.
The death toll has reached 2,247.
Outside of China, South Korea and Japan hold the highest numbers of infected people. Just one week ago the number of infected people in South Korea was at 28, whereas now it stands at 156.
UPDATE February 20, 1:22 PM EST: International airlines could lose billions from coronavirus
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that the total global loss in revenue for airlines could be $29.3 billion due to the deadly coronavirus, CNN reports.
IATA made its announcement after assessing the impact of the deadly 2019 coronavirus outbreak — also called COVID-19 — and found a potential 13% full-year loss in passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region.
"This sharp downturn in demand as a result of COVID-19 will have a financial impact on airlines — severe for those particularly exposed to the China market," said Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac of IATA.
"Considering that growth for the region's airlines was forecast to be 4.8%, the net impact will be an 8.2% full-year contraction compared to 2019 demand levels. In this scenario, that would translate into a $27.8 billion revenue loss in 2020 for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region -- the bulk of which would be borne by carriers registered in China, with a $12.8 billion loss in the China domestic market alone. In the same scenario, carriers outside Asia-Pacific are forecast to bear a revenue loss of $1.5 billion, assuming the loss of demand is limited to markets to China. This would bring total global lost revenue to $29.3 billion (5% lower passenger revenues compared to what IATA forecast in December) and present a 4.7% hit to global demand."
Since this announcement, Kuwait Airways has suspended flights to Iran due to coronavirus concerns, until further notice. It advises its citizens not to travel to Qom amid coronavirus cases in the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to Kuwait Airways and state news.
UPDATE February 20, 12:12 PM EST: US health officials issue travel advisory for Japan amid coronavirus concerns
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a new travel advisory for Japan out of concerns regarding the deadly coronavirus outbreak. This is the second coronavirus-related travel advisory the CDC has issued outside mainland China.
The CDC advises travelers to "practice usual precautions," in line with a "Watch - Level 1" notice of three possible levels.
On Wednesday, the CDC listed the first travel notice beyond mainland China — for Hong Kong, for which the agency also stipulated a "Level 1" advisory.
Precautions stipulate avoiding sick people, and thoroughly cleaning hands. The CDC also suggests people find medical advice if they have spent time in Japan in the last two weeks, or feel ill with respiratory symptoms or fever.
"At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Japan," said a post on the agency's website.
Mainland China is listed as "Warning - Level 3" and suggests travelers "avoid nonessential travel." The notice excludes Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong.
UPDATE February 20, 11:44 AM EST: US health experts are officially part of the team investigating the coronavirus outbreak in China
U.S. health experts are part of a team of World Health Organization experts, present in China, who are investigating the deadly coronavirus outbreak, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhonom Ghebreyesus during a Thursday press briefing, CNN reports.
Tedros said the team in China consists of experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and also experts from Singapore, Japan, Germany, Korea, Russia, and Nigeria. The experts are specialists in fields of epidemiology, virology, clinical management, public health, and outbreak control, he added.
The team members and their Chinese counterparts are studying transmissibility of the virus, and also the effectiveness of measures already taken in China said Tedros.
U.S. health officials claim they've made numerous offers, beginning in early January, to send China much-needed health experts, and was previously frustrated that U.S. experts were not immediately invited into the process.
UPDATE February 20, 10:18 AM EST: Americans testing positive for coronavirus must meet 3 criteria before returning home
U.S. citizens previously aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship who tested positive for the deadly coronavirus must pass three criteria before returning home, according to letters sent from the U.S. embassy in Tokyo to these passengers, reports CNN.
The guidelines were sent to at least one American still within Japan. The U.S. began moving passengers from Japan earlier this week.
Eligibility for access to U.S.-bound flights, Americans must meet three key criteria:
1. Any fever must have resolved without medication.
2. There must also be an improvement in any symptoms or signs of illness.
3. Patients must test negative on two sets of the throat and nasal swabs spaced 24 hours apart.
These criteria are in accordance with existing guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding when patients may be released from isolation in hospitals.
"You will not be cleared to travel simply by waiting 14 days," the embassy specified. Fourteen days is the higher estimate for the coronavirus' incubation period.
UPDATE February 20, 7:45 AM EST: Japan's Health Ministry confirms 244 passengers from Diamond Princess disembarked Thursday
Two weeks into quarantine, 244 passengers have disembarked from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, on Thursday, according to the Japanese Health Ministry, said a CNN report.
The recently departed (from the cruise ship) had tested negative for the deadly coronavirus and were set free from the vessel, with full travel privileges.
The ministry said to CNN that it previously expected 800 passengers to leave the vessel on Wednesday, but only 443 did.
UPDATE February 20, 7:25 AM EST: China reclassifies criteria for confirmed coronavirus cases, after gaining better testing capability
China has updated its criteria for diagnosing coronavirus cases, citing improved testing capacity, according to Wang Guiqiang, director of the Society of Infectious Diseases of the Chinese Medical Association.
To declare a "confirmed case" of coronavirus, a potential case must be formally diagnosed before they are added to the totals.
The National Health Commission stated earlier that confirmed cases in Hubei province would now only list people who had positive lab test results from patient samples that match both nucleic acid and the genetic sequencing of the virus.
At Thursday's press conference, Guiqiang said:
"In order to resolve the conflict between diagnosis and treatment, in Hubei, such clinical diagnosis was introduced to enable timely treatment of possible patients and reduce fatality rate," he said. "But now that the situation in Hubei has changed[, t]he nucleic acid testing capability has been greatly improved. And now all suspected cases or unconfirmed cases can be tested for nucleic acids quickly. Nucleic testing is no longer an issue," Wang added.
On Thursday, following this change, mainland China's national count fell to 394 new cases, one of the lowest in weeks.
UPDATE February 20, 7:00 AM EST: the UK plans to evacuate British tourists still aboard Diamond Princess
The UK government has planned an evacuation flight for British citizens still aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, still quarantined in Yokohama, Japan.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the flight will leave Tokyo this Friday.
"Details have been sent to those who have registered for the flight. We urge other British nationals still seeking to leave to contact us," said Raab. "We will continue to support British nationals who wish to stay in Japan."
UPDATE February 20, 6:43 AM EST: Patient confirmed infected with coronavirus after dying in South Korea
A patient has died in South Korea and was later confirmed to be infected with the deadly coronavirus, according to the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The cause of death is still under investigation, said a KCDC official.
This comes amid a significant jump in cases across the Asian nation. The KCDC says there have been 22 confirmed cases, which brings South Korea's total coronavirus infection count to 104 on Thursday.
UPDATE February 20, 3:58 AM EST: Japanese couple flying from Hawaii back to Japan on Delta Airlines has tested positive for the coronavirus, the airline is notifying all other passengers
A couple who was visiting Hawaii over January and February have tested positive for the coronavirus. They flew with Delta Airlines from the Hawaiian islands back to their home in Japan, and now the airline is notifying all other passengers of their flight.
The man started showing symptoms of the virus while visiting the Hawaiian island of O'ahu, and upon returning to Japan tested positive. His partner also tested positive a day later.
UPDATE February 20, 3:55 AM EST: Scientists use Nobel prize method to create an atomic-level image of the coronavirus
Scientists have managed to create an image of the novel coronavirus by using an atomic level method. This image could help in the development of treatments or vaccines, something that's crucial if scientists are to curb the ongoing outbreak.
Have a look at the image here.
UPDATE February 19, 1:29 PM EST: Chinese health officials voice their appraisal of how deadly the coronavirus is
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has calculated a case fatality rate of 2.3% for the infectious coronavirus. This means 2.3% of confirmed coronavirus cases have resulted in death, according to CNN.
This is a higher rate than influenza, which hovers at roughly 0.1% -- but the coronavirus is still lower than SARS (9.6%), and MERS (35%), according to the CCDC.
