February 2 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Brett McKeehan and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 1:51 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020
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4:08 a.m. ET, February 2, 2020

How the coronavirus outbreak compares to SARS

The Wuhan coronavirus has brought back memories of the 2003 outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as SARS, which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774.

Like SARS, this latest outbreak is caused by a coronavirus, a family of viruses common to animals that range from the common cold, to more serious diseases, like Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Here is how the two compare:

3:30 a.m. ET, February 2, 2020

South Korea has banned all foreign nationals who visited Hubei province in the past 14 days

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

The South Korean government is banning entry to all foreign nationals who visited China's Hubei province in the past 14 days.

The measure starts on February 4, according to South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun.

Chung also said South Korean citizens who had visited the province in the past 14 days should voluntarily quarantine themselves at home for two weeks after they arrive back into the country.

A system that allows Chinese citizens to enter South Korea’s Jeju Island without a visa is to be temporarily suspended.

Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States have banned all foreign nationals traveling from China from entering the country.

A disinfection worker wearing protective gear sprays antiseptic solution in a train on January 24, 2020, in Seoul, South Korea.
A disinfection worker wearing protective gear sprays antiseptic solution in a train on January 24, 2020, in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

1:51 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

How the coronavirus outbreak went global in two months

The first case of coronavirus was detected in central China in early December. Now, nearly two months later, it's a full-blown global emergency, with more than 14,300 confirmed cases across the world.

Here's a look back at how we got here:

  • December 8: First patient develops symptoms of Wuhan coronavirus
  • December 31: Earliest cases of virus reported to World Health Organization (WHO)
  • January 1: Seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan, where the outbreak is believed to have originated, is closed for disinfection
  • January 7: Chinese scientists identify pathogen involved as new strain of coronavirus
  • January 9: First death linked to virus
  • January 20: Cases reported in Beijing and Shenzhen
  • January 23: Wuhan is placed on lockdown, with movement halted in or out of the city. A total of 60 million people are affected by travel restrictions in Wuhan and neighboring cities. WHO says virus is not yet a public health emergency of international concern
  • January 28: Death toll tops 100. The number of confirmed cases in mainland China overtakes the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak
  • January 30: WHO declares a public health emergency of international concern
  • January 31: Death toll tops 200
  • February 2: First Wuhan coronavirus death reported outside of mainland China

Correction: A previous version of this post contained a map that misattributed the source of provincial coronavirus case totals. The data comes from each province’s health authority, not China’s National Health Commission.

2:16 a.m. ET, February 2, 2020

France helps Mexican citizens flee Wuhan

France is helping evacuate 10 Mexican citizens from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and the city where the coronavirus outbreak started.

The 10 Mexican nationals are first flying to France after being examined to confirm they don't have symptoms, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry and Health Ministry said in a joint statement Saturday.

In France "they will follow the health protocols established by the authorities of that country." After that, the group will return to Mexico, the ministries said. 

A number of countries have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan, including Australia, Germany and France.

1:50 a.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Wuhan built a new hospital in a matter of days

Wuhan authorities have finished building a new 1,000-bed hospital to treat coronavirus patients, state media CCTV reported Sunday.

Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang handed the new Huoshenshan hospital over to the military on Sunday morning. According to CCTV, 1,400 military medical personnel will start in the hospital from Monday.

State media first reported on January 23 that authorities planned to build a new pneumonia hospital. According to the Beijing News, a state-backed newspaper, it is a prefabricated, box-type model that can be built in six days.

Another medical facility -- the Leishenshen hospital -- is under construction and is set to open on February 5. Together, the two hospitals will give an additional 2,600 beds for patient care during the outbreak.

It's not the first time China has built a hospital in a short period of time. During the 2003 SARS outbreak, the 1,000-bed Xiaotangshan Hospital was constructed in six days and seven nights in Beijing.

12:43 a.m. ET, February 2, 2020

New Zealand bans entry to foreigners traveling from China

If you've traveled in or transited through mainland China, you won't be allowed into New Zealand unless you're a New Zealand national.

The new restrictions on foreign nationals begin on February 3, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in a press release Sunday.

The ban will be in place for up to 14 days, and is aimed at helping contain the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. So far, there have been no confirmed coronavirus cases in New Zealand or any South Pacific island.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents and their immediate family members will still be able to enter -- but must self-isolate for 14 days after arriving back into the country.

