February 3 coronavirus news

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9:11 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Our live coverage of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has moved here.

6:19 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Washington state patient is discharged from the hospital

The first US patient to have a confirmed case of Wuhan coronavirus, a man in his 30s, has been discharged from the

Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington.
Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington. Olivia Vanni/The Herald/AP

Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, the hospital said Monday in a statement.

“The patient remains in isolation at home and is being monitored by the Snohomish Health District, in coordination with his care team at Providence,” the statement said. “For the privacy of the patient, we will not be disclosing the exact date of discharge or any additional details regarding his discharge process.”

The patient issued the following statement: “I am at home and continuing to get better. I ask that the media please respect my privacy and my desire not to be in the public eye.

"I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and entire team at Providence who cared for me. I appreciate all of the concern expressed by members of the public, and I look forward to returning to my normal life," the patient said.

There are now at least 11 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States. Six cases have been confirmed in California, one in Massachusetts, one in Washington state, one in Arizona and two in Illinois. There have been two instances of person-to-person transmission – one in Illinois and one in California.

6:25 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

The coronavirus global death toll is now at 426 people

The Hubei health authority said 64 more people died of the coronavirus in China's Hubei province on Monday, raising the death toll in the epicenter of the outbreak to 414 people.

In mainland China, 425 people have died from the virus. The official global death toll is now 426.

Authorities confirmed an additional 2,345 cases of the virus in Hubei on Monday. That brings the total number of cases in the province to 13,522.

The health authority said 10,990 patients have been hospitalized in Hubei, including 576 who are in critical condition.

There have been more than 19,000 confirmed coronavirus cases globally.

5:32 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

California patients moved from San Benito County to San Francisco

Two patients -- husband and wife -- have been transferred from their home in San Benito County, California, to an undisclosed hospital in San Francisco, Rachel Kagan of SF Department of Public Health told CNN.

The husband had recently traveled to Wuhan, China. The wife did not, meaning she contracted the virus from person-to-person contact. The pair showed worsening symptoms Sunday night.

“It was then determined that both patients needed to be admitted to a hospital equipped for a higher level of care. The patients have been transferred out of San Benito County by specialty ambulance,” said Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, San Benito County's public health officer.

The hospital is taking all appropriate precautions for patient and staff safety, said a release from SF Public Health. It added that there is no elevated risk to the public.

5:03 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Eleventh case of Coronavirus confirmed in Germany

A new case of the virus has been identified in the German federal state of Bavaria, bringing the total number of cases within Germany to 11, Bavaria's Health Ministry confirmed Monday. 

According to the State Office for Health and Food Safety, the eleventh case was identified in a child from the district of Traunstein, who tested positive just a week after the child's father was found to have been infected. 

On Saturday, CNN reported that the father -- aged 33 -- is an employee at a company in the district of Starnberg, where six other employees previously tested positive with the deadly virus. 

7:13 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

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

An attendant checks the temperature of a tourist at the entrance to the Galaxy Macau casino and hotel in Macau, China, on Friday, January 24.
An attendant checks the temperature of a tourist at the entrance to the Galaxy Macau casino and hotel in Macau, China, on Friday, January 24. Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg

There isn't a single face exposed in Macao's 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 the rest of the article here

4:52 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

What travelers need to know

David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images

Much is still unknown about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, and health officials are urging vigilance.

That means travelers crisscrossing the globe should be aware of the virus, steer clear of heavily impacted areas and exercise some of the same kinds of preventive measures they'd use to avoid influenza and other illnesses.

Many countries are issuing travel advisories and airlines all over the globe are canceling flights to China.

Read more about cancellations, travel insurance and basic precautions here

6:47 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Are workers in China getting paid?

A courier delivers a shipment to Wuhan Union Hospital on January 29
A courier delivers a shipment to Wuhan Union Hospital on January 29 Getty Images

Employees of many companies that have suspended operations in China should be receiving their paychecks as usual.

Following the extension of the Lunar New Year holiday because of the outbreak of coronavirus, China’s government has reinforced labor laws that require employees to be compensated while on vacation.

Local governments have also formulated their own announcements based on the law, according to Matthew Margulies, vice president of China operations at the US-China Business Council.

Employees who have been infected by the virus will still receive compensation, added Margulies. Additionally, employees that were required to work over the extended holiday will be paid extra.

Initially set to run to January 30, the Chinese government extended the holiday nationwide to February 2. While business has now resumed in certain areas like Beijing, others like Shanghai and Hubei province are still in lockdown for at least another week.

Starbucks and McDonald’s have closed all their Hubei stores indefinitely while Honda and Renault have extended the shutdown period in their Wuhan plants until February 13.

Other large companies, such as Peugeot and Toyota, have halted operations at their Chinese plants. 

Webasto, an auto part company which confirmed last week that four of its employees based at its headquarters near Munich were affected by the virus, has closed its operation in Wuhan until February 14.

A spokesperson for the German company confirmed that workers would be fully paid during the closure. 

3:42 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

'If someone is sick -- that could spread.' Indian returnee describes cramped isolation camp

 

Indian returnees line up for a temperature reading at an army camp in Manesar.
Indian returnees line up for a temperature reading at an army camp in Manesar. Mohammad Haseeb

Over the weekend, two special Air India aircrafts brought home more than 650 Indian passengers from Wuhan.

The passengers have been quarantined in two separate camps in and around the country’s capital, New Delhi.  

One returnee told CNN that he was worried about being placed in close quarters with others on the flights: "There are around 20 of us in a room which is a bit scary," said Mohahammad Haseeb, a PhD student at Wuhan University’s Economics department.

"If someone is sick -- that could spread. We thought we would be kept in single rooms for isolation but I understand that there isn't much space, each room has around 20 beds."

"We sit together for our meals," he added, saying they will be quarantined until February 15, when test results come back.