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February 12 coronavirus news

What we're covering here

  • The virus: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,100 people and infected over 45,000 people worldwide. The vast majority of cases are in mainland China.
  • Cruise ship crisis: A total of 175 cases have been confirmed on a cruise ship quarantined in Japan. More than 2,000 people are stranded on another cruise that was turned away from four ports, despite having no suspected cases.
  • Life in China: People are returning to work after entire cities and business sectors were shut down for more than two weeks in efforts to contain the outbreak. In Hubei province — the outbreak's epicenter — millions remain under lockdown.
8:58 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Our live coverage of the coronavirus outbreak has moved here.
7:34 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

New coronavirus case confirmed in southern California

A plane carrying evacuees from the virus zone in China lands at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Wednesday, February 5. Gregory Bull/AP/FILE

A new case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Southern California’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego County, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press officer Ana Toro told CNN. 

This is the second evacuee from Wuhan, China under quarantine at MCAS Miramar to test positive. 

More details: This is the 14th confirmed case in the US and the eighth in California.

7:29 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Death toll jumps by 242 in Hubei province while the global death toll from coronavirus rises to 1,357

The Hubei health authority reported that 242 more people died from the coronavirus in Hubei province on Wednesday, raising the death toll in the epicenter since the beginning of the outbreak to 1,310.

This brings the total number of deaths in mainland China to at least 1,355. The global death toll is at least 1,357, with one death in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.

Hubei authorities confirmed an additional 14,840 cases of the virus in Hubei on Wednesday, which brings the total number of cases in the epicenter of the outbreak to 48,206. The 14,840 figure includes both test confirmed cases and clinically diagnosed cases.

The government explained they are now adding "clinically diagnosed cases" in the tally of cases to make it easier for these patients to receive treatment early. 

There have been 33,693 patients hospitalized in Hubei, including 1,437 who are in critical condition, according to the health authority, adding that 3,441 patients have recovered and been discharged.

By the numbers: The global number of confirmed coronavirus cases has now exceeded 60,015 with the vast majority of cases in mainland China.

China’s National Health Commission is expected to release numbers for all of China’s provinces later.


4:25 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Anderson Cooper talks to a passenger on board the Westerdam cruise ship live at 5 p.m. ET

CNN's Anderson Cooper will speak with Christina Kerby, a passenger traveling on the Westerdam cruise liner, about the coronavirus outbreak live at 5 p.m. ET.

The MS Westerdam remains at sea, with more than 2,000 people on board. The vessel has been denied entry by at least four different ports over fears of the virus — though no cases have been confirmed on board so far.
Refresh this page to watch Anderson Cooper Full Circle live in the video player above.
2:39 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

A ninth person has been diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK

A ninth patient has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom, Public Health England said in a statement on Wednesday.

“One further patient in England has tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to nine,” the country's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chris Whitty said in the statement.

Whitty said the virus was “passed on in China" and that the patient was taken to a hospital in London.

2:29 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Mobile World Congress has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak

People walk past posters announcing the Mobile World Congress 2020 in a conference venue in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, February 11.  The organizer of the event announced that it would be cancelled in a segment on Wednesday. Emilio Morenatti/AP

Mobile World Congress, the world's largest annual mobile event, has been canceled due to coronavirus, according to a statement from the organizer.

“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event. The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision," GSMA CEO John Hoffman said in a statement.

The decision comes after major tech companies one after the other have been pulling out of the event due to safety concerns.

2:19 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

WHO official says it's too soon to predict the end of the coronavirus outbreak

It's too early to predict the end of the current novel coronavirus outbreak, said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's health emergencies program.

“We would love to be able to predict the future,” Ryan said during a news conference on Wednesday. "I think we have to be very cautious.”

The number of new coronavirus cases being reported out of China has appeared to slow down.

"The number of newly confirmed cases reported from China has stabilized over the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution. This outbreak could still go in any direction,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during the news conference.

At the news conference, Ryan said that the stabilization in cases is “reassuring” and is the "result of the huge public health operation in China.”

WHO on Wednesday reported 44,730 cases of coronavirus in China, with 1,114 deaths. Outside of China, there are 441 cases and one death, according to WHO.

2:21 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Coronavirus death toll climbs to 1,115 around the globe

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The number of novel coronavirus deaths has risen to 1,115, out of 45,171 cases diagnosed globally, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news conference on Wednesday.

“As of 6 a.m. Geneva time this morning, there are 44,730 cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in China, with 1,114 deaths,” he said, adding that “outside China, there are 441 cases from 24 countries, and one death.”

The WHO director-general went on to say his organization was in constant contact with the Japanese government and the owners of the cruise ship Diamond Princess “to protect the health of all passengers."

“Of the 48 new cases confirmed outside China yesterday [Tuesday], 40 were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is currently quarantined in Yokohama, Japan,” the WHO director-general added.

He also said that the number of confirmed cases reported from China has “declined steadily for the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution.”

2:04 p.m. ET, February 12, 2020

Coronavirus could "gain a foothold in the US," CDC official says

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking steps to help prevent the possible spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States and prepare for an outbreak here, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a call with reporters on Wednesday.

"Most of the disease is in China, however, we can and should be prepared for this new virus to gain a foothold in the US. The goal of the measures we have taken to date are to slow the introduction and impact of this disease in the United States, but at some point we are likely to see community spread in the US or other countries and this will trigger a change in our response strategy,” Messonnier said during the call.

"This will require the effort of all levels of government, the public health system and our communities as we face these challenges together,” Messonnier said. "One important aspect of this is taking steps to make sure there are enough supplies and appropriate guidance to prevent spread of the disease, especially among health care personnel caring for patients.”

Some of the steps the CDC has taken include speaking regularly with manufacturers of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment or PPE, such as face masks, to make sure that enough supplies are available in case they are needed.

"CDC does not currently recommend the use of face masks for the general public. This virus is not spreading in the community,” Messonnier said.

But in an effort to make sure enough supplies are available in case of an outbreak in the United States, “CDC talks regularly with health care industry partners as well as PPE manufacturers and distributors to assess availability of PPE. At this time, some partners are reporting higher than usual demand for select N95 respirators and face masks,” Messonnier said.

Confirmed cases in the US: There are 13 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, including seven in California, two in Illinois, one in Arizona, one in Massachusetts, one in Washington state and one in Wisconsin. This includes two instances of known person-to-person transmission – one in California and one in Illinois.