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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12:26 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Coronavirus cruise ship to undergo major cleaning before next voyage

From CNN's Stacey Lastoe and Channon Hodge

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, in quarantine due to fears of COVID-19, at Daikoku pier cruise terminal in Yokohama.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, in quarantine due to fears of COVID-19, at Daikoku pier cruise terminal in Yokohama. Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)

Some passengers and crew are still aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship following its 14-day coronavirus quarantine in Japan, but the ship has not seen its last days at sea.

On April 29, following what Carnival Corp. (Princess Cruises' parent company) says will be a full sanitation process, the 116,000-ton vessel will resume service.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the ship's plans -- shortly after two of the ship's coronavirus patients died.

Once everyone is off the isolated ship, it will undergo a deep cleaning before spending time in a dry dock.

Princess Cruises is working with the Japanese health ministry on sanitation specifics, cruise line public relations director Negin Kamali told CNN Travel. 

The expectation, Kamali explains, "is that the ship will be fully sanitized by a cleaning company with an expertise in this area following guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization." 

Read more here.

12:13 a.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Japan reports 12 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Japan reported 12 new cases of novel coronavirus on Saturday, the country's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said.

The new cases include three teenagers.

Japan now has a total of 738 positive coronavirus cases: 99 on land and 639 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. 

Cruise ship safety measures: Japan’s Ministry of Defense has increased the level of protection for its Self Defense Force staff working on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama.

All SDF staff are now required to wear masks, gloves, gowns and hair caps, not just those in direct contact with passengers.

The order came after infectious disease specialist Kentaro Iwata posted a YouTube video criticizing the quarantine and isolation measures onboard the virus-stricken ship, defense minister Taro Kono told reporters.

 

11:53 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

Taiwan repatriates 19 cruise goers from Diamond Princess

From Chermaine Lee in Hong Kong

A flight carrying 19 Taiwanese citizens arrived in Taipei from Tokyo Friday night, Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare said in a statement.

The group, who had been on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama since early February, will be sent to an isolation ward for 14 days.

Two additional cases of novel coronavirus were confirmed in Taiwan on Saturday, bringing the total on the island to 26, according to the ministry.

Cruise disembarking: On Friday, 253 people who tested negative for coronavirus disembarked from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to the news release from the Japanese Ministry of Health. Disembarkation was expected to continue into Saturday.

11:32 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

Over 9,000 members of the Shincheonji religious group to be self-isolated and tested in South Korea

From CNN’s Sophie Jeong in Seoul

A medical worker at a preliminary testing facility at the National Medical Center where patients suspected of contracting coronavirus are assessed in Seoul.
A medical worker at a preliminary testing facility at the National Medical Center where patients suspected of contracting coronavirus are assessed in Seoul. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Thousands of members of the Shincheonji religious group in the southern city of Daegu will be tested for the novel coronavirus, South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said on Saturday.

Around 9,300 members of the religious group will also be required to self-isolate, after a cluster of coronavirus cases were linked to it.

Among the 346 total confirmed cases in South Korea, 169 are associated with the group.

“We have secured a list of about 9,300 members of the relevant religious group, and we are preemptively enforcing self-isolation and facility isolation," said Kim Gang-lip, South Korean vice minister of health in a news briefing:

Already, 4,474 people from the list are self-isolating and the ministry is conducting the first tests on 544 people who said they have respiratory symptoms.

The ministry is currently enforcing self-isolation and checking symptoms for 4,860 people from a second list they have secured. 

Kim said that mobile sample collection teams will be in operation so people can be tested without going outside.

11:12 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

Bridal gowns could be in short supply for wedding season because of coronavirus

From CNN's Parija Kavilanz

 Wedding dresses are displayed in a window at a David's Bridal store in Manhattan.
 Wedding dresses are displayed in a window at a David's Bridal store in Manhattan. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

With the summer wedding season around the corner, the coronavirus outbreak could leave brides-to-be in panic: Some may be unable to get the wedding gown they want for their big day.

China is a leading supplier of wedding gowns. As much as 80% of the world's western-style gowns are produced there, according to the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association. Many factories in China have remained closed this year as the country attempts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Although China's vast manufacturing engine is slowly coming back on line, the extended shutdown has resulted in a production delay across the board for all kinds of products, including wedding gowns.

