Medical staff checking on a Covid-19 coronavirus patient at the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.

March 8 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 11:07 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020
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2:27 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

A 100-year-old man has recovered from the coronavirus

From CNN's Radina Gigova

A 100-year-old man has recovered from the novel coronavirus and was discharged from hospital on Saturday, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported Sunday. 

According to Xinhua, the centenarian is the oldest known patient to recover from the virus to date. 

The man was among the group of more than 80 coronavirus patients who were discharged from the branch of Hubei's Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital at the Optics Valley in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province and the epicenter of the outbreak.

The man was born in February 1920 and just marked his 100th birthday, according to Xinhua. 

He was admitted to the hospital on February 24 due to a coronavirus infection, with underlying health problems such as Alzheimer's disease, hypertension and heart failure.

Due to his complicated conditions, medical professionals from the military held multiple consultations, according to Xinhua. A variety of methods, including antiviral treatment, traditional Chinese medicine and convalescent plasma therapy were used during the treatment.

7:02 a.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Here's what northern Italy's lockdown looks like

From CNN’s Livia Borghese in Rome

Italy's drastic lockdown of its northern regions has left virtually all public events and gatherings closed.

Here's a handful of the steps taken in the country's so-called red zone, which consists of the Lombardy region and 14 other provinces:

  • People with a respiratory infection and fever above 37.5 Celsius are strongly recommended to remain home
  • Those tested positive for the coronavirus, but not hospitalized, are strictly prohibited to move from their homes
  • Sport competition and events are suspended. Professional athletes can continue their training, but competitions must be held behind closed doors
  • Employers are recommended to assign holidays or ordinary leave to their employees
  • Skiing activities are closed
  • Cultural events, museums, cinemas, theaters, pubs, bingo halls and night clubs are shut
  • Nurseries schools, schools and universities lessons are suspended 
  • Churches are open if they can avoid crowds gathering. Civil and religious ceremonies (mass, marriages, baptism), including funerals, are suspended
  • Restaurants and bars can be opened from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and only if they can guarantee a meter's distance between each client
  • Holidays for medical personnel are suspended
  • Malls and markets will be closed on weekends and during the week they have to grant a meter distance between clients. Pharmacies, groceries and other food stores don’t have to close during the weekend, but they are still requested to grant a meter's distance between clients
  • Sport centers, gyms, swimming pools and wellness centers are closed


5:39 a.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Bahrain's Formula 1 Grand Prix to be held without spectators

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi

The Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix race weekend will be held without spectators to battle the spread of coronavirus, event organizers said on Sunday.

“Given the continued spread of Covid-19 globally, convening a major sporting event, which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travelers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time,” a statement on the official website said.

The Bahrain edition of the season was set to be held between March 20-22. The country has confirmed 83 coronavirus cases, according to the Ministry of Health. 

On Sunday, the ministry called on people arriving from four designated countries -- Italy, South Korea, Egypt and Lebanon -- to observe a 14-day home quarantine.

5:39 a.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Thailand requires travelers from South Korea, China, Iran and Italy to self-isolate for 14 days

From CNN's Kocha Olarn

Thailand will now require travelers from South Korea, China, Iran and Italy to self-quarantine for 14 days and report their health daily to authorities, Thanarak Plipat, Thailand's Deputy Director General of the Department of Disease Control, said at a press briefing.

Thais or foreigners who have traveled from those four countries will be asked to register their information with Thailand's Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). They will then need to give daily check-ins over the 14 days, which can be done via an app.

"They can tell their daily conditions if they have any fever, cough or sore throat. If they have we can quickly get in and take care of them. They have to report themselves every day," Plipat said.

If they fail to do so, a state mandatory quarantine can be enforced, Plipat said. Those who fail to report or who report false information can be punished under the Communicable Disease Act.

Under the current act, anyone aware of people suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus is required to inform communicable disease control officials within three hours. Violators are fined up to 20,000 baht ($4,949).

In addition, all travelers must self-isolate and not go outside, by either staying at home or if they are tourists, staying in their hotels or temporary accommodation for 14 days, Plipat added.

“If they are willing to cooperate, there should not be any issue,” Plipat said.

4:57 a.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Just joining us? Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak

The numbers: The global total of cases now stands at more than 105,000, with 3,599 deaths since the epidemic began.

Italy on lockdown: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree which will put most of the country's north under lockdown. The entire Lombardy region is included as well as 14 other provinces. In these areas citizens are only allowed to travel for unavoidable and urgent health issues.

