February 22 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton and Tara John, CNN

Updated 9:02 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020
12 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
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. 

9:31 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

If you're just joining us, here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak

A member of a medical team takes the temperature of a traveler at a border crossing in Iraq, upon their return from Iran on February 21.
A member of a medical team takes the temperature of a traveler at a border crossing in Iraq, upon their return from Iran on February 21. Hussein Faleh/AFP via Getty Images

There is great concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus in countries outside China, with Iran reporting a spike in numbers and deaths, and other Middle Eastern countries reporting their first cases.

South Korea has also seen a huge uptick in cases, with over 340 now confirmed nationwide.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization's director general has said the window of opportunity to control the outbreak is "narrowing."

What you need to know:

The numbers: Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in mainland China increased by 397 on Friday to reach a total of 76,288.

Another 109 deaths were recorded in China on Friday, bringing its total death toll to 2,345, according to China’s National Health Commission. The global death toll stands at 2,360. 

Changing the tally: Officials in Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, have banned the practice of reducing the number of already confirmed cases. It also mandated that all previously counted cases stand as part of the total confirmed tally. The vast majority of cases and deaths in China have been recorded in Hubei.

Crisis in South Korea: Cases in the Asian country have surged past 340 after more than 140 new infections were reported on Saturday. Around half of the total cases are associated with a religious group in the south of the country. Two patients have died of the virus in South Korea.

South Korean authorities are taking measures to contain the outbreak, including shutting down public places in the capital Seoul and designating "special care zones."

Middle East spread: Iran's health ministry has confirmed 18 cases of the virus, including four deaths, and said it has spread to several cities. Meanwhile, Lebanon and Israel have reported their first cases.

WHO warning: World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the window of opportunity to contain the virus is "narrowing" and called on countries to prepare for community transmission.

US cases rise: 34 people have tested positive for the virus in the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes 21 cases among repatriated individuals, as well as 13 other US cases. The CDC said it will now track confirmed cases in two separate groups: people who have been repatriated, and those identified by the US public health network.

Prison outbreaks: 512 cases of the virus were confirmed from inside China's prisons on Friday -- 271 in Hubei , 207 in Shandong and 34 in Zhejiang.

9:02 p.m. ET, February 21, 2020

BREAKING: South Korea reports 142 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Seoul

Workers wearing protective gear prepare to disinfect against the coronavirus at a subway station in Seoul, on February 21, 2020.
Workers wearing protective gear prepare to disinfect against the coronavirus at a subway station in Seoul, on February 21, 2020. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

South Korea reported a jump of 142 additional cases overnight, bringing the country's total to 346, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

New cases breakdown:

  • North Gyeongsang province (which surrounds southeastern city of Daegu): 103
  • Daegu city: 28
  • Busan: 2
  • Gyeonggi province: 2
  • North Chungcheong province: 2
  • Daejeon: 1
  • Gwangju: 1
  • North Jeolla province: 1
  • Sejong: 1
  • Jeju: 1

Clusters: Among the 142 new cases, 92 are linked to the Cheongdo Daenam hospital, in North Gyeongsang province and 38 are linked with the Shincheonji religious group. South Korean authorities earlier this week were seeking to question more than 1,000 members of the group who attended a service with one of the recently confirmed cases.

Deaths: South Korea reported its second death from the virus on Friday.

Seoul tries to control spread: The South Korean government is taking a range of measures in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, including shutting down public places in the capital and designating "special care zones."

After three cases were detected in the country's armed forces, all South Korean military personnel have been restricted from leaving their bases and going on vacation.