International experts have however cautioned against early figures -- which may not have all the facts. Case fatality rates might decrease as officials find milder cases who have not sought medical care.
UPDATE February 19, 12:03 PM EST: US health agency issues travel advisory for Hong Kong, amid coronavirus concerns
A new travel advisory has been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for Hong Kong, amid coronavirus concerns.
This is so far the only such coronavirus-related travel advisory the agency has issued beyond mainland China.
In the advisory, the CDC says travelers should "practice usual precautions," according to a "Watch - Level 1" notice of three possible levels. Prescribed precautions include avoiding proximity or contact to infected people, and cleaning hands thoroughly. The agency also suggests that people seek medical advice if they have spent any time in Hong Kong in the last two weeks and feel unwell with respiratory symptoms or fever.
"At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Hong Kong," said the agency website on Wednesday.
The agency currently lists mainland China as "Warning - Level 3" and suggests travelers "avoid nonessential travel." This advisory excludes Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
UPDATE February 19, 11:34 AM EST: Singapore has confirmed 3 additional coronavirus cases
The Ministry of Health of Singapore has reported three new cases of the infectious coronavirus today, which brings the national count up to 84 cases.
Here's a summary of the new cases:
- A 57-year-old woman and Singapore citizen with no recent travel to China. Last Saturday, she was admitted as a dengue patient in a general ward consisting of other patients at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. But Tuesday afternoon, further testing confirmed she's infected with the deadly coronavirus. She has since been isolated, and patients who shared the same room with her have also undergone tests for the disease. Their results are still in-progress.
- Next is a 54-year-old male Singapore citizen, also with no recent travel to China, but who does frequent Malaysia (a bordering country) for work purposes. He was confirmed as infected with the novel coronavirus on Wednesday morning and is currently held in isolation.
- The final new case is a 35-year-old female Singapore citizen. She has made no recent travel to China, but she is however linked to a separate case of the virus. This case involves a 28-year-old male Singapore citizen, who has made no recent travel to China but is linked to the cluster of infected cases from Grace Assembly of God (a church).
UPDATE February 19: 8:30 AM EST: Scientists criticize conspiracy theories about origins of coronavirus
Scientists around the world are fighting back to debunk "conspiracy theories" that say the infectious coronavirus didn't come from animals, but from a Chinese laboratory, according to a statement released Wednesday in the medical journal, The Lancet.
"We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin," wrote the statement's 27 authors, citing studies from a global network of scientists who have analyzed the coronavirus' genetic structure.
Their studies "overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens."
UPDATE February 19, 8:18 AM EST: Passengers begin to leave cruise ship post-quarantine
Approximately 500 passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship were allowed off the boat on Wednesday. They had been docked in Japan and had been told to remain on board as they waited out the 14-day quarantine period.
There were 621 confirmed cases of coronavirus onboard, out of a total of 3,711 passengers and crew.
Japan's decision to quaranting everyone on the ship came into question, as it seemed a perfect incubator for the virus to spread rapidly and easily.
Only those with negative tests have been allowed to leave the ship, while the others remain on board for further check ups and quarantine.
UPDATE February 19, 8:23 AM EST: Apple's biggest iPhone plant in China hit by coronavirus restrictions
Many of Apple's products are assembled and made in factories in China, where the coronavirus is in full bloom. Now, sales of Apple products have seen a low period as many factories in China come to a standstill or work in restricted ways so as to safeguard the health of its workers.
As of Wednesday, Apple's biggest iPhone plant in China has been hit by restrictions to its Chinese workforce.
A huge notice was placed outside of the factory so that all of its 200,000 workers could clearly see the restrictions, and be barred from entering their workplace.
The notice stated "In response to government epidemic control requirements to prioritise prevention and safely resume work, and at the same time improve the quality of our worker reception services."
Given how many people work close at hand in these factories, it would be easy for the coronavirus to spread rapidly in such areas.
UPDATE February 19, 8:15 AM EST: First coronavirus cases spread to Iran
As the coronavirus' reach spreads on, Iran has confirmed two cases in the country. These are the first reported cases in the nation. There are reportedly more cases of infection, but these have yet to be confirmed, with a number of these potential cases currently in quarantine.
Read more up-to-date coronavirus information here.
UPDATE February 19, 8:10 AM EST: Expatriate pilots of Chinese airlines are being sent home on unpaid leave due to low flight demand
Airlines based out of China have seen a huge cut in demand since the coronavirus outbreak began. Now, foreign pilots of these airlines are being sent back to their home countries on unpaid leave, many of whom are now seeking alternative employment.
Local pilots, who have higher job security as they are typically paid less, have also seen a sharp decrease in their salary as most of their pay is based on per hour flight time.
Data from the OAG states that around 80% of scheduled airline capacity in and around China has dropped since the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese airlines have been the hardest hit.
UPDATE February 18, 6:16 PM EST: Symptom-based coronavirus test "ineffective" at detecting infected cases, says report
German researchers have called symptom-based screening to detect the deadly coronavirus "ineffective" in a new analysis published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, according to CNN.
The researchers assessed the effectivity of the screening process for 126 people who entered Germany from Wuhan, China.
All 126 evacuees — mostly German citizens — departed Wuhan on February 1, and were subsequently screened for symptoms and clinical symptoms of infection before they were evacuated.
Travelers were required to go through multiple screenings once in Germany, and two tested positive for the novel coronavirus. "A symptom-based screening process was ineffective in detecting" the novel virus, according to the researchers.
The 116 other people went through another medical assessment, and one passenger showed signs of fever and cough. However, this person later tested negative for the virus.
Of the rest of the 115 patients, 114 agreed to a throat swab, to test for coronavirus. Two of those tested positive for coronavirus. These two patients were then isolated at a hospital. One had a sore throat and a faint rash. The two isolated patients were "well" and showed no signs of fever in the week since hospitalization, according to the researchers.
Beyond the effectiveness of the screening process, the authors of the study found that the virus could be spread by those with only mild symptoms: "Shedding of potentially infectious virus may occur in persons who have no fever and no signs or only minor signs of infection."
Because of the added risk of contagion from people showing only mild symptoms of coronavirus infection — and thus posing a threat to the world's population — we will begin adding that figure in the summary at top of this article.
UPDATE February 18, 5:20 PM EST: CDC criticizes Diamond Princess for quarantine procedures
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criticized the quarantine efforts of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, in a statement reported by CNN.
"We commend the extraordinary efforts by the Government of Japan to Institute quarantine measures onboard the Diamond Princess. While the quarantine potentially conferred a significant public health benefit in slowing transmission, CDC's assessment is that it may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship. CDC believes the rate of new infections on board, especially among those without symptoms, represents an ongoing risk. Therefore, to protect the health of the American public, all passengers and crew of the ship have been placed under travel restrictions, preventing them from returning to the United States for at least 14 days after they had left the Diamond Princess," said the CDC in a statement.
The CDC also noted that more than 100 U.S. citizens on board the ship or in Japanese hospitals remain. Since they are high-risk for exposure, there is the potential for more coronavirus cases, which means all passengers disembarking from the ship will be under a 14-day quarantine.
UPDATE February 18, 4:22 PM EST: Russia to suspend entry for Chinese Citizens
The Russian government said it will temporarily suspend entry to Chinese citizens, according to an order displayed on an official state website on Tuesday.
According to the statement, Russia will ban entry through its state border to Chinese nationals entering for work, for educational, private, and tourist purposes. The order further explains that the processing of documents, registration, and invitations to Chinese nationals to enter Russian territory will temporarily cease, starting midnight Tuesday. The ban will be in full effect Thursday.
