March 4 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Steve George, Emma Reynolds, Mike Hayes, Rachel Bowman and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 10:15 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020
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11:08 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Japan confirms 17 new cases, bringing total to 991

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

People walk across a pedestrian crossing near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo on March 3.
People walk across a pedestrian crossing near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo on March 3. Jae C. Hong/AP

Japan has confirmed 17 new coronavirus infections, bringing the national total to 991 cases, according to authorities.

Of those, 706 cases are linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to the health ministry. Another 284 were infected on land. Twelve patients have died.

One of the new patients infected with the virus was in Yamaguchi prefecture, making it the area's first case. 

10:41 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

There are now 125 coronavirus cases in the US. Here's a state-by-state breakdown

An ambulance transports a patient from the Life Care Center of Kirkland, the long-term care facility linked to the two of three confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, in Kirkland, Washington, U.S. March 1.
An ambulance transports a patient from the Life Care Center of Kirkland, the long-term care facility linked to the two of three confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, in Kirkland, Washington, U.S. March 1. David Ryder/Reuters

Nine people have died from coronavirus in the United States and 125 have been infected, according to authorities.

Those include 48 cases from repatriated citizens, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The other 77 cases are spread across 13 states.  

These numbers include presumptive positive cases that tested positive in a public health lab and are pending confirmation from the CDC, and confirmed cases that have received positive results from the CDC.

Here's a state-by-state breakdown:

  1. Arizona: 2
  2. California: 26
  3. Florida: 3
  4. Georgia: 2
  5. Illinois: 4
  6. Massachusetts: 2
  7. New Hampshire: 2
  8. New York: 2
  9. North Carolina: 1
  10. Oregon: 3
  11. Rhode Island: 2
  12. Washington state: 27 (includes 9 deaths) 
  13. Wisconsin: 1

And here's where the repatriated cases came from:

  1. Diamond Princess cruise ship: 45
  2. Wuhan, China: 3
12:57 a.m. ET, March 4, 2020

New California coronavirus case brings US total to 125

Contra Costa County in Northern California has confirmed its first case of coronavirus in a resident, bringing the total number of cases in the United States to 125.

This is the first presumptive positive case of a resident in Contra Costa County and the 26th case in California.

The patient -- who is a resident of the county -- had no known travel history to infected areas and no known contact with a confirmed case, according to a news release. The patient is being treated at a hospital in the county.

A presumptive positive case is one that tested positive in a public health lab and is pending confirmation from the US Centers for Disease Control.

10:30 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

A scene from an iconic 1988 anime that predicted Tokyo 2020 has begun trending online in Japan

By CNN’s Emi Jozuka and Will Ripley 

As speculation mounts over the fate of the Summer Olympics, a scene from iconic 1988 anime film “Akira,” which notoriously predicted Tokyo2020, has started trending online. 

In the scene, a signboard counting down to the Tokyo Olympics shows there are only 147 days to go. Underneath it, there's some graffiti in white -- the Japanese words “chuushida," meaning “just cancel it.”

“Just cancel it” has now gone viral on Japanese Twitter. Coincidentally, last Friday marked exactly 147 days until the official start of the Olympics, which is due to kick off on July 24.

"Akira" is a popular science-fiction manga -- a Japanese word for a comic or graphic novel -- that was created in 1982 by Japanese artist Katsuhiro Otomo.

The story follows biker gang leader Shotaro Kaneda as he battles to save his friend from a secret government program that conducts tests on psychic children.

In 1988, Otomo released "Akira" as an anime film so detailed and intricate that it took animators years to hand-paint each of the single shots to bring the story to life. The film is now widely considered a cult classic which helped expand anime's reach in the US and Europe.

10:19 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

As coronavirus spreads, more people are working and studying from home

Gao Yingyan L, a student of No.4 Primary School in Wanli District, attends an online class at home in Nanchang City, east China's Jiangxi Province, February 10.
Gao Yingyan L, a student of No.4 Primary School in Wanli District, attends an online class at home in Nanchang City, east China's Jiangxi Province, February 10. Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi via Getty Images

For weeks, students and workers in greater China have been studying and working remotely.

Now, as coronavirus spreads into more countries around the world, companies in other countries are looking into doing the same.

