February 5 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 0228 GMT (1028 HKT) February 6, 2020
52 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:50 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

White House adviser says US will do "everything we can" to help China contain coronavirus

From CNN's Jamie Crawford, Vivian Salama and Kylie Atwood

The coronavirus in China is a “very dangerous and concerning virus” and the United States needs “to do everything we can to contain it now, and we’re there for the Chinese people,” Robert O’Brien, President Trump’s National Security Adviser, said Wednesday. 

Speaking at an event in Washington with foreign ambassadors, O’Brien said the recent flights sent to Wuhan to evacuate American citizens “were full of medical and other supplies” donated by faith-based groups to help China address the situation.

There was some very promising news in the last couple of days that China is welcoming the WHO into China to help address this terrible crisis with the Chinese. There will be an American component of the WHO team and so we’re going to do everything we can,” O’Brien said, adding that the US has “communicated to the Chinese that we are standing by and we are going to do everything we can to help China deal with this pandemic.”


9:38 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Two cruise ships quarantined amid coronavirus outbreak, stranding more than 5,000

From CNN's David Culver

People quarantined on two ships off Hong Kong and Japan are being given health screenings, and those with suspicious symptoms are being tested for coronavirus amid concerns they were exposed to the infection by other passengers.

9:04 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

American, tested for coronavirus, describes what it's like to be on the quarantined cruise ship

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Spencer Fehrenbacher is onboard the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship that's now been quarantined after 10 people onboard tested positive for the coronavirus.

He says that around 8:15 a.m. local time on Wednesday, the ship's captain made an announcement coronavirus infections. That's when they found out the ship would be quarantined for 14 days.  

Fehrenbacher is an American citizen and Canadian resident from Fort Langley, British Columbia, studying in Tianjin, China.

It's still unclear if passengers are going to be forced to stay in their rooms for the duration of the 14 days.  

 "They haven't specified any details about that yet and said they are waiting for further direction from the Japanese government," Fehrenbacher says.  

Fehrenbacher was even tested for the coronavirus last night around 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

"A quarantine officer showed up at my door and I was taken to an empty room that was being used as a testing room," he says. "They reviewed a quarantine questionnaire that I had to complete along [with] all of the other passengers."  

Courtesy Spencer Fehrenbacher
Courtesy Spencer Fehrenbacher

The coronavirus test was fairly simple: a swab on the left and right sides of his throat for about 10 seconds. The nurse who administered the test told them they were testing more 100 people. 

The individual also being tested in the photos is Dorian and another person that wishes to remain anonymous; both are Fehrenbacher's friends and classmates whom he's traveling with.  

Fehrenbacher was tested because, about a week ago, he says he went to the ship's hospital for a sore throat and fever.  

As for his mood, knowing that the ship has been quarantined, Fehrenbacher says it's "pretty good." 

"The Princess crew has been incredible in their support and communication up to this point," he says. "They're providing complimentary internet to everyone onboard to ensure that everyone is able to communicate with family and friends."

He says they are also working to deliver food and water to every single cabin." 

9:12 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Owner of Versace and Michael Kors says it expects coronavirus to "materially impact" financial results

A Versace store in Hong Kong is pictured in July 2019.
A Versace store in Hong Kong is pictured in July 2019. Credit: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Capri Holdings Limited, the parent company of luxury fashion brands Versace, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo says it expects coronavirus to “materially impact” its financial results, lowering its 2020 outlook guidance.

The company said that as of February 5, approximately 150 of their 225 stores in mainland China are closed, adding that most of the remaining open stores are operating with reduced hours and experiencing declines in customer traffic.

The company currently expects the situation in China “to reduce revenue by approximately $100 million and earnings per share by $0.40 to $0.45 for the fourth quarter and full year,” the fashion house said in its quarterly earnings statement.