To clarify, this is in response to widespread fear of coronavirus infection. Russia is a major place of transit for Chinese tourists and shares a considerably long border with China. The new ban will not apply to transit passengers, said the Russian state news agency, TASS.
UPDATE February 18, 3:30 PM EST: Passengers aboard the Diamond Princess will being disembarking tomorrow
Passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Japan's Yokohama port will finally disembark beginning tomorrow, said the Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Some are expected to move to shoreside facilities, but others might board chartered flights for which they qualify, said Captain Gennaro Arma of the Diamond Princess, in a CNN report.
This marks the first news of passengers departing the ship, not counting those infected with the deadly coronavirus, who are receiving treatment on the shore, or to more than 300 Americans previously evacuated over the weekend — now in U.S.-based quarantine.
UPDATE February 18, 3:10 PM EST: Quarantine lifted for hundreds of people isolated in two California bases
Two groups of people who recently returned to the U.S. from Wuhan, China, have fulfilled their 14-day quarantine at California bases, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said CNN.
The CDC announced that 180 people quarantined at Travis Air Force Base, in addition to 166 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar were "medically cleared" by officials, subsequently lifting their quarantine. One person of the Miramar group -- a confirmed coronavirus case -- remains hospitalized.
"It is important to know that people released from quarantine pose no health risk to the surrounding community, or to the communities they will be returning to," said the CDC in a statement.
However, passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship — recently returned to the U.S. — remain "separate from those individuals who are already at Travis and nearing the end of their quarantine," said the CDC.
UPDATE February 18, 3:02 PM EST: Coronavirus vaccine may take 12 to 18 months to develop and test, say World Health Organization officials
An effective vaccine for the infectious coronavirus could take 12 to 18 months to develop, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, according to a press briefing report on CNN.
However, a vaccine is a precaution in case of "the worst situation," he added, and for now, long-term measures need to find a balance with immediate public health solutions that can contain the virus and keep the fatality rate as low as possible.
"This is a window of opportunity that should not be missed," said Tedros during a press briefing on Tuesday.
The director of WHO's Infectious Hazards Management Department Sylvie Briand said there might be a candidate for a coronavirus vaccine in roughly 16 weeks, but added it would still require months of development and trials to prove its effectiveness in humans. Briand also said that there have been no new data on the possibility of producing a vaccine since WHO's coronavirus research meeting, which happened earlier this month.
UPDATE February 18, 11:15 AM EST: Dozens more countries will have the capability to test for coronavirus soon
By end-of-week, 40 African countries and 29 in the Americas are expected to gain the ability to test and detect the novel coronavirus in suspected carriers, said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization, in a press briefing this morning.
Many countries have sent samples to others for testing, which takes days. If all goes according to plan, these countries will be able to get results within 24 to 48 hours, Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO has so far sent personal protective gear to 21 countries, and is readying to send an additional 106 in the next few weeks, he added.
UPDATE February 17, 3:37 PM EST: Passengers of stranded cruise ship, some infected, return to U.S.
One day before 328 U.S. citizens were slated to be moved from a contaminated cruise ship in Japan, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo informed passengers that no one infected with the novel coronavirus would be allowed to charter homeward-bound flights, according to The New York Times.
However, this injunction was promptly changed once 14 passengers tested positive for coronavirus, right as they were boarding buses to be dispatched from the airport, where two cargo jets awaited them, to fly to military bases in Texas and California.
After consulting with health experts, the American government elected to allow infected evacuees, who were as yet asymptomatic, to board U.S.-bound flights.
This reversal of decision was the latest chaotic development in a two-week quarantine of the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship that has in the last few weeks become an epidemiological nightmare, said The New York Times.
The infected U.S. citizens — declared "fit to fly" by officials — were moved into a custom containment zone on the evacuation aircraft, where they remained under isolation and monitoring.
Once they arrive in the U.S., all evacuees — including those who tested negative for the coronavirus — will be placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine. If more passengers develop symptoms, they will be sent to "an appropriate location for continued isolation and care," said the State Department and Department of Health and Human Services, in a joint statement.
With the former Diamond Princess passengers' arrival, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States has almost doubled, to a total of 29.
UPDATE February 17, 12:01 PM EST: Japan confirms 99 news coronavirus cases on Diamond Princess cruise ship
99 people are tested positive for coronavirus on the Diamond Princess, which remains quarantined in Japan. This brings the total number of infected to 454.
Shigeru Omi, the chief director of the Japan Community Health Care Organisation said, "Many people are testing positive on the ship, but that is because we are testing everyone onboard, regardless of their medical condition and 70% of those testing positive are not showing any symptoms at all."
The ship has 3,700 passengers and crew onboard with only 1,723 people tested as of today. People who have shared a room with someone who has tested positive will face another two weeks in isolation.
UPDATE February 17, 8:38 AM EST: Tokyo's biggest marathon cancels entries from the general public
Japan's biggest marathon will be done without the general public due to the coronavirus outbreak, Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reports.
The marathon, which is scheduled for March 1, will be home to about 38,000 people who will run in the event. In order to not risk an outbreak in Tokyo, the marathon organizers decided to cancel entries from the general public.
UPDATE February 17, 11:32 AM EST: Coronavirus fears lead to canceled F1 and Formula E races, could push EU off of CO2 target
Last week, the promoters of the Chinese Grand Prix — a Formula 1 race slated for 19 April in Shanghai — successfully petitioned the FIA (the sport's governing body) and Formula 1 to postpone the event, until a date to be determined near the end of the 2020 F1 season, according to an Ars Technica report. There was no word about the Vietnam Grand Prix — slated for 5 April — but some in the sport are also worried about attending the Asia-based race.
On a similar note, the Chinese round of the Formula E series will no longer take place as scheduled on 21 March, in Sanya. Just like the Chinese Grand Prix, plans were in place to reschedule the race, but no one related to the sport has made concrete plans, amid growing fears of coronavirus infection.
UPDATE February 18, 05:39 pm EST: Half of China's population is subjected to travel restrictions
According to The Time's analysis, at least 150 million people in China are facing restrictions regarding leaving their homes. Apparently, this number represents a subdivision of more than 760 million people in China.
These people's neighborhoods and villages are under strict rules on when or how many times they can leave their houses. This accounts for roughly one in 10 people on the planet not being able to leave their houses.
The lockdown strictness varies from district to district. The regulations vary from requiring to show ID to only one person from each household to leave their home at a time.
UPDATE February 18, 05:09 AM EST: Authorities round up patients who delay reporting symptoms
Authorities began a campaign inside Wuhan to find patients infected with the virus, reports The Guardian.
Chinese media reported government checking house-to-house to find infected patients. It is stated that anyone suspected of having the virus will face mandatory testing, and anyone who had contact with the suspected virus patients will be put under quarantine.
UPDATE February 18, 01:02 AM EST: China postpones biannual auto show
China's biggest international event is being postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The event was originally scheduled for 21-30 April in Beijing, however, with the recent doublings with the infected number, it is moved to an undetermined date.
The Auto China 2020 is the latest major event in China that is postponed with Shanghai Formula 1 Grand Prix, a major art festival in Hong Kong, and other sports events.
UPDATE February 16, 7:30 PM EST: First infection confirmed in Africa
The first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Africa, in a single person in Egypt, according to the journal Nature. Egypt's health ministry and the World Health Organization said on 15 February that the case was found as a direct consequence of the nation's program to trace visitors from affected nations. While the infected person has tested positive, they have shown no active symptoms.
Researchers feared the coronavirus' imminent arrival in Africa before this development.
In an interview with the journal Nature, Vittoria Colizza, who models infectious diseases at the Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health in Paris, said she's most worried about seven African nations with a moderate risk of importing the deadly illness, who are also without the strong health-care infrastructure, economic versatility, or political stability needed to robustly defend themselves from epidemics of this scale.
