February 22 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton and Tara John, CNN

Updated 9:02 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020
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2:57 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Washington Post: Trump furious after officials let Americans with coronavirus return from Japan

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

President Donald Trump was reportedly angry after Americans with coronavirus returned to the US from Japan.
President Donald Trump was reportedly angry after Americans with coronavirus returned to the US from Japan. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

President Donald Trump became enraged with senior advisers this week when 14 Americans who tested positive for the coronavirus were brought back to the US from Japan after he had been told they would remain quarantined overseas, administration officials told The Washington Post.

The President was first told that Americans who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where the coronavirus has spread, would be flown back to the US on two planes but that patients with the infection or with symptoms would stay in Japan, where the ship is anchored, the newspaper reported.

However, the State Department and a US health official decided to bring back the infected Americans on the planes and place them in isolation without telling the President, the Post said.

Administration officials told the Post that Trump learned of the reversal only after the fact and complained that the decision might damage his administration's handling of the outbreak.

Read more here

2:37 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Where the 14 Americans who tested positive for coronavirus in Japan are now

From CNN Health's John Bonifield

Fourteen Americans who tested positive for novel coronavirus in Japan returned to the United States aboard two state department-chartered flights earlier this week. They flew with more than 300 people who had not been diagnosed with the disease.

These 14 infected travelers, who had been vacationing onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, are now being monitored and cared for at three medical facilities in the US, according to a spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Nine of the positive patients are at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Four are at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington.
  • One patient is in a Sacramento-area hospital in California.

2:25 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Fears over containing novel coronavirus grow as cases outside China spike

A medical worker is seen at a preliminary testing facility for coronavirus on February 21, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.
A medical worker is seen at a preliminary testing facility for coronavirus on February 21, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Concerns are growing over the global spread of the novel coronavirus after a spike in cases outside of mainland China among people with no connection to China or the city of Wuhan, ground zero for the outbreak.

A warning: World Health Organization (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that there was still a chance to contain the Covid-19 virus, "but the window of opportunity is narrowing."

More global cases: His words come as countries outside of China report a sharp increase of coronavirus cases -- particularly in South Korea and Iran. Italy has also reported its first death, raising fears of self-sustaining epidemics.

At the epicenter: Authorities in China's Hubei province confirmed an additional 366 cases of the virus on Friday, 45 fewer than the previous day, taking the total number of cases at the epicenter of the outbreak to over 63,400. The total number of cases in mainland China is now more than 76,200.

Death toll: The global death toll from the outbreak has reached 2,360, after 109 deaths were reported in mainland China Friday, including 106 in Hubei, nine fewer than the previous day. Outside of mainland China, 15 people have died from the coronavirus. In addition to Italy reporting its first death, two new deaths were reported in Iran and one death in South Korea on Friday.

Read more here.

2:13 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

World Health Organization-led team traveling to Wuhan today

From CNN Health’s Jamie Gumbrecht

World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a news conference in Geneva.
World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a news conference in Geneva.  Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization-led joint mission working on coronavirus in China is traveling today to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news briefing Friday.

It’s up to the team what it wants to focus on there, Tedros said.

So far, the team has been working in Beijing, Sichuan and Guangdong, he said.

Tedros said previously the team includes experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US National Institutes of Health, as well as experts from Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Nigeria, Germany and Russia.

The team includes experts in epidemiology, virology, clinical management, outbreak control and public health.

1:59 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

What it's like in the city at the heart of South Korea's coronavirus outbreak

Images from the South Korean city of Daegu show usually-bustling shopping areas deserted and roads empty of traffic.

Daegu is at the center of a coronavirus outbreak after dozens of members of the Shincheonji religious group in the city tested positive for the virus.

Among the 347 total confirmed cases in South Korea, 169 are associated with the group.

Health officials in the city sprayed disinfectant from the back of motorbikes in front of the group's Daegu branch, images show.

