March 6 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, James Griffiths, Adam Renton, Fernando Alfonso III, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:19 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020
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4:19 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

India urges citizens to avoid mass gatherings, just days before Holi festivities

From CNN's Vedika Sud in New Delhi and Akanksha Sharma in Hong Kong

Hindu devotees smeared in colored powder carry the images of Lord Shiva, left, and Goddess Parvati from the Kashi Vishwanath temple during Holi, the spring festival of colours, in Varanasi on March 5.
Hindu devotees smeared in colored powder carry the images of Lord Shiva, left, and Goddess Parvati from the Kashi Vishwanath temple during Holi, the spring festival of colours, in Varanasi on March 5. Stringer/AFP via Getty Images

Indian authorities have advised all states to avoid mass gatherings until the coronavrius' spread is contained, the Ministry of Health said in a tweet today.

The tweet carried a memorandum from the ministry recommending individual state governments "take necessary action" to guide event organizers on precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

This comes right before a big festival: Holi is a major Hindu festival that falls on March 10 this year.

Earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he would not attend any Holi events this year in an effort to avoid public gatherings. And yesterday, the country's president also announced cancellations of traditional Holi gatherings at the presidential palace.

The Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president's official residence, will also close for the public from Saturday to avoid any large gatherings.

4:05 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

South Korea confirms 309 more coronavirus cases, raising national total to 6,593

From CNN's Hyoungjoo Choi in Seoul

South Korea reported 309 more confirmed cases of the coronavirus today, bringing the national total to 6,593, according to the country’s Central Disaster Relief Headquarters.

As of today, around 70% of all cases nationwide are related to community spread, and over 60% of all cases are linked with a branch of the Shincheonji religious group in the southern city of Daegu.

3:58 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

South Korea expresses "strong regret" over Japan’s travel restrictions

From CNN’s Yoonjung Seo and Hyoungjoo Choi in Seoul

Airport employees set up an advanced thermal imaging camera to screen passengers at Narita airport in Tokyo on January 23.
Airport employees set up an advanced thermal imaging camera to screen passengers at Narita airport in Tokyo on January 23. Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry expressed “strong regret” today over travel restrictions Japan imposed yesterday.

South Korea says it made repeated requests for Japan to review the situation before taking action, and had hoped Tokyo would have “sufficiently” consulted Seoul before making the decision. 

South Korea raised the idea that an ulterior motive was behind Japan’s decision as it says its efforts to contain the coronavirus have been recognized by the international community.

South Korea’s National Security Council also held a meeting Friday to consider taking corresponding measures against Japan and called into question Japan’s efforts to contain the virus, saying Tokyo had taken “unclear and passive measures.”

The measures in place: Under the new travel restrictions, travelers from South Korea and China will be quarantined for two weeks upon arrival in Japan.

Incoming arrivals from those two countries will be asked to stay in designated places and to refrain from using public transportation.

3:44 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

Taiwan confirms two more coronavirus cases, raising total to 44

From CNN’s Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Taiwan has confirmed two more coronavirus cases, bringing the island's total to 44.

One of the cases was "imported" -- a Taiwanese resident who returned from the Philippines on March 3, said Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control.

The other case is a Taiwanese resident with no recent travel history, but who was in close contact with another infected patient.

3:38 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

A rabbi in New York has tested positive for coronavirus 

A New York rabbi, who teaches at Yeshiva University’s Washington Heights campus in Manhattan, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement from the university.

Rabbi Reuven Fink, of the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue, had been in self-quarantine after being in contact with an infected congregant.

Yeshiva University said it has reached out to Rabbi Fink's students and recommended self-quarantining. 

The New York State Health Department has reported 22 cases of coronavirus in the state.

3:52 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

These countries all have coronavirus cases linked to Italy

With more than 3,800 cases and nearly 150 deaths, Italy is at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

Since the outbreak took hold in Italy in late February, it has spread across the continent, and infected travelers who have subsequently tested positive in destinations around the world.