These countries include Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.
UPDATE February 16, 11:32 AM EST: 40+ Americans aboard a quarantined cruise ship test positive for the coronavirus
According to a top U.S. Health official, more than 40 Americans aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The cruise ship has been in the port city of Yokohama for over a week with passengers under mandatory quarantine. The quarantine is due to end February 19, however, U.S. will begin evacuating the healthy Americans earlier.
American passengers will undergo numerous health screenings before returning to the U.S. The few who have symptoms will not be permitted a return and will stay at hospitals in Japan.
Once they arrive to the U.S., they will be subjected to another 14-day quarantine.
UPDATE February 14, 2:20 PM EST: Wuhan coronavirus death toll approaches 1,400
The death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic neared 1,400 on Friday, counting six medical workers among those killed. This speaks to the nation's struggle to contain a rapidly-growing health crisis.
Nearly 64,000 people are now confirmed to have the coronavirus in China, with 1,716 health workers sharing in their patients' illness, as of Tuesday.
These foreboding figures come one week after public grief and anger emerged over the death of a whistleblowing doctor, who was punished and silenced by Chinese police, after trying to warn his colleagues about the gravity of the novel virus.
The scale of the Wuhan coronavirus grew immensely after authorities in central Hubei province changed their diagnostic criteria for counting cases. Thousands of new patients were subsequently added to the tally.
UPDATE February 14: Beijing orders all returning citizens to be placed under quarantine for 14 days
Residents in China were told to "self-quarantine or go to designated venues to quarantine" after returning to Beijing after from holiday vacation, according to the BBC. The notice came from Beijing's virus prevention working group.
This policy decision came as Egypt confirmed the first coronavirus case in Africa.
More than 1,300 people have died from the novel virus, since it began in the city of Wuhan, China.
A World Health Organization (WHO)-led mission to China intends on beginning an outbreak investigation this weekend, focusing on how the virus' severity and rate-of-spread worldwide, said director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
UPDATE February 14, 11:59 AM EST: Russian woman escaped hospital quarantine, now under lawsuit for "endangering the public"
A Russian woman who escaped the hospital ward where she was quarantined for the deadly coronavirus is now facing a lawsuit, filed by Russian health authorities, for endangering the public.
The woman, named Alla Illyina, was undergoing observation after returning from China on Jan. 31, at the Botkin Hospital for Infection Diseases in St. Petersburg, said her lawyer Vitaly Cherkasov, to CNN.
There are two confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia, according to the country's consumer watchdog, the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being. One has receovered and left the hospital, said the TASS.
UPDATE February 14, 11:28 AM EST: Europe's economy is stagnant, vulnerable to shock from China
Fear of recession is rampant in Europe after German's late-2019 flatline. The coronavirus is presently a threat to exports to China.
The German economy didn't grow in the fourth quarter of 2019, leaving the country exposed for a difficult 2020. This weakness has echoed across Europe, where growth has slowed to a seven-year low of 0.1% in the last three months of 2019.
This means Europe is vulnerable to the changes in the global economy due to the infectious coronavirus. More than 64,000 people have been infected around the globe, and China's economy is experiencing a sluggish restart after the extended Lunar New Year holiday.
"The [eurozone] economy should be about to turn a corner, but the coronavirus now means that [the first quarter] could well be a write-off," said Claus Vistesen, the chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a research note.
"The impact from the coronavirus on the Chinese economy is likely to delay any rebound in the manufacturing sector as it at least temporarily disrupts supply chains , wrote Carsten Brzeski, chief German economist at ING, on Friday.
"If you're forecasting zero [growth], then it's definitely fair to be talking about a potential recession," said Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics, according to CNN.
UPDATE February 14, 11:17 AM EST: Japan promises to step up its efforts to contain the virus as first national dies
After the first death because of the coronavirus in Japan, the nation has now vowed to step up its testing and efforts to contain the virus. The number of cases has increased around the nation.
The unfortunate death of a Japanese woman in her 80s is only the third recorded death outside of mainland China.
UPDATE February 14, 11:15 AM EST: U.K.'s NHS warns that nationals may have to self-isolate to contain the spread of the virus
As the U.K.'s numbers of coronavirus patients increases, the nation's National Health System (NHS) states that people may need to self-isolate.
Just on Thursday, 80 nationals were able to leave quarantine as they were deemed safe. This sets an example of containing the virus.
UPDATE February 14, 11:12 AM EST: China states that 1,716 health workers have been infected with the virus, and six have died
In the first instance that China's National Health Commission has disclosed numbers regarding its health workers and the coronavirus, it has stated that 1,716 health workers in the nation have caught the coronavirus, and six have died because of it.
UPDATE February 14, 11:10 AM EST: WHO tells the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that there is no case to cancel the Olympics
The WHO has informed the IOC that no contingency plans need to come into place as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will take place as originally planned. There will be no need to cancel or move back the event.
UPDATE February 14, 8:45 AM EST: Coronavirus could live up to nine days on surfaces, raising the risk of infections even higher
A new study has found that the coronavirus may be able to survive for up to nine days on inanimate objects and surfaces. This means that people could catch the virus simply by touching an infected doorknob, or light switch.
Scientists studied the SARS and MERS coronavirus, which enabled the virus to survive for this amount of time on surfaces. It's not yet confirmed that the Wuhan strain of the coronavirus can do this, but it's highly likely.
Experts are urging places such as hospitals to thoroughly disinfect all surfaces as often as possible.
UPDATE February 14, 8:35 AM EST: Coronavirus spreads to North Korea, how will the characteristically brutal government react?
Given North Korea's abismal human rights record, the worry now is that the country will handle its first coronavirus infectious cases poorly. Furthermore, another issue regarding the coronavirus spreading to the nation is the handling of such medical cases in lesser developed countries, such as North Korea.
So far, North Korea has not shared any records of deaths due to the coronavirus. As the country shares a border with China, where the outbreak began, the chances of zero deaths occurring there is highly unlikely.
However, as the totalitarian country is so secretive, the worry is that officials are hiding the truth, and that its people are suffering.
"There is no way that North Korea is not being impacted by the coronavirus — they are clearly lying as they don’t want to show any weakness or that there is any threat to the regime," director of Korean Studies at the Center for National Interest, Harry Kazianis, told Fox news.
Reports of an official being executed for having broken his quarantine regulations are spreading. Unfortunately, this wouldn't be so surprising for North Korea.
UPDATE February 13, 2:10 PM EST: Coronavirus can be spread by carriers who show no symptoms, CDC said to CNN
Asymptomatic transmission of the deadly coronavirus can happen, said Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to CNN.
This means a person showing no signs or symptoms of infection may actually still transmit the virus to other people, based on information from Redfield's colleagues in China.
"There's been good communication with our colleagues to confirm asymptomatic infection, to confirm asymptomatic transmission, to be able to get a better handle on the clinical spectrum of illness in China. What we don't know though is how much of the asmptomatic cases are driving transmission," Redfield said to CNN's Medical Correspondent, in an interview on Thursday.
Redfield claims that in the last two weeks he's noticed that the "spectrum" of the coronavirus is "much broader" than was presented. Several confirmed cases apparently only developed a sore throat, without additional symptoms, despite infection by the coronavirus.
UPDATE February 13, 1:55 PM EST: US health expert projects the novel coronavirus will remain "beyond this season, beyond this year"
The infectious coronavirus might affect world affairs for the foreseeable future, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said to CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, in an interview on Thursday.
"THis virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission," said Redfield. "You can start to think of it in the sense like seasonal flu."
