February 14 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Jack Guy, CNN

Updated 8:42 p.m. ET, February 14, 2020
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4:06 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

Singapore PM says recession is possible due to novel coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo by Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that a recession "is possible" due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Speaking during a visit to the Changi Airport, Prime Minister Lee described the novel coronavirus "as a very intense outbreak" adding that the economic impact " is already much more than SARS (severe acute respiratory disease)."

Lee added that the "travel industry has been substantially impacted, flights are down by a third and shops here are hard hit."

"I can't say whether we will have a recession or not," he said. "It's possible, but definitely our economy will take a hit."

As of February 13, Singapore has confirmed 58 cases of the novel coronavirus in the city.

3:35 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

Just joining us? This is where things are at

Chinese commuters wear protective masks as they wait for a bus at a usually busy stop on February 13, in Beijing, China.
Chinese commuters wear protective masks as they wait for a bus at a usually busy stop on February 13, in Beijing, China. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

More than 5,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in China under the country's new broader definition, bringing the global total to 64,435.

The number of deaths from Covid-19, the official name of the virus, has now risen to over 1,380 worldwide. All but three of those deaths took place in China.

A partial purge of officials in Hubei, the Chinese province at the center of the outbreak, began Thursday. The top provincial official has been replaced by a key ally of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Outside of mainland China, new cases were confirmed in Hong Kong and Malaysia, and a Japanese woman in her 80s died of Covid-19. The woman was not connected to the Diamond Princess cruise ship currently under quarantine at the Japanese port of Yokohama. The ship remains the largest single outbreak outside of China, with more than 200 confirmed cases onboard.

Health officials in China say 1,716 medical workers have contracted the novel coronavirus so far, including six who have died of Covid-19.

Concerns remain over the potential drag of the virus on the Chinese economy, and knock on effects that could have worldwide. Speaking Thursday, Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua called for "all-out efforts to ensure stable employment" and instructed companies to avoid mass layoffs as the quarantines in place across much of the country cause a major downturn.

3:29 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

Top Olympic official confident Tokyo Summer Games will go ahead despite virus outbreak

From CNN's Mick Krever and Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Tokyo's New National Stadium, the main venue for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, on December 15, 2019.
Tokyo's New National Stadium, the main venue for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, on December 15, 2019. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

A top Olympic official told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that the Summer Games remain “on track” despite the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

Advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that “there’s no case for any contingency plans of cancelling the Games or moving the Games,” said John Coates, chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo.

Asked by CNN’s Matt Rivers if he had 100% confidence that things would move forward smoothly and the Games would go ahead, Coates said, “yes I do.”

“We continue to monitor particularly the Chinese that will be coming here,” Coates said, adding that “the Chinese team are mostly out of China now – the athletes and officials” for training and qualifying events.

“If they are planning to come, I don’t see a problem with them coming from another country other than China.”

He said that any Chinese athletes or fans coming from China, particularly affected provinces, would have to adhere to any Japanese government protocols.

Meetings over the past two days in Tokyo “reinforced our confidence” that the Japanese government is properly addressing the virus, he said. “We’re going to be very reliant on the communications coming from the organizing committee, but also the national government.”

Yoshiro Mori, president of Tokyo 2020, said that the Japanese government had set up a headquarters to take “full and thorough measures” to address the outbreak, and “meetings have already been held and we are working to share information.”

3:25 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

China says over 1,700 medical workers have been infected by the virus, and six have died

From CNN’s Nectar Gan and journalist Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Workers convert the Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center into a field hospital amid the novel coronavirus outbreak on February 4.
Workers convert the Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center into a field hospital amid the novel coronavirus outbreak on February 4. Getty Images

Health officials in China say 1,716 medical workers have contracted the novel coronavirus so far, including six who have died of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Zeng Yixin, vice minister of China's National Health Commission, said that "As of February 11, 1,716 medical workers have been infected," adding that "unfortunately we have lost six medical workers."

Of those cases, around 1,500 cases -- or 87.5% -- are in Hubei, the province at the center of the outbreak.

Zeng added that several new measures have been put in place to better protect medical workers including providing better conditions for medical workers to rest and ensuring they have enough equipment to treat patients.

Frontline workers will also receive $28 to $42 in daily allowances, China's finance ministry said.

2:42 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

China's coronavirus numbers highlight the challenges of an evolving epidemic

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová

People wearing protective face masks shop for meat at a market in Shanghai on February 14, 2020.
People wearing protective face masks shop for meat at a market in Shanghai on February 14, 2020. Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

When China reported a drop in the number of new cases of the deadly coronavirus earlier this week, hopes were raised that the outbreak might be slowing down.

But on Thursday, health authorities in Hubei, the province at the center of the epidemic, announced there had been nearly 15,000 new cases overnight -- almost 10 times the number of cases announced the previous day.

The government was quick to point out the outbreak didn't suddenly get much worse; the authorities had simply changed the way they reported cases in order to allow more people to access treatment faster.

"Our forecast was 1,500 new cases, and I opened my computer and it's 15,000 new cases. I think my hair stood up on my head," said David Fisman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto, who has spent a lot of time modeling the current coronavirus epidemic.

