February 3 coronavirus news

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2:13 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says a "handful" of more flights will head back to China to bring Americans home

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that a "handful" of more flights are headed to China to pick up Americans in Hubei, the province at the epicenter of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

"We're working closely and hand-in-hand with the Chinese government to try and resolve what is now this global epidemiological challenge," he said.

Pompeo said Washington and Beijing are still coordinating the exact timing of the flights but that the US "anticipates they will happen in the next handful of days."

2:01 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

There are now 11 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the US

Health officials Sunday announced three more cases of the coronavirus in California, bringing the state's total to six and the country's total to 11 cases.

Late Sunday, a San Benito County official said a man who had recently traveled back from Wuhan, China, and his wife were confirmed to have the virus and were isolating themselves at home.

The man arrived at San Francisco International Airport on January 24 and was screened and found to be healthy and asymptomatic, Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, interim health officer for the county, said in a news conference

The next day, the man developed symptoms including a cough and low-grade fever, Fenstersheib said. A few days later, his wife began showing symptoms as well.

The San Benito couple's diagnosis is the second person-to-person transmission of the virus.

In Chicago, a woman in her 60s was diagnosed after she returned from Wuhan on January 13. She is in the hospital and doing "quite well," her doctors said.

Read more here

1:28 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, was lit up to support China

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai was lit up with the image of the flag of the People's Republic of China to show support for the country as it fights to contain the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus.

The 2,716.5-foot-tall building (more than 828 meters) also displayed the phrase "add oil," a common refrain in Chinese used to mean "keep going."

1:14 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Coronavirus outbreak will hurt Japan's economy, ruling party politician says

The coronavirus outbreak will impact Japan’s economy by hurting the country’s tourism sector, a senior Japanese politician from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said Sunday. 

“There will definitely be an impact on the economy,” Fumio Kishida, the LDP's policy chief, told Japan’s public broadcaster NHK on Sunday. The outbreak has already triggered cancellations nationwide, he said. 

As Japan gears up to host the Olympic games, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set a target of welcoming up to 40 million foreign visitors to the country this year. 

But Japan received approximately 9.6 million visitors from China in 2019 -- accounting for a third of foreign tourist expenditure in the country. China's decision to ban all outgoing overseas tour groups starting January 27 means Japan will see fewer visitors, likely impacting Japan's tourism industry and economy. 

Read more on how the coronavirus is affecting tourism here

12:59 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

The Wuhan virus has turned China's gambling mecca of Macao into a ghost town

People wearing face masks walk in front of the Grand Lisboa Hotel on January 28 in Macao.
People wearing face masks walk in front of the Grand Lisboa Hotel on January 28 in Macao.

There isn't a single face exposed in the cavernous Galaxy casino. Everyone is wearing a mask, including the croupiers, waitresses and security guards -- who happen to vastly outnumber the scattered customers gambling at blackjack and roulette tables.

Visitors only momentarily drop their masks at the entrances to the casino, to pose for thermal cameras on the lookout for the deadly Wuhan coronavirus that has killed hundreds of people in mainland China and infected thousands more.

The outbreak has left the free-wheeling, semi-autonomous Chinese territory of Macao shell-shocked.

Last year, the city received almost 40 million visitors. Now, streets and squares once teeming with tourists from mainland China are empty. Ambulances roam the city, operated by emergency workers dressed in hazardous materials suits.

Read more here

1:15 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

The Wuhan coronavirus death toll in mainland China has overtaken SARS

A delivery driver wears a protective mask and suit as he delivers packages on Saturday in Wuhan.
A delivery driver wears a protective mask and suit as he delivers packages on Saturday in Wuhan.

The number of Wuhan coronavirus deaths in mainland China has overtaken the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in the country, as Beijing injected billions of dollars into an economy hit by weeks of effective shutdowns to major cities.

More than 360 people have died of the disease in China, the country's health authorities said Monday. The total number of cases in mainland China stood at 17,205 as of Sunday evening, an increase of over 2,800 on the previous day, or nearly 20%.

The 2003 outbreak of SARS -- another coronavirus strand -- infected 5,327 people in mainland China, with 349 deaths.

The first death from the virus outside China was confirmed over the weekend. Philippine health officials said that a 44-year-old Chinese man died Saturday after flying into the country from Wuhan.

Read more here

12:43 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Myanmar has evacuated 59 students from Wuhan

The government of Myanmar has evacuated 59 students out of Wuhan amid the coronavirus outbreak, state newspaper The Global New Light of Myanmar reported.

The report said the government arranged a "special flight" for 59 people to return to Myanmar, where they arrived yesterday.

All of the students that have returned from Wuhan are currently under quarantine in Mandalay under the Public Health Department.

Four students did not take the plane and stayed behind, the outlet reported. One "did not meet immigration rules," one was outside the province and two had high fevers and required medical attention. It did not say if the two had been tested for the coronavirus.

12:32 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

This is what life is like on lockdown inside China

CNN has spoken with several people inside China whose movement has been restricted due to the rapid spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Here's what they say it's like:

12:21 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

A second flight sent from the US to evacuate Americans in Wuhan is delayed. It's not clear why

A second evacuation flight sent to China to repatriate US citizens in Wuhan has been delayed, a US official with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

The official did not have a definitive time for the plane’s arrival in Wuhan.

The official told CNN on Sunday that the plane was en route to the epicenter of the outbreak and that it may not be the last flight sent to pick up Americans there due to continued high-demand from US citizens in Wuhan. 

“I can't confirm the numbers yet, but this upcoming evacuation might not be the last," he said.

Last Wednesday a chartered plane carrying some 200 US citizens -- including about three dozen diplomats and their families -- arrived at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California. The official with knowledge to the matter told CNN all US diplomats and their families in Wuhan were able to leave on this first flight.