"We have spent a lot of time monitoring the situation in China and I believe a lot of disruption is going to happen," said James Marcum, CEO of David's Bridal, the largest seller of wedding gowns in the United States. "It's not only with bridal gowns but there's the bridesmaid side of things, too."

Read the full story here

10:52 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

84 passengers from Diamond Princess cruise ship arrive in Hong Kong

A bus waits for passengers at the Daikoku pier cruise terminal in Yokohama on February 21, 2020.
A bus waits for passengers at the Daikoku pier cruise terminal in Yokohama on February 21, 2020. Philip Fong AFP via Getty Images

A second flight bringing back 84 people who were onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan landed in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Among the passengers were 82 residents from Hong Kong and two residents from Macao, according to a statement from the Hong Kong government.

The Hong Kong residents were taken by coach to a quarantine center at Chun Yeung Estate, near Sha Tin in the city's north, where they will remain under observation for 14 days.

The two Macau residents returned to Macau directly from the airport.

The Hong Kong government said that as of Friday, 66 cases onboard the ship were Hong Kong residents. They are under treatment in Japan.

A total of 639 cases of the virus, including two deaths, are associated with the stricken ship.

Cruise disembarking: On Friday, 253 people who tested negative for coronavirus disembarked from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to the news release from the Japanese Ministry of Health. Disembarkation was expected to continue into Saturday.

10:44 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

A woman in Canada tested positive after traveling to Iran. That has got health officials concerned

From CNN’s Paula Newton

Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam has raised concerns over a woman who tested positive for coronavirus after recently returning from Iran.

"Any important cases linked to Iran could be an indicator that there is more widespread transmission than we know about," Tam said.

Iran only recently began reporting its first cases. On Friday, the Middle Eastern country confirmed a total of 18 patients with coronavirus and four deaths.

Tam said this is a reminder that the novel coronavirus is a global issue and that there is the possibility that the virus could be present in countries that may not have the capacity to detect or contain the virus. 

The Canadian woman, in her 30, is the sixth case of novel coronavirus in British Columbia and the ninth for Canada overall.

According to Tam, there was no indication that the patient had been to Qom, the city where the virus was first detected in Iran. “So this leads to the need for further investigation for the officials on the ground," in British Columbia, she said.

Iran outbreak: The novel coronavirus has spread to several Iranian cities, including the capital Tehran, according to the Iranian health ministry.

“The spread of the coronavirus started in Qom and has reached other cities in the country like Tehran, Babol, Arak, Isfahan, Rasht and other cities due to people traveling. There is a possibility that it exists in all cities across the country,” Minnou Mohraz, member of the National Committee for Infectious diseases at the Ministry of Health, said Friday.

“It’s clear that new coronavirus has circulated in the country and probably the source of this illness was Chinese workers who work in the city of Qom and had traveled to China,” Mohraz added.

9:58 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

Investors are betting on a quick recovery from coronavirus. What if they're wrong?

From CNN's Hanna Ziady

Shipping containers sit aboard cargo ship at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminal in Hong Kong.
Shipping containers sit aboard cargo ship at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminal in Hong Kong. Paul Yeung/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A growing number of companies are warning that the coronavirus will prevent them from meeting sales or profit targets for the first three months of the year. Some are even getting specific, and putting a number on the financial damage. 

Situation is highly uncertain: Many of the financial projections assume the coronavirus will be contained in China over the coming weeks and months, and that there won't be a major outbreak in another country. If the Chinese economy doesn't come roaring back as quickly as expected, investors could be caught off guard.

"Investors have largely taken the view that the impact will be temporary, hopefully short-lived, and that most of the weakness should be reversed with a strong rebound in the quarters that follow," Peter Oppenheimer, chief global equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, wrote this week.

Coronavirus costing billions: The International Air Transport Association, which represents major airlines, warned this week that coronavirus could cost global carriers nearly $30 billion in lost revenue. Global demand would drop by 4.7%, the first overall decline since the financial crisis.

Read more here.

9:44 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

Two new coronavirus cases confirmed in Taiwan

From CNN's Chermaine Lee in Hong Kong

Two additional cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Taiwan, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

That brings the total number of cases on the island to 26.

The latest patients are the daughter, aged in her 40s, and granddaughter, 20, of a previous case. Both have no recent travel history.

The granddaughter developed a cough on January 28, while the daughter had gastroesophageal reflux on February 9, the ministry statement said.

They are currently in isolation.