America's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, is bracing for the coronavirus outbreak by asking thousands of its employees to work from home for a day to test contingency plans, a person familiar with the matter told CNN Business.

Most Google staff at its European headquarters in Dublin have been told to work from home after a worker reported flu-like symptoms, Irish public broadcaster RTE reports. That person has not tested positive for coronavirus. There are over 8,000 employees at the Dublin office, according to Google.

Pros and cons: As some teachers in Asia have found, working from home can be a bit of a nightmare. But in other sectors, this unexpected experiment has been so well received that employers are considering adopting it as a more permanent measure. For those who advocate more flexible working options, the past few weeks mark a possible step toward widespread -- and long-awaited -- reform.

Read more here.

9:58 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

New Zealand reports second case of novel coronavirus

New Zealand has reported a second case of the novel coronavirus, the country's Ministry of Health said in a statement on Wednesday.

The patient is a New Zealand citizen in her 30s who recently returned to Auckland from northern Italy, the statement read. She does not require hospital level care and is currently under self-isolation at home.

"Although we have our second case of COVID-19, with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low," the statement said.

The country's first case -- which was confirmed last month -- is a New Zealand citizen who traveled to Iran and returned to New Zealand via Bali. He had tested negative twice before the positive test.

9:51 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

South Korea confirms 1 new death as cases pass 5,300

From Journalist Hyoungjoo Choi in Seoul

Soldiers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant in alleyways as a precaution against the new coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 3.
Soldiers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant in alleyways as a precaution against the new coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 3. AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

South Korea has confirmed one new death from the coronavirus -- that's the 32nd patient to die in the country.

There are also another 516 cases, which brings the total number of infections to 5,328, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Among the 516 new cases, 405 are from the city of Daegu, where the outbreak has been concentrated. In total, 4,006 cases have been from Daegu, with many of them linked to the Shincheonji religious group.

Another 89 new cases are from North Gyeongsang province, which surrounds Daegu. Around 90% of the nation's cases are from Daegu and North Gyeongsang.

9:42 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

If you're just joining us, here's what's been happening over the past few hours

A paramedic works with a centrifuge to test blood samples taken from patients suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus, at a hospital in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday, March 1.
A paramedic works with a centrifuge to test blood samples taken from patients suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus, at a hospital in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday, March 1. Ali Shirband/Mizan News Agency via AP

The global number of infections from coronavirus stands at over 92,800, including 3,200 deaths, as the outbreak continues to spread across the globe.

Here's the latest:

  • Prisoners released: Iran announced Tuesday that it will temporarily release more than 54,000 inmates in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Middle Eastern country has over 2,300 cases of the virus, and 77 deaths.
  • US spread: There are now more than 120 coronavirus cases in the US and nine deaths, with infections reported in 13 states.
  • South Korea spike: The worst outbreak outside mainland China is in South Korea, where there are now more than 5,300 cases and 32 deaths.
  • More cancellations: Google is canceling its biggest event of the year because of concerns about the coronavirus. The annual developer conference had been scheduled for May.
  • Pope's health: The Vatican responded to queries about Pope Francis’s health after reports suggested he had been tested for coronavirus, saying he just has a cold.
  • Death in Spain: Spanish authorities have confirmed the country's first coronavirus death. The victim died on February 13, and their remains have tested positive for the virus. In total, the country has 162 confirmed cases.
  • Declining cases in China: Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said Tuesday that the WHO had scrutinized China's data, and believed that the steady decline in novel coronavirus cases in the country since the end of January was real.

9:40 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

A Seattle-based Amazon employee has been diagnosed with coronavirus

Amazon is informing employees that one of its Seattle-based workers has been diagnosed with coronavirus. 

According to a mass email for all staff members in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, the employee infected with the novel coronavirus became ill on February 25 and has not been back to work since that time. 

The company said it has directly notified all coworkers who had been in close contact with the patient. The worker was based at the downtown office building the company refers to as Amazon Brazil, according to the email.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the email to CNN, adding, “We’re supporting the affected employee.” 

It was not immediately clear whether the case was included in Washington state’s count of coronavirus patients in King County, which stood at 21 on Monday.