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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9:15 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Grand Princess approves program for passengers to get fresh air and sunlight 

From CNN's Sarah Moon

A program to rotate guests to get some fresh air and sunlight on the Grand Princess cruise ship has been approved, Capt. John Harry Smith said in an announcement today.

They will prioritize passengers who are staying in the inside staterooms first, he added.

The first 405 medical prescriptions for passengers have been delivered and the next batch are being processed according to priority, the captain said.

“One guest was disembarked for medical reasons this morning on the boat that brought the medicine to the ship,” Smith said.

9:15 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Qatar temporarily suspends entry from 14 additional countries over coronavirus

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq 

Qatar announced Sunday it is temporarily suspending entry from 14 countries in addition to Italy in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus , according to a statement from the Qatar Government Communications Office.

“In addition to Qatar Airways announcement regarding flights to and from Italy, entry to the State of Qatar is temporarily suspended for all those intending to travel from certain countries, as of 9 March 2020,” the statement said.

The following countries were included on the temporary suspension:

  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria
  • Thailand
9:05 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Vietnam confirms nine new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Sarah Faidell and jouranlist Chermaine Lee

Vietnam confirmed nine additional cases of novel coronavirus on Sunday, totaling 30 in the country, according to a government statement.

All new cases were on the same flight of Viet Nam Airlines with a previously confirmed patient who flew from the United Kingdom to Vietnam on March 2.

They are all foreign nationals – seven from England, one from Mexico and one from Iceland aged between 58 and 74.

9:04 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Second presumptive positive case of coronavirus identified in Minnesota is travel related

From CNN’s Hollie Silverman 

The second presumptive positive case of coronavirus has been identified in Minnesota, according to a press release from the state Department of Health.

The case is a resident of Carver County in their 50s who was likely exposed to the virus while traveling in Europe in late February, the release said.

The patient developed symptoms on March 2 and sought health care Saturday, according to the release. The patient is in isolation at home and is recovering, the release said.

Health officials are working to identify and contact anyone who was in contact with the patient. Anyone identified will be asked to quarantine for 14 days, according to the release.

9:03 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Malaysia reports six new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Sarah Faidell and jouranlist Chermaine Lee

Malaysia confirmed six new coronavirus cases on Sunday, raising the nationwide tally to 99, according to a report from state media Bernama.

All new cases are the close contacts of a cluster linked to a previous case.

Out of the 99 cases, 24 are fully recovered and discharged from the hospital.


9:00 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

The first three presumptive positive cases coronavirus reported in Iowa

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Iowa has identified three presumptive positive cases of coronavirus, the first cases in the state, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The three patients are all residents of Johnson County who were on a cruise in Egypt, the department said in a press release on Sunday.

The group was on the cruise between February 17 and March 2. They returned to the US on March 3, state public health director Gerd Clabaugh said during a press conference.

One of the patients is between the ages of 41 and 60, and the two others are between the ages of 61 and 80, the release said.

Two patients have underlying health conditions, but none of them required hospitalization, according to the release.

A total of 37 people have undergone testing in Iowa for the virus. Of those 37, three were positive, 26 were negative and eight tests are still pending, according to Clabaugh.

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

Pelosi and Schumer urge Trump to include paid sick leave and other provisions in any proposal to confront coronavirus impact

From CNN’s Kevin Bohn

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged President Donald Trump to include several provisions -- including paid sick leave and enhanced unemployment insurance -- in any possible proposal by the administration to stem the harmful economic consequences of the coronavirus and provide stimulus.

In light of reports that the Trump administration is considering new tax cuts for major corporations impacted by the coronavirus, we are demanding that the administration prioritize the health and safety of American workers and their families over corporate interests," Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement.

The economic provisions they are asking for include paid sick leave, enhanced unemployment insurance and enhanced food aid such as more money for food stamps and school lunch programs.

"The administration must move more quickly and seriously to address the severe impacts of the coronavirus on the financial security of America’s families," they said in the statement.

CNN has asked the White House for comment regarding the Democrats’ proposals.

The administration has not said what it may include in any proposal aimed at reducing the economic impact.

8:57 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will self-quarantine after CPAC interaction

From CNN’s Adam Levine

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz will self-quarantine in Texas after interacting with an individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The interaction consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake," Cruz said in a statement.

Cruz said in a statement he is "not experiencing any symptoms" but "out of an abundance of caution" he will remain in Texas until a full 14 days passes after the interaction.

"The people who have interacted with me in the 10 days since CPAC should not be concerned about potential transmission," Cruz said.

8:13 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

No one reported 'unusual illness' after thousands screened in CPAC coronavirus case

From CNN’s Gregory Clary 

The American Conservative Union announced Sunday that no one has reported any "unusual illness" after the Maryland Department of Health screened thousands of employees from the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center and a Residence Inn.

The group hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference at the resort on February 26-29 and it was revealed on Saturday that an attendee subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus.

The release says the group is in contact with the infected individual and "he continues to be doing better."

"At this point, no other CPAC attendee, participant or staff has tested positive for coronavirus," the release said.