Medical workers outside Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University, where students have been place under quarantine, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

March 9 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Tara John and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 10:14 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020
25 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
3:55 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Princess Cruise Lines is offering passengers a 100% refund

From CNN's Lucy Kavanov and Dan Simon 

Princess Cruises is offering thousands of stranded passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship a full refund, according to a letter sent to guests by the cruise line on Sunday. 

The Grand Princess, docked off the California coast, has been in limbo since Wednesday, when officials learned a California man who traveled on the same ship last month later died of coronavirus. 

In the letter obtained by CNN, the cruise line told travelers that all monies paid to Princess Cruises as well as air fare accommodations will be reimbursed. Each guest will also receive a future cruise credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid for the current voyage, according to the letter.

Ship under quarantine: There are currently 21 people confirmed with coronavirus aboard the ship, which is expected to dock sometime today in Oakland, California.

Among the infected on the ship are 19 crew members and two passengers, though the number of onboard infections could rise, as not all of the approximately 3,500 people on board -- including passengers and crew -- have been tested.

About 1,000 California residents from the ship will go into mandatory quarantine at Travis Air Force Base and Miramar Naval Air Station, the US Department of Health and Human Services said Sunday.

3:47 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Saudi Arabia bans shisha nationwide over coronavirus fears

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi

Saudi Arabia has suspended the serving of shisha in cafes and restaurants across the kingdom to prevent the spread of coronavirus, said the Ministry of Municipal Affairs today.

Shisha is tobacco smoked on a water pipe popular in cafes around the Middle East.

A total of 11 cases have been confirmed in Saudi Arabia as of yesterday, according to state media.

The kingdom has also taken other measures to battle coronavirus including suspending the Mecca pilgrimage, temporarily prohibiting travel to and from Al Qateef province, and halting flights from several countries. 

3:44 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Australia just confirmed six more coronavirus patients

From journalist Chermaine Lee in Hong Kong

Australia has confirmed six new novel coronavirus cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 80 as of Monday morning local time, according to a statement from the country's of Department of Health.

Four of those cases were recorded Sunday in the state of New South Wales. They include:

  1. A female health care worker in her thirties. She was in contact with another case, from a retirement home.
  2. A woman in her fifties who was also in contact with another person diagnosed with the virus case.
  3. A man in his seventies who has no recent overseas travel.
  4. A man in his forties who had traveled recently, but the government statement did not specify where.

One patient was confirmed in Victoria, health authorities there said. She is a woman in her fifties who flew from Jakarta to Perth on February 27 and developed symptoms on February 29. 

Another new case was confirmed in Queensland, involving a 38-year-old woman who recently traveled from London through Dubai, according to a statement from Queensland Health.

The total count: Of the now 80 patients in Australia who have contracted the virus, 22 have recovered. Three people have died.

3:30 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

US death toll is now at 22, with one new death in Washington

From CNN's Jason Kravarik

A coronavirus patient in Grant County, Washington, has died, according the Grant County Health District.

No other details were provided regarding this patient's case. In a press release, Health District Administrator Theresa Adkinson extended her condolences to the patient's family and friends.

That brings Washington state's death toll to 19, and the national death toll to 22.

The other 3 deaths outside Washington happened in California and Florida.

3:29 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Just tuning in? Here's what you need to know

Markets are plunging

Global stocks are falling and bond yields are sinking worldwide. Markets had been in dire straits due to fears surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus, but Saudi Arabia's decision Sunday to slash oil prices and start a price war with Russia appears to have caused a massive global stock selloff.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 7.3% on Monday, its biggest plunge since October 2008. Markets in Asia are faring only a bit better -- Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 3.5% by noon, setting the index up for its biggest decline in more than a year. South Korea's Kospi also fell 4%.

In US markets, the S&P 500 futures plunged by as much as 5% Sunday evening, triggering a limit that prevents futures from trading below that mark. Dow futures fell more than 1,200 points, or about 4.9%, and Nasdaq Composite  futures were down 4.8%.

The infection rate in the US continues to rise

There are 565 people in the United States who have contracted the novel coronavirus, according to the state and local health agencies and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Forty-nine of those cases have been repatriated from abroad, according to the CDC -- three from Wuhan, the epicenter of the global outbreak, and 46 who were aboard the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship in Japan where hundreds were infected.

Twenty-one cases were identified aboard another cruise ship currently off the California coast, the Grand Princess.

Two legislators, Republican Rep. Paul Gosar and Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, announced Sunday that they are both self-quarantining after coming into contact with an individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who later tested positive for the virus.