9:06 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Airbus keeps Tianjin assembly line closed over coronavirus

From CNN's Martin Goillandeau

People work at an Airbus factory in Tianjin, China, in January 2015.
People work at an Airbus factory in Tianjin, China, in January 2015. Credit: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Airbus has prolonged the closure of its final assembly plant in Tianjin, China, as a result of the coronavirus emergency, the European aerospace company said in a statement.

The plant had been closed along with many businesses over the Chinese New Year and was due to reopen at the end of January. 

Airbus added that Chinese domestic and worldwide travel restrictions are affecting business, "posing some logistical challenges."

8:19 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Australia confirms 14th case of Wuhan coronavirus

From journalist Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Medical personnel prepare part of the quarantine zone in the Australian Immigration Detention Centre on Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, on Wednesday.
Medical personnel prepare part of the quarantine zone in the Australian Immigration Detention Centre on Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, on Wednesday. Credit: Richard Wainwright/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A fourth case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the Australian state of Queensland, bringing the country's total to 14.

Chief Health Officer of Queensland Dr. Jeannette Young said the patient -- a 37-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan -- was a member of a tour group that reported three other confirmed cases.

The man remains in a stable condition under isolation in the Gold Coast University Hospital.

8:31 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Emergency wards closed as 4,600 Hong Kong healthcare staff strike over virus response

From Alex Lin in Hong Kong

A masked medical worker is seen among placards during a strike outside the Hospital Authority building in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
A masked medical worker is seen among placards during a strike outside the Hospital Authority building in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Credit: Geovien So/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Emergency wards have been shut down and surgeries postponed as healthcare workers in Hong Kong strike for the third day over government action on the coronavirus.

Dr. Ian Cheung, chief manager of the Hospital Authority said that 4,600 staff, including 300 doctors and 2,700 nurses are absent from work.

Cheung appealed to those on strike to return to work, warning of the potential for more community transmissions in the coming weeks.

If we don’t unite at this moment, it will be very hard for us to hold on to the last line of defense (in this epidemic),” Cheung said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Why they're striking: The Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, a union representing medical workers in the city, is on its third day of strike action.

Strikers and union members are demanding closed borders with mainland China, and have accused the city government of inadequate action during the coronavirus outbreak.

Government response: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam criticized the strikers for weakening the city's medical capacity at a crucial time. Remaining employees still working in the hospital now have a heavier workload to make up for their absent colleagues, she said.

This post has been updated to correct the number of days that Hong Kong medical workers have been on strike.

7:50 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Royal Caribbean cancels cruises out of China through early March

From CNN's Joe Sutton

Royal Caribbean has canceled eight cruises out of China until March and introduced several health screening measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus aboard its vessels.

In a statement, the cruise company announced it would deny boarding to individuals who had travelled through, from or to mainland China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days. Full refunds will be given.

Royal Caribbean also said it would provide mandatory specialized health screenings on certain guests, including those with Chinese and Hong Kong passports, and guests who report feeling unwell.

Cruises cut short by coronavirus: More than 5,300 people are being quarantined on two cruise ships off Hong Kong and Japan amid concerns that passengers and crew were inadvertently exposed to the Wuhan coronavirus by infected passengers.

The Diamond Princess is anchored off the coast of Yokohama, near Tokyo, with 1,045 crew and 2,666 passengers -- including 428 Americans -- on board.

The second ship, the World Dream, is docked at Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal with 1,800 people on board, the city's Department of Health said Wednesday.

7:39 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Charter flights carrying US citizens land at Travis Air Force Base

From CNN's Dan Simon and Augie Martin at Travis AFB

Two charter flights carrying US citizens from Wuhan, China -- the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak -- landed at Travis Air Force Base, California. The first flight landed shortly before 4 a.m. local time (7 a.m. ET), and the second roughly half an hour later.

Wednesday's flights are expected to head to two California military bases: Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, and Travis AFB between San Francisco and Sacramento, a US official with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

The flight headed for Miramar Air Station will refuel at Travis, Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell said in a statement.

The flights come about a week after the first US government-arranged flight left Wuhan. That first chartered plane, carrying nearly 200 US citizens -- including diplomats and their families -- arrived January 29 at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California.