January 29 coronavirus news

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8:45 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

China reports over 7,000 cases of Wuhan coronavirus cases

From CNN's Steven Jiang in Beijing

At least 7,711 cases of Wuhan coronavirus have been confirmed in China, including 170 deaths as of the end of Wednesday, according to China’s National Health Commission. 

This number reflects an increase of 1,737 cases and 38 deaths from Tuesday.

Tibet has now confirmed its first case of the coronavirus. All 31 provinces in mainland China have now reported cases of the Wuhan coronavirus.

8:15 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

Student starts petition to cancel classes at Arizona State University over coronavirus fears

From CNN's Allen Kim

A student at Arizona State University has started a petition to cancel classes after someone from the university was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus.

ASU freshman Taskina Bhuiyan, who is majoring in microbiology, started the petition on Change.org, and it had more than 21,000 signatures as of Wednesday evening.

It is unclear whether the infected person is a student or staff member. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) identified the person only as a "member of the Arizona State University community who does not live in university housing."

The person recently returned from Wuhan, China, where the virus is believed to have originated.

"As part of our case investigation, individuals who may have been exposed to the patient will be notified by public health and provided with proper follow-up," ADHS communications director Chris Minnick told CNN.

The ADHS said the patient is not severely ill. The patient is being kept in isolation to prevent the illness from spreading, according to the health department.

Keep reading.

8:07 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

Malaysia arrests four on suspicion of spreading fake news

From CNN's Chermaine Lee in Hong Kong

Malaysia arrested four people on Wednesday on suspicion of spreading fake news about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak on social media, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

The four include a 49-year-old part-time tutor, two 25-year-old and 30-year-old pharmacy assistants and a 24-year-old student. 

They have been accused of sharing false information about the novel coronavirus on Facebook and Twitter from Jan. 25 to 27. 

If prosecuted, they are subject to a maximum fine of $12,232 each and imprisonment for up to a year.

7:55 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

Three more cases of Wuhan coronavirus confirmed in Singapore

From CNN's Helen Regan in Hong Kong

Singapore’s Ministry of Health has confirmed three more cases of Wuhan coronavirus Thursday morning, bringing the country’s total to 10. 

All three cases are Chinese nationals who traveled from Wuhan, according to a statement from Singapore’s Health Ministry. 

Among the new cases are a married couple — a 56-year-old man and 56-year-old woman— and another 56-year-old man, who are in isolation rooms at the National Center of Infectious Diseases. 

All three new patients were asymptomatic during the flight to Singapore.

7:54 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

South Korean flights to repatriate citizens from Wuhan have been delayed

From CNN’s Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

The South Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry announced early Thursday morning (local time) that two planned charter flights to evacuate citizens from Wuhan had been delayed.

The flights had been scheduled to depart from Wuhan at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. local time. Now, the South Korean government is working with the Chinese government to organize flights as early as tonight, according to a Korean official.

A planned flight to bring British citizens back from Wuhan today has also been delayed.

7:28 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

President Trump has been briefed on the coronavirus

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Trump announced Wednesday that he received a briefing on the coronavirus. 

“Just received a briefing on the Coronavirus in China from all of our GREAT agencies, who are also working closely with China,” the President tweeted. “We will continue to monitor the ongoing developments. We have the best experts anywhere in the world, and they are on top of it 24/7!” 

He included pictures that appear to show a meeting in the White House Situation Room.  

Trump suggested Wednesday that he’d recently spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping amid concerns over containing the Wuhan coronavirus, but a White House official tells CNN that the last time the two world leaders spoke was in December.  

Read his tweet:

7:10 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

CDC: 195 people evacuated from Wuhan to the US are under voluntary quarantine

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen and Shelby Lin Erdman

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said that 195 passengers who were evacuated from Wuhan to an airbase in California have been screened, monitored and evaluated every step of the way. 

None of the passengers show signs of sickness, CDC officials said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon, but they will remain under a voluntary quarantine at the air base.

The evacuees are not required to stay at the base. The health agency said the travelers agreed to a request to remain there for three days of testing, monitoring and rest.

“The good news here is that despite an aggressive public health investigation to find new cases, we have not,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. 

“The situation in China is concerning,” Messonnier said. “However we are looking hard here in the United States. We will continue to be proactive. I expect that we will find additional cases.”

So far the agency has confirmed five cases of coronavirus in the US in four states and 165 suspected cases.

6:57 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

How federal agencies are responding to coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Geneva Sands

Multiple federal agencies, in addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are contributing resources to respond the coronavirus outbreak. 

For instance, the Department of Homeland Security's Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office is facilitating airport screenings, according to a DHS official.  

Additionally, Customs and Border Protection has measures in place to identify travelers with overt signs of illness, who may be potentially infected with a communicable disease. And the CDC provided signage to the Transportation Security Administration for placement at airports warning travelers of risks associated with travel to certain areas in China, according to a TSA official. 

The US Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency and US Citizenship and Immigration Services are also involved, according to DHS. 

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Wednesday the department will continue to adapt as the virus changes and adapts.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration official, who referred CNN to the CDC and State Department, said the agency's responsibility is to ensure that planes get safely from one point to another. The agency is not involved with passengers coming in and out of the US. 

But airline personnel are keeping a close watch. 

The Allied Pilots Association — the union that represents Delta and United pilots — said it is updating pilots regularly with current information and has provided them with specific precautions they can use to mitigate any risk, according to Communications Director Gregg Overman. 

"This is obviously a rapidly developing situation, so we may have more to report in the coming days," he added. 

 

6:17 p.m. ET, January 29, 2020

Planned flight to bring British citizens back from Wuhan delayed

From CNN's Livvy Doherty in London

A planned flight to bring British citizens back from Wuhan will no longer leave on Thursday as originally anticipated, a UK Foreign Office spokesperson said Wednesday.  

“We are doing everything we can to get British people in Wuhan safely back to the UK. A number of countries’ flights have been unable to take off as planned. We continue working urgently to organise a flight to the UK as soon as possible” the spokesperson said.

“We remain in close contact with the Chinese authorities and conversations are ongoing at all levels” the spokesperson added.

It is understood the flight has been delayed due to Chinese permissions that have not yet come through.