Minister rejects false rumors that "those with black skin cannot get coronavirus" as Kenya records first case
From CNN’s Mia Alberti in London and Bethlehem Feleke in Nairobi
Kenya has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, prompting its health secretary to warn that being black is no protection against COVID-19.
Secretary of Health Mutahi Kagwe rejected rumors that “those with black skin cannot get coronavirus” at a news conference, adding that the patient was African.
The government said the patient was a 27-year-old woman who traveled from the United States through London on March 5. The case was identified on March 12 and the government said it had traced all those who had come into contact with her.
Kagwe told reporters the patient is “stable, her temperature has gone down to normal, she’s been eating -- but she can’t be released until the test comes back as negative.”
The government said in a statement that it was strengthening “measures to ensure no further transmission of the disease" in Kenya.
Kenya’s Secretary for Tourism, Najib Balala, said the country’s economy would be “hit badly,” and that the tourism sector would be the most affected.
Balala said the government has allocated 500 million Kenyan shillings ($4.8 million) for “PR and marketing post-coronavirus.”
6:41 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020
Kazakhstan confirms first two coronavirus cases
From CNN's Isaac Yee
Kazakhstan has confirmed the country's first two cases of the novel coronavirus as two citizens who had been in Germany.
"Unfortunately, we should inform that two nationals of Kazakhstan have tested positive for the coronavirus. They both arrived from Germany," said Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov on Friday, according to state news agency Kazinform.
Birtanov added: "Both of them were hospitalized. Neither of them has clinical symptoms, they feel well."
Earlier on Friday, Kazakhstan's Civil Aviation Committee announced it had suspended international flights to countries including the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the UK.
6:31 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020
Iran rejects Trump’s offer of coronavirus help as "hypocritical" and "repulsive"
From CNN’s Radina Gigova
Iran has rejected an apparent offer by US President Donald Trump to help the nation in the fight against coronavirus, calling it “hypocritical” and “repulsive” and accusing the US of “economic and medical terrorism.”
“Instead of hypocritical displays of compassion and repulsive bragging, you should end your economic and medical terrorism so that medicine and medical supplies can reach medical staff and the Iranian people,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Friday, according to state-run Press TV.
“We do not need American doctors,” Mousavi said on Friday, adding that Iran has “the best, bravest and most component medical staff in the world.”
During a meeting with Ireland’s Prime Minister at the White House on Thursday, Trump said the US was offering “assistance” to Iran.
“We have the greatest doctors in the world, we offer Iran assistance,” Trump said.
There are 10,075 confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran and 429 deaths, according to the latest Health Ministry numbers.
6:31 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020
English Premier League side Everton self-isolating after player reported symptoms
From CNN’s Aleks Klosok in London
English Premier League side Everton confirmed on Friday that their entire first-team squad has been placed into self-isolation following medical advice after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus.
The football club said it was in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff and had closed down all of its workplaces, including its Goodison Park stadium and USM Finch Farm training ground.
Everton joins Premier League sides Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City in having players tested or in quarantine.
Premier League side Watford confirmed on Friday that one player is awaiting test results on his symptoms.
“We've had players who have had symptoms of not being well," manager Nigel Pearson said at a news conference. "We've got one player awaiting tests results on his symptoms. We are trying to be proactive and hopefully the Premier League will make a strong decision based on what is good for everybody.”
With the exception of Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Arsenal, which has already been postponed, all games in the English Premier League this weekend are currently due to go ahead as planned.
6:21 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020
London tube driver tests positive for coronavirus
From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite
A London Underground driver has tested positive for coronavirus, Transport for London has confirmed.
A TfL spokesperson said: “A train driver on the Jubilee line has tested positive for COVID-19. They are receiving support from health services and are self-isolating.
"Their duties mean they were not working in a customer facing area. The safety of our staff and customers is our top priority and we are taking all necessary precautions.
"The areas where the driver worked are being cleaned, including the depot and the trains, in line with guidance from Public Health England with whom we are working closely.”
This is the second confirmed case among TFL workers, after an office worker tested positive on Monday.