China hotel collapse: Seven people have died after a hotel that was being used as a coronavirus quarantine center collapsed in China's Quanzhou city. Of 71 people trapped in the rubble, 28 remain unaccounted for.

South Korean cases rise above 7,100: Seoul announced over 367 new infections today, bringing the country's total to 7,134, including 50 deaths -- the worst outbreak outside of China.

US cases surpass 440: There are 444 cases of the coronavirus in the US. The US has recorded 19 deaths linked to the virus.

First coronavirus death in South America: A 64-year-old man diagnosed with the novel coronavirus after traveling to Europe died in Argentina on Saturday, according to the Argentine health ministry.

Other cases: Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam reported new cases on Sunday. Maldives reported its first two cases.

Countries impose quarantines: Thailand asks travelers from China, South Korea, Iran and Italy to self-isolate for 14 days and Macao said travelers from Germany, France, Spain and Japan will need to undergo a 14-day quarantine in designated facilities. 

Grand Princess: The cruise ship with 21 cases of coronavirus, which has been waiting 50 miles off the coast of California, will be allowed to dock in Oakland on Monday.

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

Maldives confirms first 2 cases of coronavirus

From CNN’s Hira Humayun in Atlanta

The Maldives government has confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus on the island nation, the country’s Health Protection Agency said in a statement on Saturday. 

The patients are foreign nationals working in the Maldives, who “were in direct contact with an Italian tourist." The Italian national had stayed at Lh. Kuredu Island Resort and "was found to be positive for the virus upon his return,” the statement read.

The patients are being monitored in isolation and are receiving necessary treatment. The resort is being monitored by national health authorities. 


4:20 a.m. ET, March 8, 2020

How long should you spend washing your hands? There's a tune from every decade that can help

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Health officials maintain one of the best ways to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading is by washing your hands. 

Simple enough, right? Wrong. 

There's a proper way to do it. 

Instructions from the US CDC say you should be lathering soap on your hands for at least 20 seconds. To help you keep track of time, the agency suggests you hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice.

For those who don't want "Happy Birthday" stuck in their head, here's a list of songs with a tune from each decade to help you jam out as you're scrubbing off the germs:

  • The 50s: "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley
  • The 60s: "My Girl" by The Temptations
  • The 70s: "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
  • The 80s: "I love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  • The 90s: "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
  • The 2000s: "Ms. Jackson" by OutKast
  • The 2010s: "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo

Get the lyrics and read the full article here.

3:59 a.m. ET, March 8, 2020

A third of residents in South Korean apartment block contract coronavirus

From CNN’s Yoonjung Seo in Seoul 

A South Korean apartment complex is under lockdown after one third of its residents became infected with the novel coronavirus in the city of Daegu, according to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Of the 140 residents in the two apartment buildings, 94 are members of the Shincheonji religious group, Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin said on Saturday. The apartment complex is to be under quarantine, he added.

So far, 46 residents have been confirmed to have the virus, 80 have tested negative and the remaining 14 are being tested, KCDC said.

The Shincheonji group said in a statement on Sunday that 80 of its members are living at this apartment currently, not 94 as announced by the Daegu city mayor, and the group is looking into the discrepancy between their own information and Daegu city’s.

There are a total of 7,134 cases of the virus nation-wide and Daegu city is the most heavily hit area of the country. About 90% of South Korea’s infected cases are from Daegu city and North Gyeongsang Province, which surrounds Daegu, combined.


5:31 a.m. ET, March 8, 2020

India reports five more coronavirus cases

From CNN's Vedika Sud

Five more people have tested positive for coronavirus in the southern Indian state of Kerala, taking the number of infected people across the country to 39. 

Three of the five have a travel history from Italy, the other two cases are relatives who came into contact with them, according to Dr. Amar Fettle, the nodal officer for coronavirus in Kerala.

The three patients had traveled from Venice, in Italy, to Doha, in Qatar, and landed in Kochi, Kerala, on February 29. They did not reveal their travel history at the Kochi airport.

A few days after their return, they met relatives. Later, two family members visited a hospital in Kerala with symptoms of fever and tested positive for the virus.  

The five patients have been kept in isolation, in a hospital in Kerala.

Fettle said extensive contact tracing has begun by the Kerala government to limit the spread of the virus. Passengers who had traveled on Qatar Airways flight numbers QR126 and QR514, to Doha and Kochi respectively on February 29, have been requested to contact health officials immediately.