February 10 coronavirus news

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6:25 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Airbnb suspends Beijing bookings

From journalist Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

People wear protective masks as they walk in a nearly empty Chaoyang Park in Beijing on Sunday.
People wear protective masks as they walk in a nearly empty Chaoyang Park in Beijing on Sunday. Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Airbnb is suspending all listings in Beijing from February 7 2020 to February 29 2020 in light of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Airbnb appreciates that disease control efforts are causing overall travel disruptions that also affect our community of guests and hosts,” the company said in a statement.
“We will refund and support guests who had cancelled reservations. And we will continue to work diligently to build programs that support our community of hosts.”
6:21 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Number of UK coronavirus cases reaches eight

From CNN's Milena Veselinovic in London

A general view shows the emergency department at St. Thomas' Hospital in London on February 7.
A general view shows the emergency department at St. Thomas' Hospital in London on February 7. Credit: Hollie Adams/Getty Images

Four further patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total UK tally to eight, Britain's Department of Health said in a statement on Monday.

The new cases are all known contacts of a previously confirmed case, and the virus was passed on in France, the statement says. 

"Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. They successfully identified these individuals and ensured the appropriate support was provided," the Department of Health said. 

The patients have been transferred to specialist NHS centers at Guy's, St Thomas' and Royal Free hospitals in London, and authorities are "using robust infection control measures to prevent further spread of the virus," the health authority added.

6:16 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

New Diamond Princess coronavirus cases reduced by one, bringing total to 135

From CNN’s Matt Rivers and Mick Krever in Yokohama

Passengers stand on balconies on the Diamond Princess cruise ship at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, Japan, on Monday.
Passengers stand on balconies on the Diamond Princess cruise ship at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, Japan, on Monday. Credit: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

The number of new coronavirus cases on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship has been reduced from 66 to 65, Captain Stefano Ravera announced in a public address on the vessel.

“We have now been advised that the number of cases is reduced from 66 to 65, of which five were crew members,” he said Monday in a recording heard by CNN.

This brings the total number of cases on the Diamond Princess to 135. The newly announced cases have nearly doubled the total number, from 70 confirmed cases yesterday.

Those cruise passengers have been under strict quarantine for over a week now, confined to their cabins as medical personnel conduct tests on the 3,700 people on board.

Ravera said that they are currently in the process of disembarking the newly discovered patients.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference Monday that it is difficult to test to everyone on the cruise ship for coronavirus.

Suga also said there is "a limit capacity to process virus test samples,” adding that authorities were testing samples belonging to people who had a fever, who had close contacted with infected people, and people over the age of 80 who feel ill.

6:14 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Hong Kong confirms two new coronavirus cases. It now has 38 in total

From CNN’s Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Sophia Chan, Chief Executive of Hospital Authority, speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong on January 20.
Sophia Chan, Chief Executive of Hospital Authority, speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong on January 20. Credit: Jerome Favre/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Hong Kong has confirmed two more cases of Wuhan coronavirus, bringing its total to 38, Sophia Chan, the semi-autonomous Chinese city's secretary for food and health, told a regular media briefing on Monday.

The two new cases include a 69-year-old man who has no travel history to mainland China and is currently in critical condition, and a 55-year-old woman from a family cluster of cases who attended a hot pot dinner party.

Among the 38 cases, four patients are currently in critical condition and another patient is in serious condition.

A total of 1,193 people have been placed under mandatory quarantine after entering the city from mainland China, of whom 90% are Hong Kong residents.

Chan said the government has identified nine people who violated quarantine orders during spot checks. Two people are still missing, and police will list them as wanted. She warned that anyone who violated quarantine orders could be subject to a maximum fine of HK$25,000 ($3,200) and six-month imprisonment.

4:21 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Xi Jinping inspected a coronavirus center in Beijing

From CNN's James Griffiths

Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus in Beijing on February 10, 2020.
Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus in Beijing on February 10, 2020. CCTV

Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus in the capital Beijing on Monday, the first time he has appeared on the front lines of the fight against the outbreak.

