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
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10:07 a.m. ET, February 28, 2020

A pet dog is in quarantine after testing “weak positive” for coronavirus

From CNN’s Pauline Lockwood in Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities have placed a pet dog into quarantine after it tested a “weak positive” for the novel coronavirus, officials said on Friday.

A dog was handed over to the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) after its owner was infected with the coronavirus, the department said in a statement.

Preliminary tests from the dog’s oral, nasal and rectal samples tested a “weak positive” but the “dog does not have any relevant symptoms," the AFCD said.

“At present, the AFCD does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people,” the statement stresses. “The department will conduct close monitoring of the above dog and collect further samples for testing to confirm if the dog has really been infected with the virus or this is a result of environmental contamination of the dog's mouth and nose.”

10:12 a.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Death toll from novel coronavirus rises to 2,858 globally

From CNN’s Shanshan Wang in Beijing and Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

A paramedic wearing a mask gets out of a tent set up by the Italian Civil Protection outside the emergency ward of the Piacenza hospital in northern Italy on Thursday, February 27.
A paramedic wearing a mask gets out of a tent set up by the Italian Civil Protection outside the emergency ward of the Piacenza hospital in northern Italy on Thursday, February 27. Claudio Furlan/Lapresse via AP

The death toll in mainland China from the novel coronavirus increased by 44 on Thursday, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said.

Of those, 41 were in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The additional three deaths outside Hubei brings the death toll in mainland China to 2,788. 

The cases:

Confirmed cases in mainland China increased by 327 on Thursday.

Of those, 318 were in Hubei province. That means according to the NHC, there were only nine new cases reported in China outside of Hubei.

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China is now 78,824, bringing the global total to 83,045. 

A total of 36,117 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, according to the NHC.

Global deaths and where they are:

Outside of mainland China, there have been 70 deaths reported -- raising the global death toll to 2,858. 

Here's a breakdown of the virus-related deaths:

  • Iran: 26
  • Italy 17
  • South Korea: 13
  • Japan 8  
  • Hong Kong and France: 2 each
  • The Philippines and Taiwan: 1 each 
10:11 a.m. ET, February 28, 2020

The US has its first novel coronavirus-related drug shortage

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

The United States has its first novel coronavirus-related drug shortage, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

The maker of an unnamed drug that has recently been added to the FDA Drug Shortages list told the agency that the shortage is due to the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the FDA warned that these types of shortages could happen, and said it was monitoring the situation closely. The agency identified 20 drugs that either solely sourced their active pharmaceutical ingredients, or produced finished drug products, from or in China.

The unnamed company that notified the FDA about a shortage said the problem is the result of an issue with the manufacturing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient used in the drug.

Made in China: The US relies heavily on Chinese-made drug ingredients, medical devices and drugs that are used in humans and animals. As of 2018, China ranked second among countries that exported drugs and biologics to the US, and ranked first for medical devices, according to the FDA.

Obligation to report shortages: The agency said Tuesday it has been in touch with 180 manufacturers to remind them that the companies have a regulatory obligation to notify the FDA if they anticipate any disruption to drug supplies. The agency asked companies to evaluate their supply chains in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

The FDA said it is working with the manufacturer that was recently added to the shortages list to try and mitigate the problem.

“We will do everything possible to mitigate the shortage,” the agency said in a news release Thursday.
10:12 a.m. ET, February 28, 2020

K-pop band BTS cancels South Korea shows over coronavirus fears

From CNN’s Julia Hollingworth in Hong Kong

BTS performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2019 Presented by Capital One at the Forum on December 6, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
BTS performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2019 Presented by Capital One at the Forum on December 6, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

The hugely popular K-pop band BTS has cancelled four concerts in the South Korean capital Seoul due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

The four concerts were set to take place in April, the group’s management company announced on the band’s official Facebook page.

More than 200,000 people were expected to attend the shows.

Big Hit Entertainment wrote that the coronavirus "has made it impossible at this time to predict the scale of the outbreak during the dates of the concert in April, alongside increasing uncertainty about the cross-border movement of concert staff and equipment.”

The band said that those who bought tickets will receive a full refund.

The stakes of cancelling the Seoul tour are particularly high since the band recently released a new album and made high-profile appearances on US television, including on Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show.”

South Korea has the largest outbreak outside of mainland China with more than 2,000 cases.  

9:30 p.m. ET, February 27, 2020

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

South Korean medical workers wearing protective gear visit a residence of people with suspected symptoms of the coronavirus in Daegu on Thursday.
South Korean medical workers wearing protective gear visit a residence of people with suspected symptoms of the coronavirus in Daegu on Thursday. Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak is continuing to spread across the globe, with cases reported in every continent except Antartica.

In Asia, South Korea reached a grim milestone on Friday of more than 2,000 cases.

The latest numbers: There are more than 83,000 cases around the world, including over 2,850 deaths. The vast majority of these are in mainland China, which has reported 78,824 cases and 2,788 deaths.

The deaths: Outside of mainland China, 70 virus-related deaths have been recorded:

  • Iran: 26
  • Italy 17
  • South Korea: 13
  • Japan 8  
  • Hong Kong and France: 2 each
  • The Philippines and Taiwan: 1 each 

South Korea spike: The East Asian country has the most confirmed coronavirus cases outside of mainland China, totaling 2,022. It has reported 13 deaths. Many of the cases are linked to a religious group in the country's south.

More cases in Italy: At least 650 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy, officials said. Across Europe, at least 11 countries now have confirmed cases of the virus, with many of the patients having visited the Lombardy region at the center of Italy's outbreak.

Stock market plunge: US stocks again sold off sharply as coronavirus fears mounted. The Dow closed down 1,191 points, or 4.4% -- the worst one-day point drop in history. The index has now lost 3,226 points this week.

Saudi Arabia bans some pilgrimages: Saudi Arabia has suspended pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina for people outside the country over coronavirus fears. For context, a wholesale temporary ban on foreign visits to the holy sites is a first in living memory. 

Coronavirus in Africa: Nigeria confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Thursday in Lagos state. Nigeria is the third African nation to report the virus, the others are Egypt and Algeria which both have one case each.

10:12 a.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Coronavirus cases in South Korea rise past 2,000

From Hyoungjoo Choi in Seoul

South Korean army soldiers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant to prevent the spread of coronavirus on a street in Daegu, South Korea, on Thursday, February 27.
South Korean army soldiers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant to prevent the spread of coronavirus on a street in Daegu, South Korea, on Thursday, February 27. Lee Moo-ryul/Newsis via AP

South Korea reported 256 more confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday morning, bringing the national total to 2,022, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The country has the most confirmed coronavirus cases outside of mainland China.

Among the 256 new cases, 182 are from Daegu, the epicenter of the outbreak in South Korea. A total of 1,314 cases since the beginning of the outbreak have come from Daegu, according to the KCDC.

Many of the cases are linked to the Shincheonji religious group in the country's south.

An additional 49 cases are from North Gyeongsang province, which surrounds Daegu city.

Thirteen people have died from the virus in South Korea.