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February 2 coronavirus news

What we're covering here

  • The latest: The coronavirus outbreak has killed at least 305 people and infected more than 14,300 globally, as it continues to spread beyond China. One person outside mainland China, a man in the Philippines, has died.
  • Global spread: The virus has been confirmed in more than 25 countries and territories since it was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December. Countries are now sending planes to evacuate their citizens from the infection zone, and imposing travel bans or restrictions on mainland China.
  • Race to contain: Nearly 60 million people are under lockdown in Chinese cities as international researchers race to develop a vaccine and halt its spread.

9:28 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Please click here to read more live updates on the coronavirus outbreak.
8:34 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Canada fields hundreds of requests for departure assistance from Hubei Province due to coronavirus

Canadian officials have fielded 325 requests for departure assistance from Hubei Province in China due to the coronavirus, Global Affairs Canada said Sunday in a statement.

Canada is attempting to charter a plane to take Canadians from Wuhan, China, back to Canada, the statement said. Hubei is the epicenter of the outbreak

There are currently 543 Canadians in Hubei who have registered with the voluntary Registration of Canadians Abroad service. There are currently 15,219 Canadians in China (including Hong Kong) who have registered with the voluntary service.

Since registration is voluntary, this number is not a complete picture of Canadians in the region or in China, the statement said.

Only Canadian citizens who have entered China with a Canadian passport will be allowed to board the plane back to Canada, Global Affairs Canada said. Canadian citizens will need to have a valid Canadian passport and a valid Chinese visa to board the plane.

Canadians who appear to have symptoms will not be able to board, according to Global Affairs Canada.

7:59 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Confirmed cases of Wuhan coronavirus increase to 17,205 in China

The total number of confirmed Wuhan coronavirus cases in mainland China stands at 17,205, the country's National Health Commission said Sunday,

That figure is up 2,829 from the previous day.

The death toll globally is 362. All but one of those deaths have occurred in mainland China.

9:43 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Thai doctor says new drug combination treated coronavirus patient

Doctors in Thailand say they have successfully treated one Wuhan coronavirus patient with a combination of antiviral drugs, according to a briefing on Sunday from the Ministry of Health.

Dr.Kriangsak Atipornwanich, a doctor at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, said he treated a 71-year-old female patient from China with a combination of drugs used in HIV and flu treatments. He said the patient had previously been treated with only anti-HIV drugs.

“I had treated a patient with severe condition, and the result has been very satisfactory. The patient’s condition has improved very quickly within 48 hours. And the test result has also changed from being positive into negative within 48 hours as well,” Atipornwanich said. 

Officials at the press conference said the latest lab test has showed there’s no trace of the virus in the patient’s respiratory system.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health, told CNN last week there are currently no proven effective drugs to treat the virus. 

Hospitals in Beijing have reported using the same drugs given to HIV and AIDs patients are part of treatment for the Wuhan coronavirus, though it is unclear if they have been successful.

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to accurately reflect the number of patients successfully treated
6:41 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Coronavirus outbreak death toll now 361

The Hubei health authority reported that 56 people died of the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the death toll since the beginning of the outbreak to 361.

Authorities confirmed an additional 2,103 cases of the virus in Hubei, according to the health authority, which brings the total number of cases to over 16,600.

The health authority said 9,618 patients have been hospitalized, including 478 who are in critical condition.

6:42 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Russia halts all rail services to and from China

Russia is suspending all international rail services between Russia and China, including those operated by Chinese rail companies, Russian Railways said Sunday.

Unused tickets for cancelled trains booked and issued at Russian points of sale can be returned without incurring any charges or fees, the company’s statement said.

6:31 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

US now has 9 cases of novel coronavirus

There are now nine cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States. There are four confirmed cases in California; one case each in Massachusetts, Washington state and Arizona and two in Illinois. The second case in Illinois is the only instance so far of person-to-person transmission in the United States, state health officials said.

Confirmed cases by state: Nine confirmed cases as of Sunday, February 2.

Arizona – 1

California – 4

Illinois – 2

Massachusetts – 1

Washington state – 1

6:17 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

DHS adds four more gateway airports for US citizens who have traveled to China

The US Department of Homeland Security added four airports – Dallas, Detroit, Newark and Dulles – to the list of airports where US citizens who have traveled to China in the last 14 days can enter the US, according to a statement from the agency.

The four new airports add to the seven gateway airports that were initially listed: JFK, LAX, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Honolulu.

The restrictions began at 5 p.m. ET Sunday night.

DHS says those airports have an increased ability to conduct enhanced screening procedures. Citizens who have been in Hubei province in the last 14 days of their return will face 14 days of mandatory quarantine. Those who have been to other parts of China will have 14 days of self-quarantine.

Foreign nationals will be largely denied entry to the US unless they are the immediate family members of US citizens, permanent residents or flight crew.

6:12 p.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Santa Clara County, California, confirms second case of novel coronavirus

Santa Clara County, California, confirmed the second case of the novel coronavirus, the Santa Clara County public health department said Sunday.

This second case of the virus is in an adult female, the public health department said in a statement. The newest case is unrelated to the first case but both individuals recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the department said.

The newest patient arrived January 23 to visit family in Santa Clara County, public health officials said.

“She has stayed home since she arrived, except for two times to seek outpatient medical care. She has been regularly monitored and was never sick enough to be hospitalized," the statement said.

There have been four cases of the coronavirus in California.