The 12 cases in Germany are located in Bavaria and Hesse
Of the 12 confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany, 10 are in Bavaria and two are in Hesse state, according to the German Federal Health Ministry.
The cases include a father and child, six employees at the same company in the Bavarian district of Starnberg, and several evacuated citizens who had been flown out of Wuhan, China.
3:31 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
Scientists: Study that said Wuhan coronavirus can spread before symptoms was flawed
From CNN's Nadia Kounang, John Bonifield, Elizabeth Cohen and Michael Nedelman
Public health experts have criticized a report, published last week, that suggested the coronavirus could spread before the onset of symptoms.
The study had seemed to confirm earlier statements from Chinese officials that the virus could spread asymptomatically. In an email to CNN on Tuesday, German public health officials said the report was incorrect.
“In contrast to first reports according to which the index case (a Chinese traveling in Germany) seemed to have been asymptomatic during the time of likely transmission here, recent interviews by the Bavarian health authorities and the Robert Koch Institute in Chinese language revealed that she might have had mild unspecific symptoms including back pain and also took antipyretic medication," the officials said.
Marc Lipsitch, a Harvard public health professor, said the error had likely been because the authors were "inadequately careful ... an error that is understandable in a crisis situation, but is still problematic.”
The Public Health Agency of Sweden also called the study's conclusions "based on misconceptions," adding that it had not provided "scientifically substantiated facts."
We believe that it is impossible for the new coronavirus to infect throughout the incubation period," said the Public Health Agency.
3:20 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
Coronavirus patient first to be discharged in South Korea
From CNN’s Yoonjung Seo in Seoul
South Korea's second confirmed coronavirus case will be the first patient to be discharged in the country as he recovers from the virus, authorities said today.
The patient is a 55-year-old South Korean man who tested positive for the novel coronavirus on January 24, after flying in from Wuhan on January 22.
His symptoms, including a sore throat and coughing, had improved and two coronavirus tests came back negative. Doctors then agreed to discharge him, according to a news release from the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials also said today that the country's first confirmed case, a 35-year-old Chinese woman, was in stable condition and could be next to be discharged, as she also tested negative twice.
However, discharged patients will be monitored for any unexpected complications after being released from hospital, doctors added.
South Korea has 18 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of Wednesday.
3:07 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
Cathay Pacific airline is urging 27,000 employees to take unpaid leave
From CNN’s Michelle Toh
Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific said in a statement today that it is "appealing to" all 27,000 of its employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave from March to June.
"In view of the novel coronavirus outbreak and also significant drop in market demand, we just announced massive capacity cuts yesterday," said the company in a statement.
"Preserving cash is the key to protecting our business. We have already been taking multiple measures to achieve this. Today, we are appealing to all employees to participate in the special leave scheme (SLS), which will take effect from 1 March and last until 30 June. All employees will have the option to take three weeks of unpaid leave in this period."
A rough year for Cathay: The airline, the city's flag carrier, has been struggling for more than half a year, hit hard by the political unrest that consumed Hong Kong in the entire second half of 2019.
Intense pro-democracy, anti-government protests saw tourist figures drop dramatically, and Cathay was one of several airlines reporting plummeting business.
The airline was also dragged into heated controversy after firing an employee, allegedly over a political Facebook post. Chinese state media slammed Cathay workers taking part in illegal demonstrations, and the airline vowed to fire employees who are found doing so.
2:57 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
Here's what we know about the two cruise ships under quarantine
There are now two cruise ships under quarantine at sea, with thousands on board, after former passengers were confirmed to have the coronavirus. Here's what we know:
The ship in Japan:
About 3,700 people are on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, currently sitting in Yokohama Bay, south of Tokyo. Of those, 428 passengers are American.
The infected person: The passenger with the virus was an 80-year-old man from Hong Kong. He was in China on January 10, flew to Japan on January 17, boarded the cruise there on January 20, disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25, and sought medical attention for symptoms on January 30.
10 people on board were confirmed to have the virus, and have been taken to hospital. Of the 10, nine are passengers and one is crew.
Officials on board tested the passengers and are waiting for remaining results to come out.
