March 1 coronavirus news

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12:07 a.m. ET, March 1, 2020

China's pollution levels have dropped amid coronavirus shutdown, NASA images show

NASA/ESA
NASA/ESA

Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency reveal the impact of China's coronavirus shutdown on pollution levels across the country.

Production in many factories was halted and transportation restricted to prevent the virus from spreading in the country.

Images taken from January 1-20 show higher levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air. But from February 10-25, traces of the gas are hardly visible.

“This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” said Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. 
11:21 p.m. ET, February 29, 2020

Millions of children around the world aren't going to school. That's causing problems

For 18-year-old Huang Yiyang, school starts when she opens up her laptop.

Over the past two weeks, there have been no school bells, bustling corridors, busy canteens or uniforms. Instead of physically traveling to her public school in Shanghai, Huang sits at her laptop from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. -- often in her pajamas -- watching livestreamed class after livestreamed class.

For physical education class, her teacher performs exercises for students to follow. For English, she sits silently through lectures to virtual classrooms of 20 to 30 students.

She puts stickers or tissues over her webcam, so her classmates can't see her if a teacher calls on her to answer a question. "We're at home, so we don't look so good," she says.

Huang barely leaves the house, and she hasn't seen her friends for a month. But while she is isolated, she's also part of what may be the world's largest remote learning experiment.

A teacher gives a lecture with her smartphone during an online class at a middle school in Donghai, in China's eastern Jiangsu province, on February 17.
A teacher gives a lecture with her smartphone during an online class at a middle school in Donghai, in China's eastern Jiangsu province, on February 17. STR/AFP via Getty Images

In a bid to stop the spread of the disease, schools across China are closed, leaving about 180 million school-aged children stuck at home.

And mainland China is just the start. Millions of students in Hong Kong, Macao, Vietnam, Mongolia, Japan, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Italy have been affected by school closures. For some, that means missing class altogether, while others are trialing online learning. Authorities in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom have indicated that, if the outbreak gets worse, they could shut schools, too.

But while online learning is allowing children to keep up their education in the time of the coronavirus, it's also come with a raft of other problems. For some students, the issues are minor -- shaky internet connections or trouble staying motivated. For others, the remote learning experiment could come at a cost of their mental health -- or even their academic future.

Read more about the world's largest remote learning experiment here.

10:28 p.m. ET, February 29, 2020

First coronavirus death in Australia

Australia reported its first novel coronavirus death today -- a 78-year-old man repatriated from the cruise ship Diamond Princess.

Western Australia state’s Chief Health Officer Andrew Robertson told reporters at a press briefing that the man's wife was also infected, and remained in a stable condition. 

The Department of Health confirmed to CNN that there were two new coronavirus cases in Australia on Sunday, taking the national tally to 27.

10:53 p.m. ET, February 29, 2020

American Airlines is suspending some flights to Milan

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

American Airlines is suspending flights from Miami International Airport and New York’s JFK Airport to Milan, Italy, the airline said on Saturday night.

The suspensions are effective as of March 1, and flights will resume on April 25.

The carrier typically operates one flight to and from each city per day.

Customers who have had their flights canceled and do not want to book again can request a full refund through the American Airlines website.

10:36 p.m. ET, February 29, 2020

South Korea reports another 376 coronavirus cases

Medical workers take samples at a "drive-through" coronavirus test facility in Goyang, South Korea on February 29.
Medical workers take samples at a "drive-through" coronavirus test facility in Goyang, South Korea on February 29. Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea reported another 376 coronavirus cases today, bringing the national total to 3,526 cases and 17 deaths.

Among the new cases, 333 are from the southern city of Daegu and 26 are from North Gyeongsang Province, surrounding Daegu.

Daegu is the heart of the country's outbreak -- more than half of all cases are related to the city's branch of the Shincheonji religious group, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

10:08 p.m. ET, February 29, 2020

Illinois announces another presumptive positive case of coronavirus

A presumptive positive case of coronavirus has been reported in the US state of Illinois, state health officials said.

What is a presumptive case? This is a patient who has tested positive at a state, county or city lab, but whose results have not yet been confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab.

The Illinois case: This presumptive positive patient is hospitalized in isolation. Officials did not disclose whether the patient had traveled to an area affected by the coronavirus or if the patient had come into close contact with another infected person. 

Illinois already had two patients test positive. Both made full recoveries, according to a news release from state officials.

US cases: There are now 71 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the United States.

These include 44 passengers who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three people repatriated from mainland China, according to the CDC.

The remaining 24 cases are in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington state and Wisconsin. Thirteen of those are travel-related and 10 are linked to person-to-person spread.

9:52 p.m. ET, February 29, 2020

33 countries reported their first case of coronavirus in the last 9 days

Europe and the Middle East have seen new cluster outbreaks form over the past week.

Iran and Italy are at the heart of the outbreaks in each region. Iran announced its first cases on February 19, and Italy reported its first coronavirus death on February 22.

In the past nine days, from February 21 to today, 33 countries have announced their first cases.

In no particular order:

  1. Lebanon
  2. Oman
  3. Israel
  4. Afghanistan
  5. Greece
  6. Denmark
  7. Austria
  8. Estonia
  9. Romania
  10. North Macedonia
  11. Georgia
  12. Pakistan
  13. Norway
  14. Spain
  15. Brazil
  16. Algeria
  17. Switzerland
  18. Croatia
  19. Bahrain
  20. Kuwait
  21. Ecuador
  22. Luxembourg
  23. Iceland
  24. Monaco
  25. Mexico
  26. Nigeria
  27. New Zealand
  28. Netherlands
  29. Northern Ireland
  30. Belarus
  31. Lithuania
  32. Qatar
  33. Ireland

9:46 p.m. ET, February 29, 2020

Washington state man is first American to die from coronavirus

The US announced its first death from the coronavirus earlier today -- a Washington state man aged in his 50s with underlying health conditions.

County health officials were made aware of the case on Friday.

Trump urges calm: The President said in a press conference that Americans should not panic from the death, and that while more cases of coronavirus in the US are "likely," the risk remains low for the average person.

"Healthy individuals should be able to fully recover, and we think that will be a statement that we can make with great surety now that we've gotten familiar with this problem," Trump said.

Community spread: The patient appears to have become ill through community spread, said Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The investigation at this time shows no evidence of link to travel or a known contact,” Redfield told reporters at the White House today.
9:18 p.m. ET, February 29, 2020

Global death toll reaches 2,976

China has reported another 35 deaths and 573 cases today -- the vast majority from Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Here's the breakdown:

Deaths:

  • In mainland China: 2,870
  • Outside China: 106
  • Global total: 2,976

Cases:

  • In mainland China: 79,824
  • Outside China: 6,676
  • Global total: 86,500

The deaths outside mainland China have so far been in Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, France, the Philippines, Taiwan and the United States.

China's National Health Commission said 41,625 patients in the country have recovered and been discharged from hospital.