These places have all confirmed cases with travel histories to Italy:

United States

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Los Angeles
  • New Hampshire
  • Colorado

Europe:

  • Gibraltar
  • Ukraine
  • Georgia
  • Russia
  • Greece
  • UK
  • Denmark
  • North Macedonia
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • Croatia
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Northern Ireland

Asia-Pacific

  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • New Zealand
  • India

Middle East:

  • Israel

Latin America and the Caribbean:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Dominican Republic
  • Mexico
3:19 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

The US has 228 coronavirus cases across 19 states

There are now 228 coronavirus cases and 14 deaths in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local governments.  

49 cases are repatriated from abroad: three from the Chinese city of Wuhan, and 46 from the Princess Diamond cruise ship in Japan.

179 cases were detected on US soil.

These cases include presumptive positive cases -- meaning patients have tested positive in local or state labs, and are pending confirmation in the federal CDC lab.

Here's the breakdown of the 179 cases across 19 states:

  1. Arizona: 2 
  2. California: 49 (including 1 death)
  3. Colorado: 2
  4. Florida: 4
  5. Georgia: 2
  6. Illinois: 5 
  7. Maryland: 3
  8. Massachusetts: 3
  9. Nevada: 1 
  10. New Hampshire: 2
  11. New Jersey: 2
  12. New York: 22
  13. North Carolina: 1 
  14. Oregon: 3
  15. Rhode Island: 2 
  16. Tennessee: 1 
  17. Texas: 4
  18. Washington state: 70 (including 13 deaths) 
  19. Wisconsin: 1
3:10 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

Just joining us? Here are the latest developments

US military preparing for a "second wave" of cases: Pentagon officials said that efforts to develop vaccines and an effective treatment plan might not be quick enough to wipe out the coronavirus before an expected "second wave" of cases next winter.

Bodies are "piling up" in Iran: After a large number of deaths in the Middle Eastern country believed to be connected to the virus, delays in testing have caused bodies to pile up in morgues. People are also having to abandon traditional Islamic burial rites over fears it could spread the virus.

India is canceling some Holi gatherings over the virus: The country's presidential palace has called off a traditional celebration of the Hindu festival, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is following advice to avoid public gatherings. At least 31 cases have been confirmed in the country.

The South Korean religious group linked to that country's outbreak had a donation rejected: Daegu, a city in the south of the East Asian country, refused a $10.1 million donation from the Shincheonji religious group, saying it should instead focus on being more transparent with the authorities and urging followers to get tested. The group has been linked to a major outbreak in the country which began in Daegu.

US health officials are investigating the death of a former cruise passenger: The man in his 70s died Thursday. He had previously been aboard a cruise ship with two passengers suspected of having the coronavirus. The news comes as testing began aboard the Grand Princess cruise liner off the coast of California. In neighboring Washington state, 13 people have died due to the virus.

CNN's global coronavirus town hall: Health experts from across the US and CNN correspondents around the world joined a live audience to discuss the coronavirus and answer viewers' questions. Click the "Town Hall" tab above to read those posts.

2:52 a.m. ET, March 6, 2020

The coronavirus has been a "gut punch" to the aviation industry

From CNN's Joshua Berlinger

A view of the Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai on March 5.
A view of the Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai on March 5. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus has had a dramatic effect on the global economy, with markets worldwide suffering losses. The Dow Jones closed down 970 points on Thursday, or 3.6%, marking its fifth-worst single-day point drop on record. The index was down nearly 1,148 points at its lowest point.

This roller coaster of a week saw the Dow post two of its best days in history in terms of points gained on Monday and Wednesday, and one of its worst point losses Tuesday.

The Fed shocked Wall Street Tuesday with an emergency rate cut to give businesses and households a boost, amid concerns that if coronavirus keeps people at home, consumer spending could fall. Travel and leisure companies are being hit hard. One executive in the aviation industry called the virus a "gut punch."

"This isn't economic in the sense that people want to travel but they can't afford to," said Gary Kelly, the CEO of Southwest Airlines. "We could discount prices tomorrow and it wouldn't do any good."

International carriers are taking a similar hit The outbreak could cost the airline industry as much as $113 billion in lost revenue, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

While there were no predictions about how long the aviation world will be impacted, Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said the "booking softness" is linked to substantial passenger "anxiety" -- a phenomenon the airline trade association in the US said may not be grounded in the actual risks to passengers.

"We're getting to the point where the reaction to the virus may be worse than the virus itself," said Nicholas Calio of Airlines for America.

Read the full story here.