March 4 coronavirus news

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9:30 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

Our live coverage of the novel coronavirus has moved here.

8:56 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

South Korea confirms 3 new deaths and 438 additional cases of novel coronavirus

South Korea confirmed three new deaths and 438 additional cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). 

The three deaths bring the nation's death toll to 35, and the latest cases bring the total number of infections to 5,766, according to the KCDC. 

Among the 438 new cases, 320 are from Daegu city where the outbreak has been concentrated. In total, 4,326 cases have been from Daegu, with many of them linked to the Shincheonji religious group.

Another 87 of the new cases are from North Gyeongsang Province, which surrounds Daegu.

Around 90% of the nation's cases are from Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.

8:54 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

Malaysia confirms 14 additional cases of novel coronavirus

Malaysia confirmed 14 more cases of the novel coronavirus, Malaysia's Director General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah announced in a tweet Thursday morning, local time.

The latest numbers bring the country's total to 50 cases.

The director general said out of the 50 confirmed cases, 28 are still receiving treatment in public hospitals. 

8:43 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

There are now 158 cases of novel coronavirus in US

An employee of the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratories' Virginia Public Health Labratory adds chemicals in the second step of testing a sample for the Coronavirus at the lab in Richmond, Virginia. on Wednesday, March 4.
An employee of the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratories' Virginia Public Health Labratory adds chemicals in the second step of testing a sample for the Coronavirus at the lab in Richmond, Virginia. on Wednesday, March 4. Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

There are 158 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local governments. 

According to the CDC, there are 49 cases from repatriated citizens. According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems, there are 109 cases in 14 states. 

This brings the total number of coronavirus cases in the US to 158.

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

Here is how a virus spreads:

8:06 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

Coronavirus briefing for all House members to convene Thursday morning

The House will have an all-members briefing on the coronavirus response effort Thursday morning at 9:15 a.m. ET in the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium, according to two Democratic aides.

Among those expected in attendance are Secretary Alex Azar, US Department of Health and Human Services, Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary, US Department of Homeland Security and Dr. William Walters, Bureau of Medical Services, U.S. Department of State.

8:05 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

California governor: 11 passengers and 10 crew members on cruise ship are "symptomatic"

The Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge on February 11, as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco.
The Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge on February 11, as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco. Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle/AP/FILE

There are 11 passengers and 10 crew members on the Grand Princess cruise ship that are “symptomatic,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a press conference today.

The ship, which is currently off the coast, is holding hundreds of passengers, Newsom said.

The ship, which departed from San Francisco to Mexico from February 10-21, returned to San Francisco and left for Hawaii on February 21. 

Over 50% of the 2,500 passengers from the cruise to Mexico are Californians, Newsom said. Some of these passengers stayed and went on the second cruise to Hawaii on the same ship. 

They are sharing the list of passengers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health care partners to contact all individuals who were on the cruise ship.

7:49 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

Senate to vote on coronavirus funding Thursday afternoon

The Senate is scheduled to vote on coronavirus funding at 1:45 p.m. ET tomorrow.

The House passed the $8.3 billion coronavirus response package this afternoon in an effort to send billions of dollars to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The measure passed with broad bipartisan support. The vote was 415 to 2 with just two Republicans voting against the measure; Andy Biggs, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Ken Buck.

The legislation was formally unveiled this afternoon after lawmakers worked to hammer out a package to respond to the outbreak. The funding package is far higher than the $2.5 billion the White House requested. Despite that, however, the White House is expected to back the deal.

7:44 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

Coronavirus vaccine timeline remains uncertain

A coronavirus vaccine won’t be widely available for a long time, several top pharmaceutical executives said Wednesday.

Early stage clinical trials likely won’t start until the end of the year or in 2021, they said, cautioning that vaccines for previous viral outbreaks, such as SARS and Zika, never made it “over the finish line.”

“It does take longer for vaccines. They are more complex, the manufacturing is more difficult, and because you're going to be delivering them to otherwise healthy people for prevention, you have to make sure they're very, very, very safe,” Dr. Julie Gerberding, executive vice president at Merck and former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a media briefing.

“So that's why we are cautioning people not to overpromise on the timeline of the vaccine availability,” she said, adding that preventing the future spread of coronavirus will take “more than a year and potentially longer than that," Gerberding said.

President Trump is pushing drug makers to develop vaccines swiftly, asking pharmaceutical executives on Monday if it could ready in the next few months. His comments came days after Dr. Tony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a vaccine would hopefully be ready if the virus returns next year.

Johnson & Johnson will likely start phase one trials by the end of this year and begin larger-scale trials next year, said Paul Stoffels, the drug maker’s chief scientific officer.

Some outbreaks, such as Zika, disappear while vaccines are still in the clinical trial stage, Stoffels said.

Big money: Drug makers will likely get federal funding to help develop coronavirus vaccines, testing and treatment. The House of Representative on Wednesday passed a $7.8 billion spending package that includes more than $3 billion for such efforts.

7:46 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

California governor declares state of emergency over coronavirus

Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The proclamation is to help advance resources to help California prepare for a broader spread of the virus.

Newsom said during today’s press conference that the proclamation “is not about money, it’s about resourcefulness.”

“Money is not the issue,” Newsom added.

He also explained that the proclamation will loosen up regulatory environment, provide clarity, will also allow the state to preempt local land use. It will also help jurisdiction share information and data, advantageous to address the spread, Newsom said.

What is happening in California: Over 9,400 people are being monitored by 49 jurisdictions, Newsom said. It was previously reported that 8,400 people were being monitored.