Pedestrians wearing face masks walk on the street at Dongseongro shopping district in the southeastern city of Daegu.
Pedestrians wearing face masks walk on the street at Dongseongro shopping district in the southeastern city of Daegu. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

South Korean health officials spray disinfectant in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji religious group in Daegu.
South Korean health officials spray disinfectant in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji religious group in Daegu. Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

An employee sprays disinfectant at a railway station in Daegu.
An employee sprays disinfectant at a railway station in Daegu. Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

1:45 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

South Korea reports 4th military member infected with coronavirus

From CNN’s Sophie Jeong in Seoul

South Korea reports that a fourth member of its military has been infected with coronavirus on Saturday, according to the country's Defense Ministry.

A soldier in the army in Pocheon, northern Gyeonggi province, tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday.

The man had visited his home in Daegu while on a vacation from February 10-14, the ministry said. Daegu has seen an outbreak of the virus, with 28 cases in the city and 103 in North Gyeongsang province, which surrounds Daegu.

The soldier has been isolated, and anyone who has come into contact with him have also been isolated, the ministry said.

On Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry restricted all military personnel from going on vacations, leaving base, staying out overnight and meeting visitors from Saturday.

Infections surge: Cases in South Korea have passed 340 after more than 140 new infections were reported on Saturday. Nearly half of the total cases are associated with a religious group in Daegu.

1:34 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Australia confirms 6 coronavirus cases from Japan cruise ship

From Chermaine Lee in Hong Kong

Australia now has 21 cases of the novel coronavirus after six people repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan tested positive for the virus, the health department said in a statement.

Ten patients have recovered so far.

Here's a breakdown of where those cases are:

  • 5 in Queensland
  • 4 in New South Wales
  • 4 in Victoria
  • 2 in South Australia

Of the six cases associated with the Diamond Princess repatriation flight from Japan:

  • 1 is a resident of Western Australia
  • 1 is a resident of South Australia
  • 2 are residents of Queensland
  • 2 are residents of Victoria

2:27 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Novel coronavirus cases outside mainland China have passed 1,500

From CNN's Eric Cheung

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

More than 1,500 confirmed cases and 15 deaths from the virus have been recorded in more than 30 countries and territories outside mainland China:

  • Australia (at least 21 cases)
  • Belgium (at least 1 case)
  • Cambodia (at least 1 case)
  • Canada (at least 9 cases)
  • Egypt (at least 1 case)
  • Finland (at least 1 case)
  • France (at least 12 cases, 1 death)
  • Germany (at least 16 cases)
  • Hong Kong (at least 68 cases, 2 deaths)
  • India (at least 3 cases)
  • Iran (at least 18 cases, 4 deaths)
  • Israel: (at least 1 case)
  • Italy (at least 17 cases, 1 death)
  • Japan (at least 738 cases, including 639 linked to cruise ship; 3 deaths)
  • Lebanon: (at least 1 case)
  • Macao (at least 10 cases)
  • Malaysia (at least 22 cases)
  • Nepal (at least 1 case)
  • Philippines (at least 3 cases, 1 death)
  • Russia (at least 2 cases)
  • Singapore (at least 86 cases)
  • South Korea (at least 347 cases, 1 death)
  • Spain (at least 2 cases)
  • Sri Lanka (at least 1 case)
  • Sweden (at least 1 case)
  • Taiwan (at least 26 cases, 1 death)
  • Thailand (at least 35 cases)
  • United Arab Emirates (at least 9 cases)
  • United Kingdom (at least 9 cases)
  • United States (at least 35 cases)
  • Vietnam (at least 16 cases)

Read more about the patients in each place.

12:59 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

A group of US college students may face disciplinary action over a coronavirus-themed party

From CNN's Alaa Elassar

Some students at a New York university are in hot water over allegations they held what the school is describing as a "coronavirus-themed party."

Officials at the University of Albany say they are investigating the event, which they called "distasteful and hurtful" in a news release.

"We are aware of a coronavirus-themed party that was recently held off-campus and not sanctioned by the University at Albany," the University of Albany said in a statement. "The theme of this party was distasteful and hurtful and is not representative of UAlbany or its nearly 18,000 students."

The trouble started last week when a video was posted on Instagram showing a bucket filled with ice and beer and a University of Albany student wearing a surgical mask, Albany's WGY News Radio reported.

Read more here.