February 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan, Adam Renton and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 1:57 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020
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3:04 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Thai officials say a second patient is being treated with a new drug combination that helped rid one woman of the virus

From CNN's Kocha Olarn in Bangkok

A second Wuhan coronavirus patient is being treated with a combination of HIV/AIDS and flu drugs that officials from Thailand’s Ministry of Health say were successful in treating another infected patient, Thai officials said at a news conference Monday.

Dr. Kriangsak Atipornwanich, one of the physicians treating the coronavirus patients, told reporters that authorities were awaiting test results to determine the status of the second patient treated with this combination of drugs.

Thailand Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at the same news conference that first case involved a 71-year-old woman who was presenting the "most severe" symptoms of all 19 coronavirus patients confirmed in Thailand. She responded positively to a combination of drugs at higher doses and her medical tests are no longer showing signs of the virus.

She is still recovering in the hospital.

Charnvirakul said information about her case will be shared. "Other academic, medical or research institutions can take this treatment result and find more facts," he said.

 

"If it turned out the dosage and method of treatment we applied could cure every case, it will be beneficial to humanity," Charnvirakul said.

 

2:52 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

A third coronavirus case has been confirmed in India

From CNN's Vedika Sud and Esha Mitra in New Delhi

A third case of the Wuhan coronavirus has been confirmed in India, authorities said.

The case was identified in the southern state of Kerala, according to a Facebook post from Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja. 

Shailaja said the patient is a student who had returned from Wuhan. The individual has been admitted to a district hospital in Kerala and is in stable condition.

2:45 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

First major Chinese airline suspends flights between mainland China and the US

From CNN's Sherisse Pham and Serenitie Wang in Hong Kong

Passengers wait for standby tickets on a China Eastern flight to Shanghai, at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday.
Passengers wait for standby tickets on a China Eastern flight to Shanghai, at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday. Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

China Eastern Airlines has become the first major Chinese carrier to suspend flights to and from the United States, as the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has infected thousands of people and prompted several countries to advise their citizens not to travel to mainland China.

The carrier is canceling flights from Shanghai to Los Angeles and New York from February 2 through February 10, citing "the recent public health incident," according to a notice circulated to travel agents and seen by CNN Business.

China Eastern did not respond to a request for comment. The country's two other major carriers, Air China and China Southern, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China Eastern is also canceling flights from Shanghai to San Francisco on February 6 and February 9, to Chicago on February 8 and to Honolulu from February 3 until March 27, according to the notice.

Several flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver that originate in Chengdu or Kunming with layovers in Nanjing or Qingdao have also been canceled this week.

"In the days to come, China Eastern will pay close attention to the epidemic, and may further adjust the arrangements of flights," the notice said.

Major international airlines including Air Canada, British Airways, Delta, Lufthansa and Qatar have also suspended all flights to mainland China until the end of February or longer.

2:33 a.m. ET, February 3, 2020

China's Foreign Ministry has just accused the US of overreacting to the virus outbreak

From CNN's Steven Jiang in Beijing

A spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry castigated the United States for its response to the coronavirus outbreak, accusing Washington of responding inappropriately and feeding mass hysteria.

"Most countries appreciate and support China’s efforts to fight against the novel coronavirus, and we understand and respect them when they adopt or enhance quarantine measures at border entry. But in the meantime, some countries, the US in particular, have inappropriately overreacted, which certainly runs counter to WHO advice," Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

She continued:

The US government hasn’t provided any substantial assistance to us, but it was the first to evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its Embassy staff, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers. All it has done could only create and spread fear, which is a bad example.

Even American media and experts doubted the government’s decision, saying that the US government’s restrictions on China are precisely what the WHO rejects, that the US is turning from overconfidence to fear and overreaction, and that banning the entry of foreigners who traveled to China in the past 14 days is suspected to be violating civil rights instead of reducing risks of virus spreading.

In fact, according to a recent CDC report, the US flu from 2019 to 2020 has caused 19 million infection cases and at least 10,000 deaths. By contrast, by February 2, 17,205 cases of nCoV pneumonia were confirmed, 361 died and 475 cured and discharged, while there are only 11 confirmed cases in the US.

The contrast is thought-provoking. I also noted that the Canadian Minister of Health said Canada won’t follow the US and impose travel restrictions on Chinese or foreign nationals who have been to China. Canada believe the ban of entry has no basis, which is a sharp contrast to the US behaviors.

 

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

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

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

From CNN’s Emiko Jozuka and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

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

From CNN's Ivan Watson, Sandi Sidhu and Brad Olson in Macao

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