Washington state in the Pacific Northwest remains the hardest-hit region. Leaders there are grappling with an outbreak at Life Care Center nursing home in suburban Seattle, where at least 16 people have died, the county health department said.

In total, 22 people have died nationwide.

The outbreak in Europe is worsening

Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe with more than 7,300 coronavirus patients and 366 fatalities, has locked down much of the country's north to stop the virus from spreading further. Nearly 15 million people have been affected by the travel restrictions.

While the lockdown only applies to northern Italy, other measures will be applied to the entire country. These include the suspension of schools, university classes, theaters and cinemas, as well as bars, nightclubs, and sports events. Religious ceremonies, including funerals, will also be suspended.

In neighboring France, the number of cases has grown to over 1,100, with at least 19 deaths, as fears of a Europe-wide epidemic continue to grow. Germany has reported 847 cases, Spain has reported 647 cases and 17 fatalities and the United Kingdom has reported 273 cases and 3 fatalities.

3:24 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

There are now 565 coronavirus cases in the United States

From CNN's Tina Burnside in Atlanta

There are 565 people in the United States who have contracted the novel coronavirus, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Forty-nine of those cases have been repatriated, according to the CDC -- three from Wuhan, the epicenter of the global outbreak, and 46 who were aboard the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship in Japan where hundreds were infected. Twenty-one people aboard the Grand Princess, a ship sailing off the California coast, have also been infected.

According to a CNN tally of cases that have been detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems, 495 people in 34 states and the District of Columbia have contracted the virus.

That number 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's a state-by-state breakdown of the cases:

  1. Arizona: 5 cases
  2. California: 89 cases, 1 fatality
  3. Colorado: 8 cases
  4. Connecticut: 1 case
  5. DC: 1 case
  6. Florida: 13 cases, 2 fatalities
  7. Georgia: 11 cases
  8. Hawaii: 2 cases
  9. Illinois: 7 cases
  10. Indiana: 2 cases
  11. Iowa: 3 cases
  12. Kansas: 1 case
  13. Kentucky: 4 cases
  14. Maryland: 5 cases
  15. Massachusetts: 28 cases
  16. Minnesota: 2 cases
  17. Missouri: 1 case
  18. Nebraska: 3 cases
  19. Nevada: 4 cases
  20. New Hampshire: 4 cases
  21. New Jersey: 6 cases
  22. New York: 106 cases
  23. North Carolina: 2 cases
  24. Oklahoma: 1 case
  25. Oregon: 14 cases
  26. Pennsylvania: 6 cases
  27. Rhode Island: 3 cases
  28. South Carolina: 6 cases
  29. Tennessee: 3 cases
  30. Texas: 12 cases
  31. Utah: 1 case
  32. Vermont: 1 case
  33. Virginia: 2 cases
  34. Washington state: 137 cases, 19 fatalities
  35. Wisconsin: 1 case
3:16 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

The Philippines has now identified 10 coronavirus patients

From journalist Chermaine Lee in Hong Kong

The Philippines confirmed its 10th novel coronavirus case on Sunday, according to government-run Philippines News Agency.

The agency reported the following about the new patients:

  • The seventh patient identified is a 38-year-old Taiwanese man. He first started showing symptoms Tuesday and he has no recent travel history outside of the Philippines. He is reported to have had contact with another Taiwanese foreign national who visited the Philippines but then later tested positive back in Taiwan.
  • The eighth patient is a 32-year-old man from the Philippines who traveled to Japan in the past 14 days. He started showing symptoms on Thursday.
  • The ninth case patient is an 86-year-old American man who had traveled to the US recently. He started showing symptoms March 1 and has hypertension. 
  • The 10th case is a 57-year-old man from the Philippines who reportedly reported was in contact with a confirmed case, but has no recent travel history.
3:10 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

A third coronavirus patient has died in the UK

From CNN’s Hira Humayun in Atlanta

The UK confirmed its third coronavirus-related death on Sunday.

The patient was over 60 years old, and was being treated at North Manchester General Hospital, said a statement from Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.

He added that the patient had “significant underlying health conditions” and had recently traveled from an affected area.

2:57 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

India just confirmed its 41st coronavirus case

From CNN's Vedika Sud in New Delhi

A 60-year-old Indian woman in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, authorities said.

The woman has traveled to Iran recently, which is mired in one of the world's worst outbreaks of the deadly virus, according to Dr. Renu Sharma, the director of Jammu Health Services.

She is currently being treated in a hospital.

Total cases: There have now been 41 cases identified in India. Three of them returned from Wuhan, the capital of hard-hit Hubei province and the epicenter of the global epidemic, and have since recovered.