Coronavirus Live Updates: The U.S. Says It Will Evacuate Americans From Cruise Ship


Americans will be subject to a 14-day federal quarantine and will be housed at two existing quarantine sites, in California and Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement on Saturday.

Japan has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any country outside China — the vast majority of them from the ship — and it reported its first death from the virus on Thursday.

Under fire for its initial response to the coronavirus epidemic, China’s authoritarian government appears to be pushing a new account of events that presents President Xi Jinping as taking early action to fight the outbreak that has convulsed the country.

But in doing so, the authorities have acknowledged for the first time that Mr. Xi was aware of the epidemic nearly two weeks before he first spoke publicly about it — and while officials at its epicenter in the city of Wuhan were still playing down its dangers.

In early January, leaders in Wuhan, the city at the epicenter of the outbreak, were giving open assurances that there was no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.

  • Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

French officials announced a new coronavirus case on Saturday, just hours after reporting that an 80-year-old Chinese tourist had died of coronavirus at a hospital in Paris.

The patient in the newly confirmed case is a British national who stayed in the chalet of Les Contamines-Montjoie, where a cluster of five other cases was detected more than a week ago. The patient had been under surveillance in a hospital in Lyon since last Saturday.

The new case brings the number of confirmed cases in France to 12. Four of those infected have recovered and seven are still hospitalized.

The person who died was the first coronavirus-related death in Europe, and only the fourth outside mainland China. He was not part of the cluster of cases detected at the chalet.

France’s health minister, Agnès Buzyn, said on Saturday that the patient, who died on Friday, was from the Chinese province of Hubei, the center of the outbreak. He had arrived in France on Jan. 16 and been hospitalized at the Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital since Jan. 25.

“His condition had quickly worsened and he had been in critical condition for several days,” Ms. Buzyn said in a televised statement.

She did not name the patient. The man’s daughter also has the coronavirus and was also hospitalized in Paris, Ms. Buzyn said, adding that she was likely to be discharged soon.

In mainland China, about 1,500 people have died, most of them in Hubei Province. The Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan have each reported one death.

The number of infections and deaths continued to climb after the government this week changed the criteria for how it tracks cases. Officials early Saturday reported 2,641 new coronavirus cases and 143 additional deaths in the previous 24 hours.

Speaking at the Munich Security Council on Saturday, the director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called for vigilance surrounding the coronavirus, but warned against sowing fear and hysteria through false information.

“We must be guided by solidarity,” he said, adding that the organization is working with Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok and other media companies to stop the spread of misinformation about the virus.

Africa is stepping up its efforts to detect the coronavirus as fears mount that the continent’s first case, confirmed on Friday, could lead to a regional outbreak, and as many Chinese citizens return to Africa for work after the Chinese New Year holidays.

Countries across Africa are rushing to train health workers. Officials are also screening passengers at airports and equipping laboratories in all 54 countries to detect the virus. John Nkengasong, director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on Friday that while 16 countries currently have the ability to test for the coronavirus, another 20 will gain it by February 20.

“We are scaling up very rapidly across the continent,” he said. “As we speak here now, there is a training going on in Nairobi, Kenya, on enhanced surveillance at airports and ports of entry screening.” Over 40 countries will get that training, he said.

Dr. Nkengasong said it’s possible that more cases of coronavirus have already emerged in Africa but have not been detected because the continent has weak surveillance systems.

The Africa C.D.C. has called on governments in Africa to bring back any African students currently trapped in China under the lockdown of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. Dr. Nkengasong said the situation in Wuhan could easily become “a humanitarian crisis,” just as it could in Africa.

“We are seeing what is happening in China, that even with the amount of resources, that in China it has been a struggle,” he said. “If the virus was to hit a fragile state in Africa, the concern is that the consequences would be very, very devastating.”

Protests against neighborhood clinics designated by the Hong Kong government to treat suspected coronavirus cases cropped up in multiple districts across the city on Saturday.

Many of the demonstrators, numbering in the hundreds, were dressed in black, the signature color of the city’s antigovernment protests.

The government has said that the clinics would treat people with mild symptoms of the virus to relieve pressures on hospitals, but critics said residents had not been consulted.

Hunan Dawei sent 10 workers, including Mr. Ma, to help with the construction. The company’s general manager, Li Guangda, said in a telephone interview that working conditions at the construction site were poor and that there were shortages of protective equipment, including high-quality masks.

“There were several types of workers working on things at the same time,” Mr. Li said. “The workers there were also crowded together as they worked. The population density was very high.”

Mr. Li said that Mr. Ma, who with the others worked on installing water and electricity, was asymptomatic. Mr. Lin’s condition was not immediately known.

The central banking authorities of China are disinfecting, stashing and reportedly even destroying cash in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said at a news conference on Saturday that the cash collected by commercial banks must be disinfected before being released back to customers.

Cash collected from hospitals and food markets must be handled separately and disinfected before depositing the notes to the People’s Bank of China, Mr. Fan said. In severely hit regions, the collected cash must undergo ultraviolet or high-temperature disinfection and be stored for 14 days before going back to the market, he added. In less affected areas, the bank notes must be disinfected and stored for a week before use.

A man who became ill while on a vacation in Hawaii and his wife, who was traveling with him, have both tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.

The couple, who are in their 60s, visited Hawaii in late January and early February, and the man fell ill during the second week of the vacation, while they were staying at a time-share in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu. Before that, the couple had been in Maui, but neither showed symptoms while there.

Officials said the man began showing symptoms on Feb. 3, and wore a mask when he went outside the time-share, the Grand Waikikian. He was most likely infected either before he came to Hawaii or while he was on his way to Hawaii in late January, said Dr. Sarah Park, the state epidemiologist. He tested positive for the coronavirus in Japan on Friday.

On the same day, the woman went to a hospital with a fever and on Saturday, her case was confirmed, according to Japan’s Health Ministry. The ministry said she is from Nagoya, the country’s fourth largest city. NHK, the public broadcaster, and Nagoya city officials said she and the man who tested positive were married.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is an emergency physician, said in an interview on Friday that the authorities were contacting the management at the guest facilities where the man stayed, as well as those who were working there.

“The only way to do this right is to contact everyone,” he said. “We are not worried about minimal contact, but those who had extensive contact will be given whatever support is necessary.”

Reporting and research were contributed by Elian Peltier, Motoko Rich, David Yaffe-Bellany, Keith Bradsher, Elaine Yu, Claire Fu, Elizabeth Paton, Alex Marshall Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Melissa Eddy.


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