February 11 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Jenni Marsh and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 0226 GMT (1026 HKT) February 12, 2020
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7:30 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

A cruise ship carrying more than 2,000 people has been denied entry to at least 4 ports

From CNN’s Kocha Olarn in Bangkok


The MS Westerdam, which has more than 2,000 people on board, has now been denied entry by at least four different ports over fears of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Thailand’s Prime Minister said the country would try to assist the ship but that it would not allow the boat to dock in Thailand to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

No cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed on the ship so far.

The ship had originally departed Singapore on January 16 and called into ports in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong, according to marinetraffic.com.

In Hong Kong, the ship disembarked 1,254 guests and embarked 768 guests before departing, cruise company Holland America said.

Where was it meant to go? The ship planned to make stops in the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and finally China but revised the ship’s final destination from Shanghai to Yokohama following a warning by the US CDC on January 28th, according to the company. The Philippines and Taiwan announced closure of their ports to cruise ships due to the fear of coronavirus, and Japanese authorities announced they would deny the ship entry -- leaving it in a "holding pattern" in the sea.

The cruise liner later announced plans to dock in Laem Chabang, Thailand to allow its passengers to disembark.

But at a press conference Tuesday, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said:

We are not allowing them to dock on our port, however we will look into humanitarian assistance, if they wanted to refill their fuel or resupply their food and water, we would definitely provide."
"There are a lot of people on board, more than 2,000 people. We have to be careful, not allowing the situation to turn into stage 3 of disease spreading (in Thailand),” he added.
7:24 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Monday was the first time more than 100 people died of coronavirus in one day in mainland China

Medical staff convene at a temporary hospital in Wuhan on Monday.
Medical staff convene at a temporary hospital in Wuhan on Monday. Xiong Qi/Xinhua/Getty Images

A total of 108 people in mainland China died from the Wuhan coronavirus on Monday, according to the country's National Health Commission (NHC), marking the first time the single-day death toll has crossed into triple digits.

The number of deaths per day in mainland China has steadily risen over the past few weeks, since the Chinese authorities began issuing daily updates.

Here's the breakdown from the NHC:

  • February 10: 108 deaths reported
  • February 9: 97 deaths reported
  • February 8: 89 deaths reported
  • February 7: 86 deaths reported
  • February 6: 73 deaths reported
  • February 5: 73 deaths reported
  • February 4: 65 deaths reported
  • February 3: 64 deaths reported
  • February 2: 57 deaths reported
  • February 1: 45 deaths reported
  • January 31: 46 deaths reported
  • January 30: 43 deaths reported
  • January 29: 38 deaths reported
  • January 28: 26 deaths reported
  • January 27: 26 deaths reported
  • January 26: 24 deaths reported
  • January 25: 15 deaths reported
  • January 24: 16 deaths reported
  • January 23: 8 deaths reported

Chinese authorities said 17 people had died from the virus before January 23.

5:43 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Most cluster cases are spread among families, China officials say

From journalist Alex Lin in Hong Kong

Chinese officials studying the Wuhan coronavirus say most of the cluster cases they have observed from a study are within families.

Cluster cases generally refer to "more than two infected cases within a limited space," Wu Zunyou, a virus expert with China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Wu told reporters Tuesday that from a study of more than 1,000 cluster cases, 83% were identified as family clusters. 

Other cluster cases appeared to be from schools, supermarkets or places of work which appeared to be caused by “poor awareness of protection,” such as not wearing masks.

How do you protect yourself and others?

Officials at Tuesday’s press conference reminded the public: if you have infected family members, rooms should be well ventilated, practice good hand hygiene, avoid public gathering and meal-sharing, and employ good health practices if you have to take public transportation.

The World Health Organization has advised people to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.

Scientists believe this coronavirus started in another animal and then spread to humans, so health officials recommend cooking meat and eggs thoroughly.

But in general, the public should do "what you do every cold and flu season," said Dr. John Wiesman, the health secretary in Washington state -- where the first US case of Wuhan coronavirus was confirmed.

That includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and disinfecting the objects and surfaces you touch if you are ill.

If you or your doctor suspect you might have the coronavirus, the CDC advises wearing a surgical mask.

5:34 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Hong Kong confirms 7 additional cases of coronavirus, bringing total to 49

From journalist Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Health workers gather outside Hong Mei House in Hong Kong on Monday, after coronavirus cases were confirmed at the residential complex.
Health workers gather outside Hong Mei House in Hong Kong on Monday, after coronavirus cases were confirmed at the residential complex. Jerome Favre/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Health officials in Hong Kong have confirmed seven additional cases of the virus, bringing the city-wide total to 49.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Dr. Chuang Shuk-Kwan of the Center for Health Protection said four of the additional cases can be traced back to previous confirmed cases.

Chuang said one case number involves a patient who was a co-worker of a confirmed case who contracted the virus whilst eating hotpot at a dinner party.

Three of the cases are not connected to previous community cluster cases, according to Chuang, who added that two of the three remaining cases have no recent travel history.

5:12 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Coronavirus could wreck the global auto industry

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

The human cost of China's coronavirus outbreak is tragic, mounting and already readily apparent. The cost to businesses around the world could also become severe in the coming weeks.

Manufacturers around the world have come to depend on parts from China to keep their own supply chains going. Experts fear that factories across the globe could ground to a halt if many of the plants across China remain closed this coming week.