Quarantine: A passenger told CNN they were told the ship would be quarantined for at least 14 days.
The ship in Hong Kong:
More than 1,800 people are on a cruise ship docked in Hong Kong's Kai Tak terminal.
Health screenings are being conducted, and people on board cannot leave without the Hong Kong Health Department’s permission.
The infected person: On a previous voyage, the ship had sailed from Nansha, China to Vietnam and back. Three passengers on board were later confirmed to be infected; all passengers disembarked on January 24 in China and Hong Kong. The ship’s crew stayed on for the next trip, which docked and departed from Kaohsiung, Taiwan on February 4.
30 members of the crew reported feeling sick, but all have recovered and are stable.
2:52 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
This is where coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide
From CNN's Eric Cheung
There are now at least 230 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in more than 25 countries and territories outside mainland China:
Australia (at least 13 cases)
Belgium (at least 1 case)
Cambodia (at least 1 case)
Canada (at least 5 cases)
Finland (at least 1 case)
France (at least 6 cases)
Germany (at least 12 cases)
HongKong (at least 18 cases, 1 death)
India (at least 3 cases)
Italy (at least 2 cases)
Japan (at least 23 cases, plus 10 in cruise ship quarantine)
Opinion: A love letter to Wuhan, from a resilient local watching from afar
From Yuli Yang
Editor's note: Yuli Yang is a Hong Kong-based journalist who worked for CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera in greater China for over a decade.
I am a Wuhan girl living in Hong Kong. Right now, my close family is all under lockdown in my hometown, the epicenter of this epidemic.
Every day, I worry for their safety, their health and their mental well-being. They worry, too, that I am worried about them. Sound familiar? I'm sure anyone living far away from their parents can relate to this funny cycle of love.
I'm also a news producer and aware of the blame, the frustration and the outrage that circulates in the wake of a crisis. I'm grateful for my tireless, fellow journalists, who keep the world abreast of the battle against this coronavirus outbreak.
I understand and support the physical measures that airlines, governments and institutions have put in place for control and prevention. But at the same time, I invite you not to put up walls between our hearts.
By this, I'm referring to the emerging trend around the world of discrimination towards Chinese people, and towards those who simply look like us.
This virus brings death and fear. People see the infection spread across borders and they grow afraid for their children, parents, for themselves.
But the virus also reveals an amazing truth -- that we're all interconnected, so much more closely than we might have thought.
Read her full op-ed, and see Wuhan from her eyes, here.
2:28 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
These are the 10 people with coronavirus on the cruise ship docked in Japan
A cruise ship is currently docked in Japan's Yokohama Bay, under quarantine for 14 days, after 10 people on board were confirmed to have the coronavirus earlier today.
Of those 10, 9 are passengers and one is a crew member, said the cruise operator in a statement. Their nationalities are:
Hong Kong: 3
Philippines: 1 (the crew member)
Coronavirus cruise: The Diamond Princess cruise shipwas placed under quarantine after a former passenger, who disembarked 12 days ago, was confirmed to have the coronavirus. He is now in stable condition in Hong Kong.
There are 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members on board the ship, owner Princess Cruises said in a statement yesterday.
A total of 428 American passengers are on board the ship, the US Embassy told CNN.
2:15 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
WHO says the outbreak is an epidemic, not yet a pandemic. What's the difference?
From CNN's Meera Senthilingam
The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is not a pandemic, World Health Organization officials said Tuesday, adding that they're hopeful transmission of the virus can be contained.
The agency acknowledges that it is challenging to contain the virus because of global mass movement.
"We are not in a pandemic," said WHO official Sylvie Briand, explaining that the virus is currently considered to be an epidemic with multiple locations.
"We will try to extinguish the transmission in each of these," she said, adding that the agency believes this "can be done with containment measures currently in place."
Pandemic vs. epidemic: A pandemic is defined as the worldwide spread of a new disease, but it's not quite as simple as that. Many factors, including population immunity and disease severity, need to be taken into account.
An epidemic is more than a normal number cases of an illness, specific health-related behavior or other health-related events in a community or region. A disease outbreak is the occurrence of disease cases in excess of what's normally expected, according to WHO.