Passengers wear protective masks as they arrive at Auckland airport in New Zealand on January 29, 2020.
Passengers wear protective masks as they arrive at Auckland airport in New Zealand on January 29, 2020. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

What does the New Zealand government say about traveling to China?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has raised its travel advice for mainland China to "do not travel," the highest level.

“(Cabinet) have been advised by health officials that while there are still a range of unknowns in the way the virus is being transmitted, we should take a precautionary approach and temporarily stop travel into New Zealand from mainland China, and of people who have recently been in China,” Ardern said.

Other countries have also banned people traveling from China

  • On Saturday, Australia said it was denying entry to all travelers coming from, or who had transited through, mainland China. Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families, and air crews who used appropriate protective equipment, are exempt.
  • On Friday, the United States said it will deny entry to foreign nationals who have traveled in China in the last 14 days.

12:45 a.m. ET, February 2, 2020

China's Premier says medical manufacturers are making "arsenal in this battle against the epidemic"

From CNN's Steven Jiang in Beijing

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called on manufacturers to ramp up production of medical equipment needed to control the coronavirus outbreak.

Li -- who is the second-most powerful man in China -- said it was important to "make every minute count," according to a government press release Sunday.

"Manufacturers are like military contractors producing the 'arsenal' in this battle against the epidemic," Li said.

Li warned that getting daily necessities could become more challenging, and stressed the need to keep supply chains open to ensure groceries are available for the public.

Previously, Li asked the European Union to help China procure medical supplies, according to a Chinese government statement.

What's the background?

China is facing a public health care crisis. Patients, medical staff and experts have told of delays in testing for the virus, in informing the public the true nature of the virus' spread, and of an already overburdened health system creaking under the enormous weight of a rapidly expanding outbreak.

People in Wuhan have told CNN that some hospitals have run out of the test kits needed to diagnose patients with coronavirus.

Wuhan health authorities have acknowledged that hospitals are overwhelmed, and the city is building two more hospitals within days.

A doctor puts on a protective suit before entering the isolation ward at a hospital in Wuhan on January 30, 2020.
A doctor puts on a protective suit before entering the isolation ward at a hospital in Wuhan on January 30, 2020. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

11:49 p.m. ET, February 1, 2020

The US is issuing a new security directive to airlines: source

From CNN's Evan Perez

Airlines operating in the United States will be required to ask all passengers booked on flights from outside the US if they’ve been to mainland China in last 14 days. 

The Transport Security Administration (TSA) will issue a new security directive to airlines from Sunday, according to a person briefed on the restrictions.

Chinese nationals coming from China and connecting through another foreign airport will be denied travel. Those with pre-clearance are exempted.

There are also new directives that relate to US citizens.

US citizens who have been to China in the last 14 days need to re-book to one of seven gateway airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport, Seattle, San Francisco International Airport, Chicago, Atlanta and Honolulu.

TSA notified airlines Saturday about the restrictions. CNN is reaching out to TSA for comment.

Airport employees wear medical masks at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on January 31, 2020.
Airport employees wear medical masks at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on January 31, 2020. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

1:15 a.m. ET, February 2, 2020

Here's where the Wuhan coronavirus has spread to

The Wuhan coronavirus has spread throughout the world since the first cases were detected in central China in December.

The vast majority of the cases are in mainland China, where more than 14,000 people have been infected and 305 people have died. But there are also more than 160 confirmed cases abroad.

One person has died outside of mainland China -- a 44-year-old Chinese man in the Philippines.

Here's the full list of places outside mainland China with confirmed cases:

  • Hong Kong -- at least 13 cases
  • Macau -- at least 7 cases
  • Thailand -- at least 19 cases
  • Australia -- at least 12 cases
  • Malaysia -- at least 8 case
  • Singapore -- at least 13 cases
  • France -- at least 6 cases
  • Japan -- at least 20 cases
  • South Korea -- at least 15 cases
  • Taiwan -- at least 10 cases
  • United States -- at least 8 cases
  • Vietnam -- at least 7 cases
  • Germany -- at least 8 cases
  • Sri Lanka -- at least 1 case
  • Cambodia -- at least 1 case
  • Nepal -- at least 1 case
  • Canada -- at least 4 cases
  • UAE -- at least 4 cases
  • Finland -- at least 1 case
  • Philippines -- at least 2 cases, including 1 death 
  • India -- at least 1 case
  • Italy -- at least 2 cases
  • UK -- at least 2 cases
  • Russia -- at least 2 cases
  • Sweden -- at least 1 case
  • Spain -- at least 1 case