January 30 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Steve George, Angela Dewan and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 1:53 p.m. ET, January 31, 2020
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5:11 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

Italy confirms two cases of coronavirus

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London 

Italy has confirmed two cases of coronavirus on its territory, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a press conference in Rome on Thursday evening.

The individuals affected are two Chinese tourists who arrived in Rome a couple of days ago, Conte said. 

“We have already prepared all the precautionary measures to isolate these two cases,” Conte said, adding that he will convene the Council of Ministers on Friday to take "further measures."  

"There is no reason to create social alarm or panic," Conte concluded.

Italy's Health Minister Roberto Speranza said: “We will try to trace the path of these two people in our country. The situation is serious, but absolutely under control.”

The patients were placed in isolation as soon as they displayed symptoms of the virus, said Professor Giuseppe Ippolito, director the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Spallanzani in Rome. 

He added the patients are currently in "good condition".

4:48 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

American Airlines pilots sue to halt US-China flights amid coronavirus epidemic 

From Shannon Liao, CNN Business

The Allied Pilots Association, a union representing 15,000 American Airlines pilots, has sued the company to halt the carrier's US-China service, citing "serious, and in many ways still unknown, health threats posed by the coronavirus."

The union asked the court for a temporary and immediate restraining order halting the flights as the virus spreads.

"The safety and well-being of our crews and passengers must always be our highest priority, first, last, and always," said APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson. "Numerous other major carriers that serve China, including British Airways, Air Canada, and Lufthansa, have chosen to suspend service to that country out of an abundance of caution."

4:42 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

Here are the countries with reported cases so far

The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, after an emergency committee reconvened Thursday in Geneva.

Here is the current tally of cases -- and deaths -- reported from around the world.

4:41 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

UK raises risk level to "moderate"

From CNN's Milena Veselinovic

Tourists wear face masks as they visit Edinburgh Castle on January 24, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Tourists wear face masks as they visit Edinburgh Castle on January 24, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

UK's health authorities have increased the risk level for coronavirus in the country from low to moderate, the four Chief Medical Officers for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland said in a statement on Thursday. 

The statement said:

In light of the increasing number of cases in China and using existing and widely tested models, the four UK Chief Medical Officers consider it prudent for our governments to escalate planning and preparation in case of a more widespread outbreak.

The statement added that the decision did not mean the health authorities think that the risk to individuals in the UK has changed at this stage but that the government should "plan for all eventualities."

3:42 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

World Health Organization declares coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern

From CNN Health’s Michael Nedelman

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone/AP

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, after an emergency committee reconvened Thursday in Geneva.

Last week, the organization said the virus did not yet constitute the emergency declaration. But with rising numbers and evidence of person-to-person transmission in a handful of cases outside of China, WHO leadership called the committee back together due to the “potential for a much larger outbreak,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters earlier this week.

WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern as “an extraordinary event” that constitutes a “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and “to potentially require a coordinated international response.” Previous emergencies have included Ebola, Zika and H1N1.

3:32 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

Cruise ship coronavirus test comes back negative

From CNN’s Livia Borghese in Civitavecchia, Italy

The Costa Smeralda cruise ship docked atthe Civitavecchia port, north of Rome, on January 30.
The Costa Smeralda cruise ship docked atthe Civitavecchia port, north of Rome, on January 30. Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Two cruise ship passengers suspected of having coronavirus do not have the virus, the Italian Ministry of Health said Thursday night.

The 6,000 passenger ship had been forced into quarantine near Rome because of fears the passengers might have the virus.

The ministry said the patients instead had the H1N2 virus.

It is not clear when the ship will be allowed to depart.

3:04 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

Number of coronavirus cases in China have exceeded the number of SARS infections worldwide

From CNN's Samantha Beech & Steven Jiang

The total number of people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus in mainland China alone has surpassed those infected with SARS worldwide during the 2002-2003 epidemic. 

SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, infected 8,098 people worldwide with approximately 774 official SARS-related deaths.

As of Thursday, there have been 8,137 confirmed cases of Wuhan coronavirus in mainland China, including 171 deaths.

3:06 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

Cruise companies feel the pain after a ship gets stranded over virus fears

From CNN Business' Daniela Sirtori-Cortina

The impact of the new coronavirus outbreak on stock markets is spreading. The latest sector to be hit: cruise companies.

Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corporation tumbled in morning trading in New York amid revelations that 7,000 people had been held on a cruise ship in Italy after a passenger showed symptoms of a fever.

Passengers are being held in quarantine on the Costa Smeralda cruise ship over fears a passenger may have coronavirus.
Passengers are being held in quarantine on the Costa Smeralda cruise ship over fears a passenger may have coronavirus.

2:35 p.m. ET, January 30, 2020

Canada school district warns of racism against Chinese community

A school district in Ontario, Canada is asking parents to not stoke fear and anxiety over the Coronavirus that could lead to racism and xenophobia. 

The district wrote the message to their community after becoming aware of a petition -- which thousands of parents signed -- asking the school district to keep students home from school for 17 days if they had family who visited China, according to CNN partner CBC.

The York Region District School board chair Juanita Nathan and education director Louise Sirisko said: “individuals who make assumptions, even with positive intentions of safety, about the risk of others, request or demand quarantine can be seen as demonstrating bias and racism.” 

The board told CNN that the statement was “not written in reaction to any one source of misinformation,” but rather because they want to ensure all students feel safe and welcome at school.