Wearing a protective face mask, Xi visited a specially built center in the city's Chaoyang district, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The capital is gradually getting back to work Monday, after the Lunar New Year holiday became an extended voluntary quarantine for millions of people across the country.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, seen here inspecting efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus in Beijing on February 10, 2020, has been strangely missing in recent weeks.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, seen here inspecting efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus in Beijing on February 10, 2020, has been strangely missing in recent weeks.

Xi has been strangely missing in recent weeks, not appearing on front pages or CCTV's main news broadcasts, which he usually dominates even if his activities are barely newsworthy.

Speculation is rife about just why Xi has taken such a backseat visually, even as state media has been keen to emphasize that he has been guiding all efforts from behind the scenes.

The most convincing theory is that China's propaganda apparatus is trying to thread the needle of having Xi receive the credit for successful measures against the virus, while not catching any blame or fallout from myriad missteps, particularly in Wuhan.

3:44 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

If you're just joining us, here's the latest on the Wuhan coronavirus

A worker wearing a protective suit uses a machine to disinfect business premises in Shanghai on February 9, 2020.
A worker wearing a protective suit uses a machine to disinfect business premises in Shanghai on February 9, 2020. Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

The total number of deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus has topped 910, officially outpacing the global death toll from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003.

More than 40,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, with the vast majority of those in mainland China.

The country began going back to work Monday, after the Lunar New Year holiday became an extended quarantine for hundreds of millions in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. Even though businesses are gradually resuming operations, many people remain under quarantine, working from home where possible.

The largest outbreak outside mainland China is on board a cruise ship docked in the Japanese port of Yokohama, south of Tokyo. As of Monday afternoon local tinme, 136 people on board the ship had tested positive for the virus. Thousands of passengers and crew have been quarantined on board for almost a week, and continue to be tested by the Japanese health authorities.

The UK has declared the Wuhan coronavirus a "serious and imminent threat to public health," as cases were confirmed in more than 25 other countries and territories around the world.

Read more here.

3:27 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

At least 27 foreigners in China have tested positive for the coronavirus

From CNN’s Steven Jiang in Beijing

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that as of Monday morning, a total of 27 foreigners in the country are confirmed to have been infected with the Wuhan coronavirus virus.

Two of those have died -- one a US citizen, the other a Japanese man in his 60s.

Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that three foreigners have been discharged following treatment, while 22 remain in hospital.

3:14 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

UK declares coronavirus a "serious and imminent threat" to public health

From CNN's Samantha Beech in Atlanta

The UK has declared the Wuhan coronavirus a "serious and imminent threat to public health," which gives the government additional powers to delay or prevent the further spread of the virus.

In a statement Monday, the government said, "in light of the recent public health emergency from the novel coronavirus originating from Wuhan, (the) Secretary of State has made regulations to ensure that the public are protected as far as possible from the transmission of the virus."

Two locations in England -- Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside, and Kents Hill Park in Milton Keynes -- have been designated as "isolation facilities," the statement added.

2:58 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

China's massive security state is being used to crack down on the Wuhan virus

From CNN's James Griffiths and Nectar Gan in Hong Kong

A staff member screens arriving passengers at Hankou railway station in Wuhan, on January 21, 2020.
A staff member screens arriving passengers at Hankou railway station in Wuhan, on January 21, 2020. AFP via Getty Images

The camera hovers just above the elderly woman's head, as she looks up, her face becomes confused and worried.

"Yes auntie, this is the drone speaking to you," a voice booms out. "You shouldn't walk about without wearing a mask."

The woman hurries off, occasionally looking over her shoulder as the drone continues to shout instructions: "You'd better go back home and don't forget to wash your hands."

This is China under quarantine in 2020. In another video promoted by state media, a police drone orders men sitting at an outdoor mahjong table to "stop playing and leave the site as soon as possible."

"Don't look at the drone," it says, as a small child glances up curiously. "Ask your father to leave immediately."

As Chinese authorities struggle to contain the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, they are turning to a sophisticated authoritarian playbook honed over decades of crackdowns on dissidents and undesirables to enforce quarantines and lockdowns across the country.

Read the rest of the story here