February 2 coronavirus news

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7:59 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Confirmed cases of Wuhan coronavirus increase to 17,205 in China

The total number of confirmed Wuhan coronavirus cases in mainland China stands at 17,205, the country's National Health Commission said Sunday,

That figure is up 2,829 from the previous day.

The death toll globally is 362. All but one of those deaths have occurred in mainland China.

9:43 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Thai doctor says new drug combination treated coronavirus patient

Doctors in Thailand say they have successfully treated one Wuhan coronavirus patient with a combination of antiviral drugs, according to a briefing on Sunday from the Ministry of Health.

Dr.Kriangsak Atipornwanich, a doctor at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, said he treated a 71-year-old female patient from China with a combination of drugs used in HIV and flu treatments. He said the patient had previously been treated with only anti-HIV drugs.

“I had treated a patient with severe condition, and the result has been very satisfactory. The patient’s condition has improved very quickly within 48 hours. And the test result has also changed from being positive into negative within 48 hours as well,” Atipornwanich said. 

Officials at the press conference said the latest lab test has showed there’s no trace of the virus in the patient’s respiratory system.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health, told CNN last week there are currently no proven effective drugs to treat the virus. 

Hospitals in Beijing have reported using the same drugs given to HIV and AIDs patients are part of treatment for the Wuhan coronavirus, though it is unclear if they have been successful.

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to accurately reflect the number of patients successfully treated

6:41 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Coronavirus outbreak death toll now 361

The Hubei health authority reported that 56 people died of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the death toll since the beginning of the outbreak to 361.

Authorities confirmed an additional 2,103 cases of the virus in Hubei, according to the health authority, which brings the total number of cases to over 16,600.

The health authority said 9,618 patients have been hospitalized, including 478 who are in critical condition.

6:42 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Russia halts all rail services to and from China

Russia is suspending all international rail services between Russia and China, including those operated by Chinese rail companies, Russian Railways said Sunday.

Unused tickets for cancelled trains booked and issued at Russian points of sale can be returned without incurring any charges or fees, the company’s statement said.

6:31 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

US now has 9 cases of novel coronavirus

There are now nine cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States. There are four confirmed cases in California; one case each in Massachusetts, Washington state and Arizona and two in Illinois. The second case in Illinois is the only instance so far of person-to-person transmission in the United States, state health officials said.

Confirmed cases by state: Nine confirmed cases as of Sunday, February 2.

Arizona – 1

California – 4

Illinois – 2

Massachusetts – 1

Washington state – 1

6:17 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

DHS adds four more gateway airports for US citizens who have traveled to China

The US Department of Homeland Security added four airports – Dallas, Detroit, Newark and Dulles – to the list of airports where US citizens who have traveled to China in the last 14 days can enter the US, according to a statement from the agency.

The four new airports add to the seven gateway airports that were initially listed: JFK, LAX, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Honolulu.

The restrictions began at 5 p.m. ET Sunday night.

DHS says those airports have an increased ability to conduct enhanced screening procedures. Citizens who have been in Hubei province in the last 14 days of their return will face 14 days of mandatory quarantine. Those who have been to other parts of China will have 14 days of self-quarantine.

Foreign nationals will be largely denied entry to the US unless they are the immediate family members of US citizens, permanent residents or flight crew.

6:12 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Santa Clara County, California, confirms second case of novel coronavirus

Santa Clara County, California, confirmed the second case of the novel coronavirus, the Santa Clara County public health department said Sunday.

This second case of the virus is in an adult female, the public health department said in a statement. The newest case is unrelated to the first case but both individuals recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the department said.

The newest patient arrived January 23 to visit family in Santa Clara County, public health officials said.

“She has stayed home since she arrived, except for two times to seek outpatient medical care. She has been regularly monitored and was never sick enough to be hospitalized," the statement said.

There have been four cases of the coronavirus in California.

2:27 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

US Department of Homeland Security to enforce restrictions on travelers from China

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it will begin enforcing restrictions for all passenger flights carrying individuals who have recently traveled from China in response to the coronavirus, according to a DHS press release that shed light on some of the procedures US air travelers can expect in the coming days

The screening parameters reiterate much of what the Health and Human Services secretary previously announced go into effect at 5 p.m. ET today – including that flights will be routed to seven designated US airports where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will seek to identify all potentially ill persons.

DHS adds that Americans flying to the US from China will be re-routed to the designated airports at no cost to the traveler, the DHS said.

According to Acting DHS Secretary Chad F. Wolf, to minimize disruptions, Customs and Border Protection and air carriers are working to identify qualifying passengers before their scheduled flights.

DHS advises if a traveler who spent time in China, outside the Hubei province, is re-routed through one of the seven airports and shows no symptoms following a health screening, they will be re-booked to their destination and asked to “self-quarantine” at their homes.

The department adds that any individual traveling from China who has either been in Hubei province or other areas of the mainland, and is showing virus symptoms, will be screened and subject to mandatory quarantine by medical professionals at a nearby facility.

While the “overall risk to the American public remains low,” acting secretary Chad F. Wolf says “funneling all flights with passengers who have recently been in China is the most important and prudent step we can take at this time to decrease the strain on public health officials screening incoming travelers.”

12:51 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

US national security adviser: "There is no reason for Americans to panic"

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

National security adviser Robert O’Brien said that right "now there is no reason for Americans to panic” with regards to the coronavirus, adding that “this is something that is a low risk we think in the US," according to an interview he did today with CBS' "Face the Nation."

O’Brien says that the US is working with Chinese authorities, its health authorities and the World Health Organization to determine where the virus came from.

The US continues to offer the Chinese assistance but have not heard back on that. O’Brien claims the Chinese have been more transparent than in past crises.

“This is a worldwide concern we want to help our Chinese colleague if we can,” O’Brien said. “Look I think we can be helpful if we’re on the ground, right now the Chinese are providing information to us and we’re taking that for what it’s worth but at the same time we’re monitoring ourselves and what we’re especially doing is monitoring the situation here in the states to make sure Americans are continuing to be safe from this virus.”