While additional research is surely needed to understand the nature of the virus, Redfield said that the CDC has used surveillance to track confirmed cases and containment measures, in order to slow the potential spread of the virus in the United States.
"I do think that eventually we are going to be in more of a mitigation phase in dealing with this virus but that's not to underestimate the importance of the containment phase that we're in right now," said Redfield.
"The containment phase is really to give us more time. This virus will become a community virus at some point in time, this year or next year," said Redfield. He added that while there exists no evidence that the deadly coronavirus is "embedded in the community at this time," the CDC will intensify surveillance measures, in order to optimize their data, and conclusions.
UPDATE February 13 10:20 AM EST: Patient in Texas tests positive for coronavirus
The fifteenth case in the United States of the infectious coronavirus has been confirmed in Texas, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The patient is one of several people currently under federal quarantine order at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas. The new coronavirus patient arrived via a State-Department-chartered flight on Friday; the first case among those quarantined at JBSA-Lackland. The patient is in isolation at the moment, and receiving medical care at a nearby hospital, said the CDC.
Fifteen confirmed cases of the infectious coronavirus are now confirmed in the United States. Other cases in the country include:
- California: 8 confirmed cases
- Illinois: 2 confirmed cases
- Massachusetts: 1 confirmed case
- Arizona: 1 confirmed case
- Wisconsin: 1 confirmed case
UPDATE February 13 8:00 AM EST: Coronavirus shrink global oil demand, says Nissan
Experts expect the outbreak to cause the global oil demand to shrink for the first time in a decade, according to CNN. Additionally the auto manufacturer Nissan has expressed concern about a shortage of parts, as a result of the coronavirus' effect on the global auto industry.
UPDATE February 13, 8:00 AM EST: Political turmoil in China increases amid coronavirus panic
China has replaced key officials of its Communist Party, amid growing concerns about the coronavirus epidemic, which started in the city of Wuhan.
The novel coronavirus continues to spread, but fear of infection is beginning to effect world affairs in politics, technology, societal relations, and even global economics.
UPDATE February 13, 8:00 AM EST: Xenophobia against Asians is rising in the UK
University students spanning the entire UK have raised criticism of xenophobia against Asian students, in the wake of several incidents of discrimination related to the infectious coronavirus epidemic.
For example, one Asian PhD student — who has not been to Asia in years — was refused service by an Airbnb vendor.
"I was really shocked," Hsin-Yuan said to CNN. "I certainly think it was xenophobic because you're just scared of me without knowing anything about me," she added.
Clearly, the ways the coronavirus epidemic is impacting society are multiplying.
UPDATE February 13, 8:00 AM EST: Some Diamond Princess passengers may be allowed to leave, reports say
Passengers aboard the Diamond Princess have been told by authorities that the situation is "very dynamic," but circumstances may allow the most vulnerable to disembark early before the scheduled lifting of the quarantine, on Feb. 19.
Several ships have been quarantined, officially by adjacent ports, or unofficially by several nations fearful of introducing the deadly coronavirus into their community.
UPDATE February 13, 8:00 AM EST: The first death from coronavirus in Japan
Japan has confirmed its first death from the infectious coronavirus. The victim was a woman in her 80s, who wasn't aboard the Diamond Princess ship, currently quarantined in Yokohama port.
The woman was west of Tokyo, in the Kanagawa prefecture, said Katsunobu Katu, in a news conference on Thursday. Sadly, she was confirmed as infected only after it killed her.
UPDATE February 13, 7:52 AM EST: 242 people died in just one day from coronavirus infection
Wednesday saw a sharp peak in coronavirus cases with 242 infected people dying on the same day. This marks it as the fastest rise in coronavirus deaths since the outbreak begain in December 2019.
In China alone 1,310 people have died since the start of the epidemic, and over 60,000 people have become infected with the coronavirus, now also known as Covid-19.
UPDATE February 13, 7:43 AM EST: China built two hospitals in record time for coronavirus patients, however, these are treating far fewer people than expected
Two new hospitals were built purely to care for coronavirus patients amid the outbreak. Combined these hospitals have 2,600 beds for patients. It turns out that as of February 12, only a total of 1,136 patients are being cared for in them. That's less than half of what their capacity can handle.
China boasted that its two newly built hospitals, Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, built in 10 and 12 days respectively, were a major glory. These time frames would likely not be possible anywhere outside of China.
It's a mystery as to why the hospitals aren't currently operating at full capacity given there is a huge shortage of beds in makeshift medical centers around Wuhan.
UPDATE February 13, 7:37 AM EST: Vietnam locks down farming region due to coronavirus outbreak
12,000 people in the farming region of Son Loi in Vietnam, around 40km from Hanoi, have been placed in lockdown since six residents have contracted the coronavirus. It's expected that hundreds more will become infected as well.
The Vietnamese Health Ministry stated "As of February 13, 2020, we will urgently implement the task of isolation and quarantine of the epidemic area in Son Loi commune. The timeline is for 20 days initally."
Checkpoints have been added surrounding the region, and health officials wearing protective suits are spraying disinfectant sprays on vehicles at the checkpoints.
UPDATE February 12, 2:30 PM EST: Mobile World Congress cancelled after several major tech companies opt-out
For the last several days, the biggest names in mobile tech have one-by-one announced their intention not to attend the Mobile World Congress (MWC). Now the show is cancelled, Gizmodo reports.
This comes on the heels of a mass withdrawal from the event, citing health concerns amid the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) threat. Among these companies are Facebook, Cisco, AT&T, Sony, Sprint, Intel, Amazon, NTT Docomo, TCL, and Nvidia. These absentees followed previous announcements, to the same effect, from Ericsson, ZTE, and LG.
After the first few absentees announced their decision, the GSMA running the show tried to assure other companies with strengthened health safety measures, claiming that visitors from China's Hubei province (where Wuhan is) would not be granted access. The GSMA also said temperature screenings would be enforced.
Unfortunately for them, the show is off, but officials wish to invite all absent companies to attend next year.
UPDATE February 12, 2:00 PM EST: A new coronavirus vaccine is being tested on mice in the UK
A team of UK scientists may be the first to begin animal testing for a vaccine to the infectious coronavirus outbreak, according to ScienceAlert.com. The virus has killed more than 1,000 people in a few short weeks.
Researchers located in Imperial College London said they are seeking a new, safe, and effective way to stop the epidemic by the end of the year.
"At the moment we have just put the vaccine that we've generated from these bacteria into mice," Paul McKay, an Imperial College London researcher, told AFP, in a recent interview.
"We're hoping that over the next few weeks we'll be able to determine the response that we can see in those mice, in their blood, their antibody response to the coronavirus," he added.
The global community of scientists is racing against time to curate a way to end the coronavirus, once, and for all.
China's Xinhua state news agency also claims to have begun testing for a vaccine in Mice, at Shanghai University.
UPDATE February 12, 12:00 PM EST: China launched a "Close Contact Detector" App to reassure citizens amid coronavirus epidemic
China has introduced a new online app that alerts users to recent proximity to people infected, or allegedly infected, with the coronavirus.
Called the "close contact detector," the new online platform collaborates with other popular apps like Weibo, QQ, and Alipay.
The new platform works by analyzing big data aboiut people's movements, an their records with public authorities (like hospitals), and also retroactively backtracks other people's proximity to suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases, whether from work, home, or travel activity.
This is possibly the first time everyone can unequivocally agree that China's surveillance infrastructure is working for the people.
UPDATE February 12, 10:42 AM EST: China did not release key genetic data about the coronavirus until two weeks after it emerged
Outbreak detection systems need to incorporate more modern scientific tools. It turns out did not release important genetic data until two weeks after the coronavirus outbreak.
However, China and other countries don't yet have systems in place that are able to adequately report next-generation sequencing data. This data could help national and global authorities to respond more efficiently in such outbreaks.
