March 10 coronavirus news

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3:53 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

50 people have contracted the coronavirus from one office in Seoul

From Journalist Hyoungjoo Choi and CNN’s Sophie Jeong in Seoul, South Korea

Medical staff take samples from workers at a building where multiple people were confirmed to have coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea on March 10.
Medical staff take samples from workers at a building where multiple people were confirmed to have coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea on March 10. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Fifty people tied to a single call center in the South Korean capital of Seoul have contracted the novel coronavirus, health authorities there said.

It is believed to be the biggest single infection cluster in Seoul. Most of the 7,513 coronavirus cases reported in South Korea have been in the southern city of Daegu and surrounding North Gyeongsang province. Fifty-four people have died in the outbreak..

Kwon Joon-wook, the vice-director of the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a Tuesday news conference that 46 employees and four related family members had been infected. The first case began showing symptoms on March 4.

The employees of the call center were not wearing masks when they were working, according to Kwon.

Health authorities are now conducting an epidemiological investigation on all 207 employees of the call center who were working on the same floor.

The building where the call center is located was closed and disinfected on Monday and an inspection center has been set up on the ground floor for residents and employees to be screened for the novel coronavirus, according to the Seoul city government. 

3:45 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Vietnam confirms another patient, raising total to 32

From CNN's Akanksha Sharma

Vietnam has reported another coronavirus case, raising the national total to 32, according to the government's online portal.

The patient is a 24-year old Vietnamese woman who lives in London, according to Vietnam's Ministry of Health. The patient is a close contact with another Vietnamese citizen who was previously confirmed to be infected -- a 26-year-old woman who traveled to the UK and returned to Hanoi last week.

The 26-year-old woman met with the 24-year old patient in London on February 2 and was confirmed to have the virus on March 7.

Upon discovering that the 26-year-old woman had been infected, the London resident went to a hospital in the city. Despite its recommendation to isolate herself, she then left London on a private plane and landed in Ho Chi Minh City, where she tested positive for the virus.

Of the total 32 cases confirmed so far in Vietnam, 16 have been discharged.

3:41 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Afghanistan now has 5 coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Ehsan Popalzai in Kabul

Health services staff in Afghanistan.
Health services staff in Afghanistan. Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images

A fifth coronavirus case has been confirmed in Afghanistan, authorities there said.

The new patient was reported in Samangan province in northern Afghanistan, according to Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health.

The patient had traveled recently to Iran, where thousands have been infected and more than 230 people have died.

Afghanistan's other four cases are all located in the northwestern province of Herat, which borders Iran.

3:29 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

India shuts part of border with Myanmar due to virus fears as citizens stranded in Iran fly home

From CNN's Vedika Sud and Swati Gupta in New Delhi

The northeastern Indian state of Manipur has closed its border with Myanmar amid coronavirus concerns, the region's chief minister tweeted.

Myanmar has not publicly confirmed any coronavirus cases within its borders, but several Indian states in the country's northeast are taking extra precautions as the virus spreads globally.

The nearby state of Arunachal Pradesh has banned the entry of foreigners due to fears of coronavirus spreading into the region. The state government issued a notice Friday stating that permits issued to foreigners to enter the state are being suspended until further notice.

Arunachal Pradesh is one of the states in India which comes under protected status and it also shares its border with China, Bhutan and Myanmar. Any individual who does not hold an Indian passport is required to apply for a "protected area permit" and can only enter the state once it is issued.

“Prevention is always better," Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted on Friday.

"To prevent spread of coronavirus in Arunachal, the protected area permit (PAP) being issued to foreigners has been suspended. This is in view of the reported cases of virus being detected in our country through people coming from abroad,” he said.

India has now confirmed 47 coronavirus patients throughout the country.

Two more cases were confirmed in Pune in the state of Maharashtra by the city’s divisional commissioner, Deepak Mhaisekar. Both patients had returned recently from Dubai and are now being treated in hospital.

Meanwhile, the first group of 58 Indian nationals who were stranded in Iran, where at least 7,161 patients have been infected and 237 have died, have returned, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted.

 

3:21 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Spain confirms 1,204 coronavirus cases and announces new containment measures

From CNN’s Laura Perez Maestro in London and Hira Humayun in Atlanta

Spain now has a total of 1,204 coronavirus infections, including 28 deaths, said Health Minister Salvador Illa today. Some 74 of those patients are in intensive care units.

Illa also pointed to several “high community transmission risk areas,” including the Madrid region and the cities of Vitoria and Labastida in the Basque Country.

In these areas, additional measures will be imposed, including the “suspension of all classes in schools, nurseries and universities, as well as all the extra-curricular activities.” These suspensions will go into effect from tomorrow, for an initial 15 days.

"When possible we would like the people in these areas to work from home, we would like companies to be flexible in terms of working hours, older people should be attended at home and people who suffer from chronic illnesses or serious pathologies should limit their activities outside. People in general should avoid unnecessary travel," Illa added.

Illa also confirmed that Sevilla's Europa League soccer clash with Roma on Thursday will be played “behind closed doors.”

