February 28 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Angela Dewan, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0208 GMT (1008 HKT) February 29, 2020
88 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:31 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Amazon asks employees to postpone non-essential travel

From CNN’s Brian Fung

Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance/Getty Images
Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance/Getty Images

Amazon is trying to keep its workers from traveling amid mounting global concerns about the novel coronavirus.

"We're asking employees to defer non-essential travel during this time,” the company confirmed in a statement to CNN.

The statement follows a statement from Amazon’s cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, which said it will not be attending a major conference for video game developers in San Francisco. 

"While we won’t get to see everyone at GDC this year, we still have exciting things to share,” the company said in an online post. "AWS Game Tech has decided to host a global online event, open to everyone, to showcase our planned content for GDC and more."

2:31 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Google cancels summit over coronavirus concerns

From CNN’s Kerry Flynn

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

Google has canceled its upcoming Google News Initiative Global Summit due to the "novel coronavirus situation," according to an email sent to registered attendees today.

The two-day event, held in Google's Sunnyvale, California office, would have brought together hundreds of people in the media industry.

"We regret that we have to cancel our global Google News Initiative summit but the health and wellbeing of our guests is our number one priority," Google spokesperson Maggie Shiels said.
2:27 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Israel confirms 2 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country's total to 7

From CNN's Amir Tal and Oren Liebermann

Israel's Ministry of Health confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to seven. The two new cases are men who returned from Italy and tested positive after developing symptoms. One citizen returned from Italy four days ago; the second returned from Italy six days ago.

In total, three cases in Israel are from citizens who returned from Italy.

One case is from a transmission from a citizen who returned from Italy.

Three other cases are from Israelis who were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and tested positive after returning to Israel.

2:14 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

13% of Americans have already changed travel plans due to coronavirus, survey says

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

About one American in eight surveyed says they have already canceled or changed travel plans due to concerns about the novel coronavirus.

The survey was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and polled about 1,200 adults.

It found that there were high awareness of the disease with 97% of those surveyed saying they have followed at least some news about the outbreak, and 56% saying they knew a lot about the disease. And 55% also said they are somewhat or very concerned that there will be a widespread outbreak in the United States.

The survey also found that 13% say their level of concern is enough for them to have changed or canceled travel plans already — although it does not specify whether those travel plans were domestic or overseas. Another 9% said they are already bought or worn a protective mask.

The survey was conducted between Feb. 12 and 18 by Kaiser, a nonprofit foundation focused on health policy issues.

2:07 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

There's no known shortages of medical devices in the US due to coronavirus, FDA says

From CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich

N95 masks rest on a cart of filled with other protective gear that must be worn when dealing with patients with an infectious disease as Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston prepares for a possible surge in coronavirus patients on Thursday, February 27.
N95 masks rest on a cart of filled with other protective gear that must be worn when dealing with patients with an infectious disease as Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston prepares for a possible surge in coronavirus patients on Thursday, February 27. Erin Clark/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration says there are currently no known shortages on medical devices within the US market.

The agency says it contacted 63 manufacturers which represent 72 facilities in China that produce essential medical devices, according to Stephen Hahn FDA Commissioner.

“Essential devices are those that may be prone to potential shortage if there is a supply disruption. We are aware that several of these facilities in China are adversely affected by COVID-19, citing workforce challenges, including the necessary quarantine of workers. While the FDA continues to assess whether manufacturing disruptions will affect overall market availability of these products, there are currently no reported shortages for these types of medical devices within the U.S. market,” Hahn said in a statement. 

The agency noted an increased market demand for some products which could include surgical gowns, gloves, masks, and respirator protective devices. 

Mark Bonifacio — founder of Bonifacio Consulting services, a group that works with medical devices and contract manufacturers — says coronavirus is not having an immediate effect on the medical device industry.

“There is no effect. Companies have deep inventory benches and a two week shutdown doesn’t show up on the radar as long as you can catch up quickly” said Bonifacio. “If this continues, it will be a different story.”

Most factories in China were already shutdown because of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The coronavirus has added about an additional two weeks of inactivity, sad Bonifacio. 

1:54 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Spain coronavirus cases reach 34

From CNN's Laura Perez-Maestro in Madrid

The Health Department for the Valencia region in Spain announced a new case of coronavirus on Friday afternoon. This makes the total number of cases reported in Spane 34.

There are 32 patients in quarantine — six in Andalusia, one in Aragon, two Castilla Leon, 10 in Valencia, five in Canary Islands, five in Madrid and three in Catalonia.

Two people have recovered: one in Canary Island and one in The Balearic Islands

1:50 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

US House leader says it's "not encouraging" that scientists need White House approval to speak on coronavirus

From CNN's Manu Raju 

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters today she has "great confidence" in Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, but said its "not encouraging" that scientists need White House approval to speak about coronavirus.

"I have great confidence in Dr. Fauci. And if Dr. Fauci has confidence in what they're doing then, that's OK with me. I do think — if it's true, and I don't know if it is — that they're saying that, 'Unless you have approval of the Oval Office, no scientists can make any statements about this,' is not encouraging." 

What this is about: The New York Times reported that Fauci recently told associates he has been instructed by the White House not to speak out about the virus without clearancethough sources tell CNN Fauci is still expected to appear on television.

Pelosi said that a supplemental spending package will be released "as soon as we can" and said they are working to coordinate a "science-based, evidence-based" approach to the outbreak.

She also talked about the importance of washing hands, even noting: "I used to tell President Bush Sr. wash your hands. He was traveling some place. 'Wash your hands.' ... Washing your hands is probably one of the best forms of prevention."

She also said she hoped to have some "more advisory" from the Capitol physician's office about preventative measures that can be taken in Congress.

1:36 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

How coronavirus could impact Crocs sales

From CNN's Alicia Wallace

Cate Gillon/Getty Images
Cate Gillon/Getty Images

Footwear company Crocs says it expects a considerable sales hit this year because of coronavirus.

Here's why: Crocs relies solely on non-US third-party manufacturers — with its largest suppliers being located in China and Vietnam — and has a retail presence and consumer base in Asia.

Crocs expects to see its revenues increase in both its next fiscal quarter and its fiscal full year. However, the company said disruptions in its Asia business could hurt first-quarter and full-year revenues by $20 to $30 million and $40 to $60 million, respectively.

1:26 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

There are now 821 coronavirus cases in Italy

From CNN's Livia Borghese in Rome and Mia Alberti in London

 Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images
 Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

Angelo Borrelli, head of the Italian Civil Protection Agency, said there are 821 coronavirus cases in the country.

Borelli explained that 412 of the cases did not show symptoms and are currently in home isolation:

“It is important to refer that, from the 821 people affected, half of them – 412 – are people that are asymptomatic or have light symptoms and don’t need to be hospitalized, so they are in domiciliary isolation. 445 people are recovering at the hospital, with symptoms, and 64 are in intensive care”, he said.

The Italian official also announced that the death toll is currently 21.

“Regarding the people who died, these are people in their 80s and 70s and the coronavirus might just be an added complication. Now the National Health Institute will work to certify the cause of death," he said.

“[Those who died] were at an advanced age and they already have a lot of other symptoms and diseases before the coronavirus. So the virus entered an already-complicated clinical scenario.”

Regarding the overflow and lack of conditions in hospitals, the Italian official said: “I can confirm [this situation]. We have received the information that more than 200 people are waiting to be visited [by doctors]. But this morning we heard the situation has been normalized.”