UPDATE February 12, 10:32 AM EST: Chinese vlogger sharing the truth about the coronavirus in Wuhan has been "forcibly quarantined"
An outspoken video blogger, or vlogger, from China, 34-year-old Chen Qiushi, specifically travelled to Wuhan to document and share exactly what the coronavirus' impact was having on the city's citizens.
After honestly detailing dead and sickened patients in Wuhan's overcrowded hospitals, Chen disappeared last week. Defying China's ruling Communist Party's rigid policy on information seems to have taken effect.
In just over two weeks, Chen shared more than 100 posts about the conditions in Wuhan, which garnered millions of views, as well as police attention.
The police tried calling Chen, as well as his family. Then, he disappeared. Chen's mother posted a video herself, asking for assistance in finding her son. One of his friends, Xi Xiaodong, tweeted on Friday that Chen had been forcibly quarantined for 14 days, as he had caught the coronavirus. According to Xu, Chen had seemed in full form and not ill before his disappearance.
UPDATE February 12, 10:23 AM EST: One Man from the U.K. infected 11 people in different European countries, known as the "super spreader" he is now fully recovered
Steve Walsh, who is from the U.K., travelled to Singapore for a gas analysis conference two weeks ago, where he unknowingly caught the coronavirus, or Covid-19 as it's now known.
Walsh has been dubbed the "super spreader" as he managed to infect 11 people living in the U.K. and France. After leaving Singapore, Walsh travelled to France, where he infected a number of people, before returning the U.K., where he infected more people.
He passed through Geneva, Switzerland, however the Swiss authorities have not confirmed any coronavirus cases in the country. One person Walsh infected in France has since travelled to Spain, where the authorities are scrambling to ensure no more people catch the virus.
Walsh himself went into quarantine as soon as he found out his fate, and has since fully recovered from the coronavirus.
UPDATE February 12, 10:12 AM EST: Airbnb extends its bookings suspension in Beijing amid coronavirus fears
Online home-sharing platform, Airbnb, has suspended its reservations of accommodation in China's capital, Beijing, from February 7 until April 30.
The service stated they would take listings for places to stay in Beijing offline until the end of the suspencion. Refunds will be offered to all affected bookings, even those who decided to cancel their stay in Beijing themselves.
UPDATE February 11, 1:42 PM EST: The Wuhan coronavirus now has an official name: Covid-19
The World Health Organization said the name for the epidemic caused for the virus will be Covid-2019.
"We now have a name for the disease and it's Covid-19," WHO Chief Tedros Adhonom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, according to a BBC report.
The world "coronavirus" refers to the group of virus strains the coronavirus belongs to, of which it is not the latest strain.
"We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable [sic] and related to the disease," said the WHO chief.
"Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks."
Hopefully, as is the case with many other threats, knowing its name means that the virus is on its way out, rather than at the eve of a catostrophic epidemic.
UPDATE February 11, 12:55 PM EST: More than 5,000 people still stranded on two ships because of coronavirus concerns
The Diamond Princess, was quarantined in Japan on February 4, with 24 Americans amid the 135 people infected with the novel virus aboard, according to the ship's operator Princess Cruises, and a CNN tally. The ship is also the the largest single localized outbreak of the disease outside of China.
More than 2,000 people are in isolation aboard the Westerdam cruise ship, operated by Holland America after being denied access to its initial port-of-entry in Japan, even though there are no confirmed cases aboard. Since then the shunned ship has tried and failed to seek entry into Taiwan, the Philippines, and, most recently, Thailand's city of Laem Chabang.
More than 3,600 people are on their fifth day of quarantine aboard the World Dream in Hong Kong, as a precautionary measure once three former passengers tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. There have since been no confirmed cases found. However, passengers and crew were cleared to disembark over the weekend.
The Anthem of the Seas was docked in New Jersy for two additional days after four disembaring passengers were moved to the hospital, for coronavirus screening. The four family members, in addition to 23 more passengers, were subsequently cleared of the virus. The ship set sail again, on Monday.
UPDATE February 11, 12:55 PM EST: CDC officials offer to study the infectious coronavirus, says offical
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has submitted names for a World Health Organization team traveling to China, to assist the study of the coronavirus, said Anne Schuchat, CDC principal deputy director at a news conference on Tuesday.
Experts in the U.S. have yet to make the trip to China to study the epidemic, Schuchat said her "understanding is that the latest discussions, that there's been receptivity" to the offer.
"It can be very helpful to have outside experts arrive in the midst of an epidemic like this," said Schuchat, affirming that China does have "great scientists" and public health experts. "Having some fresh eyes, perhaps who have not lost as much sleep over the past month as the individuals in China, can be helpful," she added.
If they make the trip, Schuchat said CDC experts might assist in the understanding of the transmission of the coronavirus, to identify the possible animal origin of the novel epidemic, and evaluate which measures are most prudent to prevent further spread of the infection.
UPDATE February 11, 12:21 PM EST: "There is a realistic chance of stopping" the novel coronavirus, said WHO director-general
The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhonom Ghebreyesus said there is a "realistic chance" of halting the advance of the novel Wuhan coronavirus, according to CNN.
"If we invest now in rational and evidence-based interventions, we have a realistic chance of stopping the COVID19 outbreak," he said while speaking at a news conference on Tuesday.
"We have to invest in preparedness," he added, suggesting that richer countries with the capacity should invest in countries with weaker health care systems. According to Ghebreyesus, the virus could "create havoc" if the epidemic spreads to a country without a fully-functional health system.
"I have a great concern that if this virus makes it to a weaker health system it will create havoc," he said. However, he also warned the world not to assume that just because authorities have so far been able to prevent this, "[i]t doesn't mean it will not happen — it may."
UPDATE February 11, 12:05 PM EST: China has begun a coronavirus clinical trial, WHO says
Executive Director Michael J. Ryan of the World Health Organization said that "one clinical trial is already on the way," in China, to find a cure to the infectious coronavirus, he said during a Geneva news conference on Tuesday, according to CNN.
Ryan added that the WHO was collaborating with Chinese authorities to implement more clinical trials.
UPDATE February 11, 10:38 AM EST: Deadley Coronavirus has killed 1,018 people
There have been 42,708 diagnosed cases of the novel virus in China, where the death toll has grown beyond 1,017, said Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a news conference on Tuesday.
He added that had been 393 cases outside China spanning 24 countries, with one death. This raises the worldwide total to 1,018 deaths, and 43,101 total cases, according to the WHO.
UPDATE February 11, 10:18 AM EST: The coronavirus could damage the global economy, US fed chair says
The U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday warned Congress that the novel coronavirus could damage the global economy.
"We are closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus, which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy," said Powell in a prepared testimony, before the House of Financial Services Committee, where he's expected to deliver his semiannual congressional report.
The outbreak, which has now killed more than 1,000 people, has shaken public trust in the stability of the global — and U.S. — economy, echoed in the shuttering of company plants and shifted supply chains, to (hopefully) contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
UPDATE February 11, 7:01 AM EST: The WHO stated no new countries added to the list of infected cases
Keep up to date with the number of new infected cases per country via the WHO's Situation Report. No new countries were added to the list of coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours.
UPDATE February 11, 7:01 AM EST: Scientists fear the coronavirus could be worse in numbers than the flu
Infectious disease expert Ian Lipkin has voiced his concerns over the coronavirus' evolvement. Lipkin stated that the flu has still currently killed more people than the coronavirus, but because the latter is still relatively unknown it could evolve into something worse as time goes on.
As Lipkin stated "It’s a new virus. We don’t know much about it, and therefore we’re all concerned to make certain it doesn’t evolve into something even worse."