3:29 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Trump scare shows no American is immune from coronavirus risk

Analysis by CNN's Stephen Collinson in Washington

The White House insists President Donald Trump doesn't need a coronavirus test, despite several members of his political circle self-quarantining after they came into contact with a man later diagnosed with the disease.

They include Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who rode in "The Beast" limousine with Trump in the Sunshine State on Monday, before climbing up the steps of Air Force One behind the President. Incoming White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is also staying home until Wednesday despite his test coming back negative. Another Trump friend, Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, was pictured shaking hands with the President on Friday.

Revelations that the disease was only one step removed from the President himself underlined how its advance could put any American at risk and are unlikely to quell public anxiety. They also underscore the elevated risk to politicians whose work necessarily brings them into contact with large numbers of people -- especially in the heat of a general election year.

The drama is focusing attention on the fact that the three men left vying for the White House are all in their mid-to-late 70s -- a group with a high set of risk factors for coronavirus complications.

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3:06 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Here's the latest on the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to spread, with Mongolia and Panama confirming their first cases and other countries, including Austria, Thailand and Australia reporting additional infections today.

Here are the latest developments:

Mongolia reports its first case: The country announced its first case today -- a French national who arrived on a flight from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital city, on March 2. The patient is under isolation and in a stable condition.

Trump announces economic assistance: President Donald Trump said yesterday he would press lawmakers to enact a payroll tax cut and ensure assistance is available to hourly workers.

Xi in Wuhan: Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, today -- a significant show of confidence in the country's containment measures. Other senior government officials have visited Wuhan, but it was assumed until now that the risk to Xi, even if slight, was not worth the potential cost.

Australia cases reach 100: Australia reported 20 more cases today, raising the national total to 100. Of those cases, 22 have recovered and three have died.

Events are being canceled globally: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has called off his annual speech for Persian New Year as the country struggles with its outbreak. In the US, school classes and big events are also being canceled. Even entertainment is being affected, with "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune" taping episodes without audiences in attendance indefinitely.

2:55 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Asian stocks mount a recovery while Dow futures jump 800 points

From CNN's Clare Duffy in New York and Jill Disis in Hong Kong

Markets in Asia Pacific began to recover Tuesday, and US stock futures jumped more than 800 points a day after novel coronavirus fears and an oil price war sparked a worldwide panic.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed up 3.1%, the index's best day since November 2016. The strong showing saved the index from entering into a bear market, defined as a 20% drop below a recent high.

For a time, Australia's benchmark was the only major index in Asia Pacific that was trading firmly in the green as stocks struggled to find direction early in the day. But by early afternoon, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up nearly 2%, finding some stability after swinging between gains and losses. China's Shanghai Composite was up 1.9%. South Korea's Kospi was 0.3% higher.

Japan's Nikkei 225 increased 1.2%, recovering from earlier losses. The government there is expected to soon announce more emergency measures to contain the spread of the virus. Japanese companies are also feeling the pain from the toll the virus took on China last month: Nissan's vehicle sales in China dropped 80% in February compared to a year earlier.

US futures rally: US stock futures, meanwhile, are recovering after Monday's historic declines. After initially falling after hours, Dow futures shot up and were last trading up 850 points, or 3.6%, after President Donald Trump said he would press lawmakers to enact a payroll tax cut and ensure assistance is available to hourly workers amid a roiling coronavirus pandemic that's caused deep economic concerns and stock market shock. The Dow had ended the day with its biggest point drop in history, closing Monday down 2,014 points, or 7.8% -- its worst day since the 2008 financial crisis.

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2:46 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Coronavirus sparks total lockdown in Italy and alarm in the US as cases rise globally

From CNN's Jessie Yeung in Hong Kong

Italian soldiers patrol the gates at the Milan main train station on Monday.
Italian soldiers patrol the gates at the Milan main train station on Monday. Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP

The novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread globally, sparking a total lockdown across Italy and emergency measures worldwide, as markets recover from Monday's historic rout.

The virus, known as Covid-19, has now infected close to 113,000 people worldwide and resulted in more than 4,000 deaths. The majority of these cases are in mainland China, where the outbreak first emerged -- but the rate of infection has been slowing in the country, and the situation stabilizing, even as the virus wreaks havoc elsewhere

In an apparent show of confidence, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in virus-stricken Wuhan Tuesday, his first visit to the city at the epicenter of the global outbreak since the crisis began. The trip comes as Chinese authorities recorded 19 new cases, 17 of which were in Wuhan, and two imported from overseas -- marking the third straight day of no locally transmitted cases outside Hubei, the province of which Wuhan is the capital. Of the country's 80,754 patients, nearly 60,000 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

Other Asian countries like South Korea are also beginning to see a slowdown in the virus' spread. South Korea, which has carried out more than 190,000 tests as part of a free nationwide screening program, recorded it's lowest number of daily confirmed cases of the virus in weeks on Tuesday -- a sign that the country may has "passed the peak" of the outbreak, South Korean Health Minister Park Neunghoo told CNN.

But these cautious signs of progress throw into sharp relief the deteriorating situation in the West.

States across the US are declaring emergencies, with even congressmen being self-quarantined after exposure to a patient. And in Europe, the outbreak that began in Italy has spread far and wide, with nearby countries like Germany reporting dramatic spikes in daily cases.

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