Soldiers spray disinfectant in Seoul. Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

March 7 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:00 p.m. ET, March 7, 2020
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11:02 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

NBA advises teams to prepare to play without fans due to coronavirus concerns

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has asked teams to begin making contingency plans if they have to play games without anyone in attendance as concerns about the spread of coronavirus increase.

In a memo, which CNN has obtained, the league advised teams to identify “actions required if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present.” Only the league office will decide if a game will be played without fans, media, and/or other typical game attendees.

Los Angeles Lakers all-star forward LeBron James said after the Lakers’ 113-103 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday that he wouldn’t play in an empty arena.

“Nah, that's impossible. I ain't playing. If I ain't got the fans in the crowd, that's what I play for. I play for my teammates, I play for the fans. That's what it's all about. If I show up to an arena, and there ain't no fans there? I ain't playing. So, they could do what they want to do," James said.
11:00 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

Japan coronavirus death toll rises to 13 with a case from Diamond Princess

From CNN’s Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Japan Health Ministry announced Saturday that a man from Hong Kong linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died from novel coronavirus. 

Information about his age and whether he was the passenger or a crew member has not revealed. 

Japan’s death toll from the virus now stands at 13.

10:50 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

3 new cases of novel coronavirus announced in Georgia

From CNN's Rebekah Riess

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) reported three additional cases of novel coronavirus in Georgia this morning.

One of the new cases is an individual from Cobb County, who recently returned from Italy, and is isolated at home, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The other individual is from Fulton County and is hospitalized, DPH said. According to DPH, the source of that person’s exposure is unclear at this time.

Additionally, DPH is waiting for confirmation on a presumptive positive test for a Gwinnett County resident who recently returned from Italy and was self-monitoring at home. This person is now isolated at home, a release from DPH said.

10:47 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

2 new coronavirus-related deaths reported in Spain

From CNN’s Laura Perez-Maestro in Madrid

Spanish health authorities have confirmed the deaths of two coronavirus patients, bringing the total number of deaths across the country to 10.

Madrid’s Department of Health confirmed Saturday the death of a 91-year-old male coronavirus patient, who suffered from previous health conditions. 

Meanwhile, the Basque Country Health Department confirmed the death of a 90-year-old man who “suffered from chronic illnesses” and had tested positive to the virus.

Earlier on Saturday, regional health departments across Spain confirmed that a total of 447 people have so far tested positive for coronavirus.

10:22 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

Coronavirus quarantine hotel collapses, trapping 70 people

From CNN’s Yong Xiong in Shanghai

A hotel building in south-eastern China's Quanzhou city collapsed Saturday night, according to the city government statement. Several state media, including People’s Daily, confirmed the hotel has been used as coronavirus quarantine center.  

Around 70 people were trapped in the building and 33 people have been rescued from the debris by 9:30 p.m. local time, the statement said. 

It is unknown if there are any fatalities and why the building was collapsed.

10:01 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

206 people test positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad in London

A total of 206 people have tested positive for coronavirus across the United Kingdom, British health officials confirmed Saturday in a statement. 

“21,460 people have been tested in the UK, of which 21,254 were confirmed negative and 206 were confirmed as positive,” the UK Department of Health and Social Care said, adding that two coronavirus patients have so far died.

The British government’s confirmation came shortly after an update from the Scottish health authorities, who announced that they have identified five new cases of coronavirus over the last 24 hours, bringing their regional total to 16.

9:45 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

Netherlands confirms new coronavirus cases, bringing national total to 188

From CNN’s Martin Goillandeau in London

Dutch health authorities have confirmed new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases across the Netherlands to 188, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment confirmed Saturday in a statement.

“Since yesterday, 60 new patients have been reported…this brings the total number of positively tested patients to 188, of which 1 patient died,” the statement outlined, confirming that while most patients remain in self-isolation, 24 have been hospitalized.

According to the Dutch health authority, most newly identified patients were registered in the southern province of North Brabant.

“The investigation into the spread of the virus in North Brabant has since started…if you have a cold, are you coughing or have a fever: stay at home and limit your social contacts,” the statement urged.

According to the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, 112 of the confirmed coronavirus patients had recently been abroad; of these individuals, 103 had travelled to northern Italy.

Additionally, 47 patients contracted the virus through contact with a previously diagnosed patient.

Investigations are underway to determine how the remaining 29 patients contracted the virus.

9:17 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

US sailor tests positive for coronavirus in Europe

From CNN's Barbara Starr

A US Navy sailor stationed in Naples, Italy, has tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first positive case for a US service member stationed in Europe, according to a statement from US European Command and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.

The service member, stationed at a naval support facility in Naples, tested positive Friday and is currently restricted to their residence, according to the statement, receiving medical and other support in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Italian guidelines. 

Authorities said health professionals from the US military are conducting what they call “a thorough contact investigation” to determine if any other personnel may have been exposed. They say depending on the results other precautionary measures may be taken.

The statement said personnel that the service member came in close contact with have already been notified are in self-isolation at their residences. 

8:42 a.m. ET, March 7, 2020

Pope Francis cancels public events to avoid spread of coronavirus

From CNN’s Livia Borghese and Delia Gallagher in Rome

Pope Francis will deliver his weekly Sunday greeting to pilgrims in Rome via video, instead of at the window on St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican announced Saturday in a statement, citing concerns over the potential spread of coronavirus. 

According to the Vatican, such measures are being take to “avoid the risk of spreading of the Covid-19 due to crowds gathering” around St. Peter’s Square. 

The Pope, who was recently confirmed to have been suffering from a cold, will also conduct his weekly Wednesday audience via video link, rather than in St. Peter’s Square.

Meanwhile, all public participation at the Pope’s weekday private mass at the Vatican has been cancelled through March 15, the Vatican confirmed in its statement.

The Pope celebrates mass daily and normally a small group of visitors join him.