UPDATE February 11, 7:01 AM EST: Hong Kong evacuates residents in a Tsing Yi housing estate following two confirmed cases in the dense residential block
Hong Kong's notoriously dense living situation means that the easily-spreadable coronavirus can swiftly move around the city's millions of residents.
Two people living on different floors of one of the territory's typical housing estates, in Tsing Yi have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Following this, the authorities have evacuated some residents in the residential block.
This brings the number of reported infected people to 42 in Hong Kong, according to the Department of Health.
UPDATE Febrary 10, 6:00 AM EST: Major tech companies are pulling out of the MWC
Big names in tech are joining the collection of companies electing not to attend the world's biggest mobile tradeshow, Mobile World Congress (MWC), reports Gizmodo. Absent companies include AT&T, Sprint, Nokia, and most recently Facebook and Intel havejoined the no-show club.
Scheduled for February 24-27, the show will go on despite fallout from the novel coronavirus outbreak.
"Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won't be attending this year's Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus," said a Facebook spokesperson, in a message worded much like several other company's who won't attend the show. "We will continue to collaborate with the GSMA and our partners and thank them for their efforts."
Clearly, the toll on the global economy is rising.
UPDATE February 10: Cruise ship coronavirus cases rise while China records highest 24-hour death toll
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, has grown to 65 infected. This brings the total number of cases associated with passengers of the ship to 135, according to a report by NHK News.
The shipt, called Diamond Princess, was placed under quarantine after arriving in Japan on Febrary 3, leaving the entire crew and passenger compliment of 3,711 compuslively trapped in their rooms. The ship was first flagged as a potential carrier of the virus when an 80-year-old passenger disembared in Hong Kong, and tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
UPDATE: February 10: All 406 suspected carriers of coronavirus at New Dehli have tested negative.
All 406 people quarantined in an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) facility tested negative for the deadly coronavirus infection, according to an All India News report.
"A sampling of all returned form China was done. Samples of all 406 people are dound negative of coronavirus," said the ITBP, in a statement.
Seven people who were earlier moved to New Dehli's Safdarjung Hospital have also returned to the ITBP facility, and are currently undergoing periodic checkups per medical protocol.
UPDATE: February 10: China confirms that 27 foreigners in the country have the coronavirus, and two have died from it
China's Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that a total of 27 foreign nationals have been infected with the coronavirus in the country, and two have died because of it.
An American national died on February 6, and a Japanese national died on February 8.
UPDATE February 10: 4 more cases of the coronavirus confirmed in the U.K.
The U.K. has just confirmed four new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to eight cases in the nation. The overall risk in the U.K. remains "moderate."
A total of 64 people were confirmed to have the coronavirus on the quarantined cruise ship. The passengers will be quarantined for 14 days, and according to abc7news, the Japanese government has equipped the quarantined cruise ship with medical professionals and 7,000 protective masks.
Update February 9 : According to Bloomberg, the infected cruise ship in Japan reported six more cases bringing the total to 70.
The ship has now become the biggest center of infection outside of China.
Update February 9: Japanese Health Ministry confirms 41 new cases of the new coronavirus on a quarantined cruise ship off the coast of Japan.
This brings the total cases up to 61 of about 3,700 passengers and crew.
The ship operated by Carnival’s Princess Cruises is docked at the port of Yokohama.
Update February 9: Redditor makes a website where you can visualize the coronavirus outbreak toll across the world
I made a website to where you can visualise coronavirus outbreak toll across the world [OC] from r/dataisbeautiful
Updated February 9: The coronavirus death toll has surpassed that of SARS
More than 800 people have died in China, surpassing the SARS toll. The coronavirus death toll in China has now risen to 811. According to China’s National Health Commission, the number of confirmed infections rose to 37,198, 89 deaths, and 2,656 new cases were also recorded in the most of them in Hubei Province.
Update February 7: Hong Kong has confirmed 26 coronavirus cases
One 41-year-old man and another 58-year-old man are the most recent coronavirus cases in Hong Kong. This brings the total to 26 confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. local Hong Kong time on Friday, according to the Department of Health.
At present, the 42-year-old is in stable condition after flying to Hebei Province and Macao before returning to Hong Kong. A friend who lived with him showed symptoms and will be moved to Prince of Wales Hospital, where a quarantine is being readied for his friend, who is, as of yet, asymptomatic.
The 58-year-old man, though, is in critical condition. His information states that he travels to and from work from Macao to his home in Zhuhai while the virus was incubating. he then lived with his friend in Hong Kong. Quarantine has nevertheless being applied to his friend, who so far shows no symptoms of infection.
Update Febrary 7: Both coronavirus patients in Illinois, U.S., have been discharged from hospital
A pair of coronavirus patients under treatment for coronavirus infection in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, were discharged form the hospital, according to a CNN report.
Presently they are under isolation in their home.
The pair are husband and wife and in their 60s. They were permitted to return home under the discretion and observation of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Illinois Department of Public Health, the hospital told CNN.
Update February 7: U.S. President Trump says he isn't worried about China covering up the coronavirus crisis
U.S. President Trump said he has no suspicions that China is censoring the true extent of the coronavirus outbreak, in a report by CNN. He also said he had a "great conversation" with Chinese Presiden Xi Jinping yesterday.
"Are you concerned that China is covering up the full extent of the coronavirus?" a reporter asked Trump while he answered questions on the White House south Lawn today.
"No, China's working very hard. Late last night I had a very good talk with President Xi and mostly we talked about the coronavirus. They're working really hard and I think they're doing a very professional job. They're in touch with [the World Health Organization], CDC also," Trump said.
UPDATE February 7: Chinese citizens outraged by Wuhan police who censored whistleblower Dr. Li, for warning colleagues of coronavirus infection
Chinese citizens are outraged following the death of Li Wenliang, according to Business Insider. Li was a doctor in Wuhan who warned his colleagues to take measures against the novel coronavirus in its most early stages.
The local police subsequently repremanded and censored him, and made him sign a letter confessing to "making false comments."
Li was killed by the infection at 2:58 a.m. local time last Friday, in Wuhan Central Hospital, where he was an ophthalmologist.
UPDATE February 7: Passengers from a Royal Carribean cruise ship docked in New Jersey are being screened for coronavirus, four are taken to hospital
Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas cruise has docked in New Jersey over fears of the coronavirus. Twenty-three Chinese nationals were screened before being able to leave the ship, and four had to be brought to the University Hospital in Newark.
UPDATE February 7: Hong Kong medical workers on strike to pressure authorities to close all borders with China
Hong Kong sits directly beneath China, with many borders between them. Carrie Lam, the territory's leader, has yet to officially seal all borders between Hong Kong and China.
Now, medical workers in Hong Kong have taken to the streets on a strike, asking for all borders between the territory and China to be closed off.
UPDATE February 7: The latest numbers of the coronavirus
The number of infected cases worldwide is now at 31,535, of which 4,826 are in critical condition. The death toll is up to 638 people, and 1,778 people have successfully recovered.
Keep up to date on the numbers via worldometers' website.
UPDATE February 6: The WHO reports no new countries with reported cases in past 24 hours
The WHO is keeping a watchful eye globally on the coronavirus, and stated that no new countries reported any new coronavirus cases within the last 24 hours.
You can keep up to date with their daily reports here.
UPDATE February 6: Chinese doctor who was early coronavirus whistleblower dies of infection
A Chinese doctor — targeted by the Chinese police for warning his colleagues of the deadly coronavirus — has died of infection, according to the BBC. Li Wenliang was an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital.
On 30 December, 34-year-old Dr. Li noticed seven cases of a virus resembling SARS — the 2003 global epidemic — and warned his fellow doctors in a chat group that they needed to don protective clothing to prevent infection from the new virus.
