February 12 coronavirus news

By Ivana Kottasová, Jessie Yeung and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 0200 GMT (1000 HKT) February 13, 2020
52 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:29 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Mobile World Congress has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Chris Liakos

People walk past posters announcing the Mobile World Congress 2020 in a conference venue in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, February 11.  The organizer of the event announced that it would be cancelled in a segment on Wednesday.
People walk past posters announcing the Mobile World Congress 2020 in a conference venue in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, February 11.  The organizer of the event announced that it would be cancelled in a segment on Wednesday. Emilio Morenatti/AP

Mobile World Congress, the world's largest annual mobile event, has been canceled due to coronavirus, according to a statement from the organizer.

“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event. The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision," GSMA CEO John Hoffman said in a statement.

The decision comes after major tech companies one after the other have been pulling out of the event due to safety concerns.

2:19 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

WHO official says it's too soon to predict the end of the coronavirus outbreak

From CNN’s Jacqueline Howard

It's too early to predict the end of the current novel coronavirus outbreak, said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's health emergencies program.

“We would love to be able to predict the future,” Ryan said during a news conference on Wednesday. "I think we have to be very cautious.”

The number of new coronavirus cases being reported out of China has appeared to slow down.

"The number of newly confirmed cases reported from China has stabilized over the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution. This outbreak could still go in any direction,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during the news conference.

At the news conference, Ryan said that the stabilization in cases is “reassuring” and is the "result of the huge public health operation in China.”

WHO on Wednesday reported 44,730 cases of coronavirus in China, with 1,114 deaths. Outside of China, there are 441 cases and one death, according to WHO.

2:21 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Coronavirus death toll climbs to 1,115 around the globe

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The number of novel coronavirus deaths has risen to 1,115, out of 45,171 cases diagnosed globally, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news conference on Wednesday.

“As of 6 a.m. Geneva time this morning, there are 44,730 cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in China, with 1,114 deaths,” he said, adding that “outside China, there are 441 cases from 24 countries, and one death.”

The WHO director-general went on to say his organization was in constant contact with the Japanese government and the owners of the cruise ship Diamond Princess “to protect the health of all passengers."

“Of the 48 new cases confirmed outside China yesterday [Tuesday], 40 were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is currently quarantined in Yokohama, Japan,” the WHO director-general added.

He also said that the number of confirmed cases reported from China has “declined steadily for the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution.”

2:04 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Coronavirus could "gain a foothold in the US," CDC official says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking steps to help prevent the possible spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States and prepare for an outbreak here, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a call with reporters on Wednesday.

"Most of the disease is in China, however, we can and should be prepared for this new virus to gain a foothold in the US. The goal of the measures we have taken to date are to slow the introduction and impact of this disease in the United States, but at some point we are likely to see community spread in the US or other countries and this will trigger a change in our response strategy,” Messonnier said during the call.

"This will require the effort of all levels of government, the public health system and our communities as we face these challenges together,” Messonnier said. "One important aspect of this is taking steps to make sure there are enough supplies and appropriate guidance to prevent spread of the disease, especially among health care personnel caring for patients.”

Some of the steps the CDC has taken include speaking regularly with manufacturers of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment or PPE, such as face masks, to make sure that enough supplies are available in case they are needed.

"CDC does not currently recommend the use of face masks for the general public. This virus is not spreading in the community,” Messonnier said.

But in an effort to make sure enough supplies are available in case of an outbreak in the United States, “CDC talks regularly with health care industry partners as well as PPE manufacturers and distributors to assess availability of PPE. At this time, some partners are reporting higher than usual demand for select N95 respirators and face masks,” Messonnier said.

Confirmed cases in the US: There are 13 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, including seven in California, two in Illinois, one in Arizona, one in Massachusetts, one in Washington state and one in Wisconsin. This includes two instances of known person-to-person transmission – one in California and one in Illinois.

1:57 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

WHO director-general thanks Cambodia for welcoming Westerdam cruise ship

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in London

The Westerdam, as seen in 2019.
The Westerdam, as seen in 2019. Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, has thanked Cambodia for allowing the Westerdam cruise ship to dock there.

“The Westerdam ship will arrive in Cambodia tomorrow morning,” he said, adding that he called Cambodia's Minister of Health to thank the country for allowing the ship to dock.

