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February 1 coronavirus news
A total of 304 people had died from coronavirus in mainland China by the end of Saturday, according to the country's National Health Commission. So far, there have been no deaths outside the mainland.
The vast majority of the deaths have occurred in the province of Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital. Wuhan -- home to 11 million people -- is the epicenter of the outbreak.
The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China is now 14,380 -- an increase of 2,590 from Friday's total.
Forty-five more people have died in China's Hubei province, bringing the total death toll in Hubei to 294, health officials said.
Nearly 2,000 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed Saturday in the province, which is the epicenter of the outbreak.
These updated figures push the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China to more than 13,700.
The eighth confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Germany is a 33-year-old man hospitalized in the state of Bavaria, health officials said Saturday.
The patient is the seventh employee of a company in the district of Starnberg who has been diagnosed, the Bavarian Health Ministry said.
The case was confirmed after all employees at the company were tested in the past three days.
Apple is temporarily closing all of its stores, corporate offices and contact centers in mainland China until February 9, the company told CNN.
The decision was taken "out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts," Apple said in a statement.
CEO Tim Cook said in an earnings call on Tuesday that the company had been regularly deep cleaning stores and conducted temperature checks on employees to avoid spreading the virus.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country won't permit entry of foreign nationals who travel from mainland China, due to the increasing threat from the coronavirus outbreak.
"Our first responsibility is Australians and Australia's national interests, and that means the health of Australians and their well-being and that is what is driving our decisions," the Prime Minister said.
The measure took effect Saturday.
Australian citizens, permanent residents, their immediate family member and air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment are exempt from the ban, Morrison said.
The eighth case of coronavirus confirmed in the US is a student at University of Massachusetts Boston, public health officials in Massachusetts said during a call with reporters today. The man had recently returned from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
The case poses no increased risk to other students on the university’s campus, said Dr. Jennifer Lo, medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission.
“He was very appropriate in seeking medical attention. He did not participate in any university activities from the time he arrived in the United States to his home,” Lo said.
She added that the student, a man in his 20s, is currently “doing quite well” and is being quarantined at his home, which is not in a dorm on campus. He is being monitored by public health nurses who are calling him regularly.
“We won’t release him from isolation until we are satisfied it’s safe to do so,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences.
“He returned to Boston directly from China through Logan Airport. He returned on the 28th of January, recognized quickly that he was ill and sought medical attention. He had only been ill for a brief period of time when he arrived,” Madoff said. “Active screening had not yet begun at Logan at that time.”
The patient had a runny nose when he arrived in Boston, health officials said, and has been in isolation since he sought medical care on Jan. 29. Madoff said he could count the patient’s close contacts “on our fingers,” and contacts are household members and medical personnel who treated the man.
All public health officials on the call emphasized that the overall risk to residents in Massachusetts remains low.
The eighth confirmed US case of the coronavirus is a “member of the UMass Boston community,” the school said in a statement today.
“We are working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) to ensure all guidelines and protocols are diligently followed. These agencies will continue to monitor the treatment and health of the affected person. State and city public health authorities have informed us that the risk to members of our community is low. For these reasons, we expect 'business as usual' on campus," the university said.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has approved a request to provide military housing for up to 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined upon arrival in the US from overseas travel due to concerns about possible infection from the coronavirus, the Pentagon said in a statement today.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked the Defense Department to provide several facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms through Feb. 29, the Pentagon added.
"Under the request, DOD will only provide housing support, while HHS will be responsible for all care, transportation, and security of the evacuees. DOD personnel will not be directly in contact with the evacuees and evacuees will not have access to any base location other than their assigned housing. In accordance with CDC guidelines, all evacuees will be monitored for a period of 14 days. Should routine monitoring of the evacuees identify ill individuals, HHS has procedures in place to transport them to a local civilian hospital," the Pentagon said in the statement.
The Pentagon says these installations have been selected by DOD to assist HHS evacuation operations, if needed:
- The 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Fort Carson, Colorado
- Travis Air Force Base, California
- Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
- Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California