One of eight people investigated by police for "spreading rumors," Dr. Li was later killed by severe coronavirus infection.
"I only wanted my university classmates to be careful," he said, before dying.
Local authorities have since apologized to Dr. Li.
UPDATE February 6: 30-hour-old newborn baby becomes the youngest person alive to be infected by the coronavirus
The baby was born in Wuhan to a mother who had tested positive for the coronavirus before the child was delivered. It's still unclear how the virus was transmitted from mother to baby.
After only 30 hours on Earth, the baby also tested positive for the coronavirus.
UPDATE February 6: Japan's 2020 Olympics preparations could face some issues due to the coronavirus
Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympics in just six months' time, over the summer. The Wuhan coronavirus could create some serious impact on the preparations for the international games.
"I am extremely worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the Games," said Toshiro Muto, chief executive of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee. Currently, the 2020 Olympics are going forward as originally planned.
UPDATE February 5: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said anyone who enters from mainland China will be quarantined for 14 days
In response to Japan's quarantine of a 3,700-passenger cruise ship, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said anyone entering from mainland China must submit to quarantine for 14 days, until officials are certain there are no signs of the Wuhan coronavirus.
UPDATE February 5: The WHO daily official reports that there were no new countries reported cases in 24hrs
The WHO is keeping everyone up to date about the cases of coronavirus around the world. In some good news, from February 3 to February 4 there were no new countries that reported cases of the coronavirus. Keep up to date here.
UPDATE February 5: The Worldometer gives live updates of exact coronavirus numbers
As of Wednesday, there are officially 24,642 reported cases, of which 3,223 are in critical condition. There have been 493 deaths, and 990 people have successfully recovered. Keep up to date here.
UPDATE February 5: 10 people aboard a cruise ship docked in Japan are infected
So far, nearly 300 out of the 3,700 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship have been tested for the coronavirus, of which 10 have been found to test positive.
The ship is currently docked in the port of Yokohama, in Japan.
UPDATE February 4: Second death outside China confirmed
The second confirmed death from coronavirus outside of mainland China is confirmed, according to CNN.
UPDATE February 4: China bans trade in wild animals and tightens grip on wet markets
It's widely believed the Wuhan coronavirus stemmed from a wet market that sells wild animals such as bats and snakes. Kept in poor conditions, the exotic animals that locals ate or used as medicine infected them with the deadly virus.
As a response, China's Politburo Standing Committee has banned the sale and trade of wild animals and is tightening its grip on wet markets, albeit temporarily.
UPDATE February 4: Thai doctors have discovered a concoction of flu and HIV drugs that alleviates the coronavirus symptoms
Doctors from the Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok have used a mixture of flu and HIV medication to treat severely infected coronavirus patients, and the results are promising. After just 48 hours patients' conditions show vast improvement.
"This is not the cure [...]. From testing positive for 10 days under our care, after applying this combination of medicine the test result became negative within 48 hours," said Dr. Kriangska Atipornwanich, a lung specialist at Rajavithi.
UPDATE February 3: Number of deaths up to 362, and 17,388 confirmed cases
The coronavirus keeps rapidly spreading, with the confirmed number of fatalities reaching 362, with the majority of deaths occurring in China. The number of confirmed cases around the world has grown to 17,388 across 23 countries.
UPDATE February 3: Australia bars non-citizens arriving from mainland China from entering the country
As of Saturday, only "Australian citizens, Australian residents, dependents, legal guardians or spouses," arriving from China are allowed to enter Australia.
Exceptions will be made for airline crew, following appropriate personal protective equipment usage.
UPDATE February 3: Japan succeeds in isolating the coronavirus in step toward a vaccine
Finally a bit of good news. Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases announced on Friday that it had been successful in cultivating and isolating the coronavirus. Now, the Institute will start working on a vaccine against the virus, as well as a kit able to detect the virus rapidly.
UPDATE January 31: Two confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.K.
Two members of the same family in the U.K. have been confirmed as having the coronavirus, making them the first known people infected in the nation.
The U.K. also evacuated 83 nationals out of Wuhan and have placed them in quarantine.
UPDATE January 31: Alibaba CEO, Jack Ma, pledges $ 14.5 million to fight the coronavirus
Tech billionaire, Jack Ma, will donate $14.5 million (100 million Yuan) through his charitable foundation to "support the development of a coronavirus vaccine" to help fight the outbreak.
Others are joining the donation forces too: Bill and Melinda Gates have offered assistance, as well as other Chinese firm CEOs.
UPDATE January 31: Death toll rises to over 200 on Friday, with over 9,500 confirmed cases
The coronavirus keeps spreading with 213 confirmed deaths in China, and more than 9,600 infected cases around the world. The WHO has now declared the outbreak a "global health emergency."
WHO general director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated he "left in absolutely no doubt about China's commitment to transparency, and to protecting the world's people."
UPDATE January 30: The U.S. has five reported cases and starts evacuating nationals
The U.S. has deported 201 nationals out of Wuhan on a chartered flight. The flight first flew into Anchorage, Alaska, for a health screening test and refueling of the aircraft. All passengers passed the health test and traveled on to Southern California.
Five reported cases of the coronavirus have affected U.S. citizens.
An interesting graphic on Reddit is showing just how quickly the virus is spreading.
UPDATE January 30: China expert says the outbreak has yet to reach its peak
Respiratory expert, Zhong Nanshan, who is in charge of China's team of experts for the control and prevention of the virus, said the outbreak would probably peak in seven to 10 days.
Zhong stated that larger numbers of cases will arise in the coming weeks, and stated "There are two keys to tackling the epidemic; early detection and early isolation. They are the most primitive and most effective methods."
UPDATE January 29: 17 countries outside of China have cases of infected patients
Currently, 17 countries outside of China have cases of infected patients, calling governments to act on the matter.
In China alone, the death toll rose by 26 in just one day, and the total number of infected people rose to 5,974 as of Wednesday.
UPDATE January 29: Kazakhstan to halt air and train travel with China
The Central Asian nation will suspend air and rail traffic with neighboring China as of February 1 and 3, respectively. The country will also "suspend the issuance of visas for Chinese citizens as of February 3 amid the coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan."
No cases of the coronavirus have yet been reported in Kazakhstan.
UPDATE January 29: Chinese women's football team in solitary confinement in Australian hotel
China's national women's football team that was traveling to Australia has been isolated in a Queensland hotel. The team had been traveling from Wuhan to Australia on January 22, all team members are said to be in good health.
UPDATE January 29: International airlines suspending flights to China
Indonesia's Lion Air group, Malaysia's Malindo Air and Air Asia, British Airways from the U.K., the U.S.' United Airlines, South Korea's Air Seoul, Taiwan's China Airlines and Eva Airways, Air Canada, Lufthansa from Germany, and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific, have suspended their flights, or are considering doing so, either to and from Wuhan, or other Chinese cities.
UPDATE January 29: Every region in China has been "hit" by the coronavirus
Up until Thursday, the only region that had withstood being plagued by the coronavirus was Tibet, however, now that it has confirmed an infected case that means every region in the nation has been "hit."
UPDATE January 28: Apple is bracing itself for impact to its business
The company relies on factories in China that make their iPhones and AirPods, as well as suppliers located near Wuhan. Apple is bracing itself for massive uncertainties and challenges regarding the production of its products.
UPDATE January 27: The WHO is considering calling the virus a global public health emergency
As of Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) had not yet confirmed the virus as a global public health emergency. However, with human-to-human transmissions increasing worldwide, the agency is thinking about reconsidering this.
UPDATE January 27: Governments issuing travel advice to China
The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued travel advice regarding travel to China, and especially Hubei province, where the outbreak started. "All but essential travel" to China is advised.