“This is an example of the international solidarity we have consistently been calling for,” the WHO director-general said, adding that "outbreaks can bring out the best and worst in people” and that “stigmatizing individuals or entire nations does nothing but harm the response."

He went on to reiterate that “this is a time for solidarity, not stigma." He added that WHO is shipping medical kits to help the worst hit areas.

1:27 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Two coronavirus patients discharged from hospital in France

From CNN's Antoine Crouin in Paris

Two patients who had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in France have recovered from the disease and have been discharged from the hospital, a spokesperson for the French General Health Directorate told CNN on Wednesday. 

The two patients are a Chinese couple in their thirties who had been quarantined at the Bichat Hospital in Paris.

12:05 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Dalai Lama cancels all public engagements due to the coronavirus

From Tenzin Dharpo and CNN’s Sugam Pokharel

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

The Dalai Lama has canceled all his public engagements until further notice due to the “deteriorating outbreak” of the coronavirus, according to a statement from his office.

“His Holiness will not be doing any public engagements for now until further notice due to coronavirus," the Dalai Lama’s secretary, Tenzing Taklha, told CNN.

Read the full statement from the Dalai Lama’s office:

“An announcement was made recently regarding the ordination ceremony for monks. However due to the deteriorating outbreak of the viral disease (Coronavirus- 2019 nCoV) that originated in China, His Holiness’ personal physician as well as consultants have advised a postponement of all public engagement for the time being, and His Holiness has duly agreed to further postpone his public schedule. Hence the ordination ceremony for the monks will be rescheduled and the announcement will be made shortly afterwards. We hope for your understanding in the matter. February 12, 2019.”  

  

 

1:00 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

CDC has screened more than 30,000 passengers from China for the novel coronavirus

From CNN’s Ben Tinker

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now screened more than 30,000 passengers from China at the 11 airports designated to conduct these enhanced screenings, according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

On a call with reporters Wednesday, Messonnier said that with the tighter travel restrictions now in place, there are now fewer passengers flying to the United States from China. Those who do are still being asked to self-monitor for 14 days in cooperation with state and local health department, and to limit their activities and stay home during that period. The goal is to be as restrictive as possible while maintaining protections among all Americans, Messonnier said.

The latest update from the CDC, issued within the last hour, indicated that 420 people have now been investigated for the novel coronavirus in 41 states. Of them, 13 have tested positive, 327 negative and 60 are still pending.

The vast majority of cases have been in mainland China.

11:31 a.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Small study finds no evidence of mother-to-child transmission of coronavirus

From CNN’s Jamie Gumbrecht

There’s currently no evidence the novel coronavirus can pass from a mother to a child in the womb, according to a study published Wednesday in the medical journal The Lancet.

The small, observational study included nine women in Wuhan, China, in their third trimesters of pregnancy. Each woman had a lab-confirmed case of novel coronavirus pneumonia, officially called COVID-19, and was treated from January 20 through January 31. 

Researchers tested amniotic fluid, cord blood and neonatal throat swabs at birth to study the possibility of fetal infection with the novel coronavirus, and all the samples tested negative. All the women had cesarean sections, so it’s not clear if the virus could be passed from mother to child during vaginal birth.

All the pregnancies resulted in live births and none of the infants required special pediatric treatment. Four of the mothers experienced preterm labor, but the researchers said the causes weren’t related to coronavirus. Pregnancy complications that appeared after the illness began included fetal distress in two cases and premature rupture of membranes in two cases.

The study also found that none of the pregnant women developed severe pneumonia or died as of February 4. Their symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches, were similar to symptoms in people who aren’t pregnant.

Why this is important: This is notable because pregnant women are particularly susceptible to respiratory pathogens and severe pneumonia, the researchers wrote. One study found about half the pregnant women who developed SARS during that outbreak were admitted to the intensive care unit, and during the H1N1 flu pandemic, pregnant women were more likely than the general population to be admitted to the hospital and were at increased risk of complications, the researchers wrote.

Still, researchers said, the case of an infant who tested positive for the coronavirus within 36 hours of birth in early February means special consideration is needed to keep newborns safe if their mothers are infected with the coronavirus.

It’s also not clear how the novel coronavirus could affect a fetus in the first or second trimester of pregnancy, the researchers wrote.