5:59 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020
At least 1,666 coronavirus cases and 41 deaths confirmed in US
From CNN's Joe Sutton
There are now at least 1,666 novel coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are 70 cases of repatriated citizens who have the coronavirus, according to the CDC.
CNN Health’s tally of US cases that have been detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems shows there are 1,596 cases in 47 states and the District of Columbia, bringing the total number of cases to 1,666.
In total, 41people have died.
This includes presumptive positive cases that tested positive in a public health lab and are pending confirmation from the CDC, and cases confirmed by the CDC.
5:46 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020
Singapore restricts entry to cruise vessels
From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong
Singapore will cease port calls for all cruise vessels, effective immediately, according to the country's Maritime and Port Authority.
In a news release today, the Maritime and Port Authority said that the new measure barring cruise ships was implemented to minimize the risk of community spread of the coronavirus.
Singapore has 187 confirmed cases of the virus, according to the World Health Organization.
The measure comes after several cruise ships, most famously the Diamond Princess, were docked under quarantine with infected cases found on board.
Just this week, the Grand Princess cruise ship docked off the California coast had cases confirmed aboard and all passengers were sent to government quarantine centers.
8:15 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020
Missed CNN’s latest coronavirus town hall? Here are 5 important questions that were addressed
1. Will the outbreak end during the summer?
Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore Health Commissioner, echoed what many experts have said at the town hall: we just don't know yet.
2. If you had the coronavirus and recovered, can you still can still transmit the disease?
Just because someone who had the coronavirus is feeling better does not mean they can't spread the disease, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US's top infectious disease doctor and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"You can become infected, get symptomatic, resolve the symptoms, feel well, and still share the virus. You can go back to your normal life when you have two consecutive tests for the coronavirus that are negative, separated by 24 hours. That is an excellent question. Just because you feel better or feel well does not mean you are not sharing the virus," Fauci said.
3. If you get the coronavirus once, can you contract it again?
The answer to that is not yet clear, according to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious diseases epidemiologist with the World Health Organization.
"Studies are ongoing now. Across a number of countries. We'll have to get back to you on that," she said.
4. Should you travel?
Fauci said he "certainly wouldn't get on a plane for a pleasure trip. It would have to be something that was really urgent."
"I'm a pretty healthy guy for 79," Fauci said. "If it (the trip) had to do with the public health and I needed to do something for the public health, I might do that because I'm quite healthy. However, if it was just for fun -- no way I would do it."
5. What does the Trump administration's latest travel ban mean for me?
The restrictions will ban travel to the US from 26 European countries -- a group in Europe called the Schengen Area -- Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The ban will be in effect for anyone who is transiting through the listed countries, not just arriving from them, according to CNN correspondent Richard Quest -- meaning, for instance, someone in Paris could not travel to London and then go to the US.
The ban does not apply to US citizens in Europe. They are allowed to return, but the procedure is not exactly clear. They will need to go to designated airports to fly back. It's unclear whether they will have to immediately self-isolate once they arrive, or whether that may only apply to symptomatic people.
5:21 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020
First women’s golf major of the year postponed due to coronavirus
From CNN’s Aleks Klosok in London
The next three tournaments on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA) Tour -- including the first women’s golf major of the year -- have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The LPGA is the American organization for female professional golfers.
The Founders Cup in Arizona, the Kia Classic and the ANA Inspiration in California �� which were due to take place in March and early April – have been suspended. The LPGA says it hopes they can be rescheduled for later in the season.
“This is a difficult situation and as we navigate these uncertain times, we appreciate the support of all those involved with the LPGA. I am fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule, especially our first major, the ANA Inspiration,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.
Men's tournaments have also been postponed: The men’s PGA Players Championship in Florida was canceled after one round, with organizers saying it was “the right thing to do” during the coronavirus outbreak.
The event is not a major championship but is often referenced as “The Fifth Major” given its status in the golfing calendar.
The PGA Tour has also stopped all play until the Valero Texas Open, which is scheduled to begin on April 2.
The Masters – the first men’s major of 2020 – is due to start a week later at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.