Auto plants could be among the first to feel the impact. That's because of the massive size of the Chinese auto parts industry and the fact that you can't build a car with only 99% of its parts.

Read the full story here.

An assembly line is pictured at the Dongfeng Honda plant in Wuhan in November 2019.
An assembly line is pictured at the Dongfeng Honda plant in Wuhan in November 2019. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

5:06 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

If you're just joining us, here's what you need to know

People wear protective face masks as they enter a railway station in Shanghai on Monday.
People wear protective face masks as they enter a railway station in Shanghai on Monday. Noel Celis/Getty Images

The coronavirus that was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan continues to spread through China and around the globe. New cases have been confirmed in the past few hours in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Global numbers: 43,105 confirmed cases; 1,018 deaths 

Mainland China:  42,638 confirmed cases;  3,396 cured and discharged; 1,016 deaths

Monday updates: 108 people killed, 2,478 new infections confirmed

Outside mainland China: 467 cases confirmed in  27 countries and regions. Two deaths reported last week, in the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Stuck on a ship

Thousands remained trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan, and 135 people have been infected by the virus on the ship, which has been quarantined since last week. Twenty-four of them are American.

The Westerdam, a cruise liner that has no suspected patients on board, cannot find a home since docking in Hong Kong. Holland America, the company that owns the ship, previously said it would stop in Thailand tomorrow, but now Thai officials have said they won't allow the ship to dock.

The company said in a statement it is "actively working this matter and will provide an update when we are able. We know this is confusing for our guests and their families and we greatly appreciate their patience.”

Coronavirus in the pipes of a Hong Kong tower?

Authorities in Hong Kong are also investigating whether two residents of the same high-rise tower have contracted the coronavirus from fecal matter due to a possible design flaw in the building's piping system.

Health officials have traced at least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus to Hong Mei House in Tsing Yi, a small residential island in Hong Kong.

Parts of the building were evacuated while health officials and engineers carried out emergency checks.

Researchers have yet to confirm if the novel coronavirus can be transmitted via feces.

An official stands guard at an entrance to the Hong Mei House residential building in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
An official stands guard at an entrance to the Hong Mei House residential building in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

3:43 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Two men who tested negative for coronavirus in Japan now have the infection

From CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Two Japanese citizens who had initially tested negative for coronavirus have now been diagnosed with the disease. Japan now has confirmed 163 cases.

The two new patients, both men, were evacuated from China to Japan. One is in his 50s and the other in his 40s, the ministry said, and both have no connection to the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship docked off the coast of Yokohama on which 135 have been infected by the virus.

The men were retested after developing fevers.

3:37 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

South Korea is sending a third plane to Wuhan to pick up its citizens. It's also adding Hong Kong and Macao to its "virus contaminated zone"

From CNN's Jake Kwon in Hong Kong

In this file photo, an airplane carrying South Korean citizens repatriated from Wuhan lands in Seoul, South Korea, January 31.
In this file photo, an airplane carrying South Korean citizens repatriated from Wuhan lands in Seoul, South Korea, January 31. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

South Korea is sending a third chartered plane to Wuhan to repatriate its nationals and their Chinese families, vice minister of health and welfare Kim Gang-lip said Tuesday.

Kim said 170 people are expected to board the plane and South Korean authorities are considering allowing Chinese family members of its citizens to board the plane.

The flight will leave South Korea’s Incheon airport Tuesday evening at 8:45pm local and will arrive back in Gimpo airport in Seoul Wednesday morning, Kim said. Those repatriated will be quarantined at Korea Defense Language Institute, a military school facility located in a rural area, Kim said. 

There were about 2,000 South Korean citizens living in Wuhan before the epidemic, according to the Health and Welfare Ministry. More than 700 South Korean nationals were repatriated on the first two flights.

Seoul also announced Tuesday that it will include the semiautonomous Chinese cities of Hong Kong and Macao in its "contaminated zone" list.

The designation will go into effect Wednesday at midnight. Those entering South Korea from the two cities will be required to fill out a health questionnaire and be checked for fever. They might also be subject to a "quarantine/epidemiological investigation."

Those presenting symptoms, including a fever, will be subjected to a check-up and, if suspected of carrying virus, will be immediately isolated or put under watch.

The Ministry also recommended South Korean nationals avoid travel to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.


3:12 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Activist Joshua Wong imports 100,000 masks for underprivileged people in Hong Kong

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong announced on Twitter that his pro-democracy group Demosisto has imported 100,000 masks from the United States to the semiautonomous Chinese city.

He wrote on Twitter:

The masks will be delivered to councillors to help underprivileged sectors, especially poor people, street cleaners and the elderly. This could not be done without the help of overseas HK pro-democracy groups like @hkdc_us, @NY4HK and good-hearted overseas HKers in New York.

Since the coronavirus outbreak has exploded, people have scrambled to get medical supplies such as face masks and hand sanitizer. On Friday, the World Health Organization warned of a global "chronic shortage" of equipment that could shield individuals from the coronavirus.

"We're sending testing kits, mask, gloves, respirators and gowns to countries in every region. However the world is facing a chronic shortage of personal protective equipment," World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva.

The worldwide mask shortage prompted electronics giant Foxconn, the maker of the Apple iPhone, to set up a production line of facial masks at its facility near Shenzhen in southeastern China.