The shift in how new cases are diagnosed has compounded questions about whether the world can rely on the numbers coming out of China, amid criticism over the government's handling of the outbreak.

Read more here

2:19 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

Some cruise passengers moved from Diamond Princess to Japanese quarantine facilities

From CNN's Sandi Sidhu

A bus with a driver wearing full protective gear departs from the dockside next to the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama on February 14.
A bus with a driver wearing full protective gear departs from the dockside next to the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama on February 14. Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

Eleven passengers from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship will be moved to shoreside quarantine facilities, the vessel's captain told passengers this afternoon.

Diamond Princess Captain Stefano Ravera announced that those passengers who have met the criteria of the Japanese Ministry of Health for being at high risk if infected with novel coronavirus will disembark from the ship on Friday afternoon.

The audio recording of the announcement was sent to CNN by a passenger from Oregon called Kent Frasure.

So far, dozens of people onboard the ship have tested positive for the virus, the largest outbreak outside of mainland China. Japanese health officials have been testing hundreds of crew and passengers for a week now, as the ship remains under tight quarantine.

1:58 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

Beijing purges local officials after coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's James Griffiths

Ying Yong on October 19, 2017 in Beijing, China.
Ying Yong on October 19, 2017 in Beijing, China. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

In a show of displeasure from the very top of the Chinese Communist Party, two high-profile local officials at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak were purged from office on Thursday.

State media announced Thursday that the Communist Party chiefs of Hubei and Wuhan would be replaced with Ying Yong, former Shanghai mayor, and Wang Zhonglin, former party secretary in Jinan.

Wang Zhonglin in Jinan, China, on May 11, 2017.
Wang Zhonglin in Jinan, China, on May 11, 2017. Sven Hoppe/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

It isn't the first removal of officials since the devastating outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan.

The Hubei Provincial Health Commission's party secretary and its director were both fired on Tuesday, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Far from Hubei, the former head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Zhang Xiaoming, was demoted to deputy and replaced with a former protege of President Xi Jinping.

All the appointments show Beijing's disappointment with how major crises, such as the Hong Kong protests and the coronavirus outbreak, have been handled at a local level.

Read more here

1:43 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

Quarantined Chinese turn to computer games to stave off boredom

From CNN's Shannon Liao

A man wearing a protective mask walks across a street in front of the Grand Lisboa Hotel in a residential district on February 5 in Macau.
A man wearing a protective mask walks across a street in front of the Grand Lisboa Hotel in a residential district on February 5 in Macau. Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

For many Chinese people stuck in their homes either by quarantine or lockdown, one of the biggest questions they face is: how to pass the time?

As the coronavirus epidemic shows little signs of passing, some are turning to computer games to keep themselves entertained during the long wait.

During the Lunar New Year holiday that falls in January or February annually, gamers in China usually have more time to play games anyway.

But this year, following the coronavirus outbreak, authorities decided to extend the holiday by almost three weeks in many places, leaving millions of people with a lot of time to fill.

"The evenings are empty, and I have free time. So at night, I'll play 'Peacekeeper Elite' with friends," said 24-year-old construction worker Yang Zhanchao. "We'll set a time to log on and play together."

Tencent's mobile game, "Honor of Kings," hit a new all-time high in daily average users during the week of January 30, according to Niko Partners, a research firm that focuses on the gaming industry in Asia.

"We attribute most of the increase to the impact of the novel coronavirus which led to more gamers staying at home instead of traveling or socializing outside of the home, allowing more time to play games," Niko wrote in a report.

Read the full article here.

1:25 a.m. ET, February 14, 2020

This is where coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide

From CNN's Eric Cheung

A man wearing a protective face mask as a preventative measure against the coronavirus buys flowers to mark Valentine's Day in Hong Kong on February 14.
A man wearing a protective face mask as a preventative measure against the coronavirus buys flowers to mark Valentine's Day in Hong Kong on February 14. Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has spread throughout the world since the first cases were detected in central China in December.

There are now at least 585 confirmed cases of the virus in 27 countries and territories outside mainland China:

  • Australia (at least 15 cases)
  • Belgium (at least 1 case)
  • Cambodia (at least 1 case)
  • Canada (at least 7 cases)
  • Finland (at least 1 case)
  • France (at least 11 cases)
  • Germany (at least 16 cases)
  • Hong Kong (at least 53 cases, 1 death)
  • India (at least 3 cases)
  • Italy (at least 3 cases)
  • Japan (at least 31 cases, 1 death + 219 in cruise ship quarantine)
  • Macao (at least 10 cases)
  • Malaysia (at least 19 cases)
  • Nepal (at least 1 case)
  • Philippines (at least 3 cases, 1 death)
  • Russia (at least 2 cases)
  • Singapore (at least 58 cases)
  • South Korea (at least 28 cases)
  • Spain (at least 2 case)
  • Sri Lanka (at least 1 case)
  • Sweden (at least 1 case)
  • Taiwan��(at least 18 cases)
  • Thailand (at least 33 cases)
  • United Arab Emirates (at least 8 cases)
  • United Kingdom (at least 9 cases)
  • United States (at least 15 cases)
  • Vietnam (at least 16 cases)

Read more about the patients in each place.