February 10 coronavirus news

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1:11 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Kia Motors suspends production lines at all three of its factories in South Korea

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Hong Kong

An employee works on a Kia Motors production line at the company's plant in Gwangju, South Korea, on Friday, July 8, 2016.
An employee works on a Kia Motors production line at the company's plant in Gwangju, South Korea, on Friday, July 8, 2016. SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Kia Motors suspended nearly all production lines at its three South Korea factories today, a Kia Motors spokesperson told CNN.

The three plants, located in the cities of Gwangmyeong, Hwaseong and Gwangju, are suspended due to “the problem of wiring harness supplies from China," said the spokesperson. 

One exception is the production line for military vehicles in the Gwangju factory, which is still operating.

Production lines at the Hwaseong factory will resume Tuesday, and lines at the two other plants will resume Wednesday, Kia Motors said.

“We are trying to secure supplies from some factories that are operating in China, factories in South Korea and in Southeast Asia,” the officer told CNN on Monday.

Outbreak hits auto industry: China is a major supplier of parts to auto plants around the world -- shipping nearly $35 billion worth of parts in 2018.

But plants across China have been closed for weeks in response to the coronavirus outbreak -- and that could mean factories around the world grinding to a halt.

Hyundai also has shut its assembly plants in South Korea, not because the disease itself has spread there but because it can't keep the plants operating without Chinese parts.

1:31 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Malaysia confirms additional case of Wuhan coronavirus, bringing country's total to 17

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Malaysian health officials have confirmed an additional case of the Wuhan coronavirus, bringing the country's total to 17.

According to state news agency Bernama, the latest case involves a 31 year-old Malaysian with no travel history to mainland China.

Ministry of Health director Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said the man began developing symptoms on February 3 after returning from Macao. The patient was then admitted to hospital on February 7, and tested positive for the novel coronavirus two days later.

12:59 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Japanese government working to boost mask production

From CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

People wearing masks wait to cross a road in the Shibuya district on February 2, 2020 in Tokyo.
People wearing masks wait to cross a road in the Shibuya district on February 2, 2020 in Tokyo. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The Japanese government is working to increase the domestic production of face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“All major manufacturers are producing 24 hours around the clock to produce masks,” chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday.

“We will keep close eyes on the production, and demand and work to alleviate the lack of masks as soon as possible.”

Japan currently has the largest outbreak of the Wuhan virus outside of mainland China: on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship currently quarantined at Yokohama harbor south of Tokyo.

1:34 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

The Japanese government is considering testing all Diamond Princess passengers

From CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki and Mick Krever in Tokyo

A Japan Coast Guard' patrol boat, left, is brought alongside the cruise ship Diamond Princess to take passengers tested positive for coronavirus to hospitals off Yokohama on Wednesday, February 5.
A Japan Coast Guard' patrol boat, left, is brought alongside the cruise ship Diamond Princess to take passengers tested positive for coronavirus to hospitals off Yokohama on Wednesday, February 5. Hiroko Harima/Kyodo News via AP

The Japanese government is considering testing all passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which remains docked under quarantine off the coast of Yokohama, regardless of whether they are symptomatic.

“We are aware that there are voices (saying) that all the passengers and crew members must get the test on the coronavirus when they disembark,” said Katsunobu Kato, Japanese minister of health, labor, and welfare.
“We are taking a close look whether we can conduct all the tests.”

So far, authorities have been prioritizing testing passengers and crew members who feel unwell. The ship was placed under quarantine on February 4 after a former passenger tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. The quarantine is scheduled to end on February 19.

A total of 70 people have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus on board the ship, which is carrying more than 3,700 people, including crew and passengers.

12:37 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

In Wuhan, an army of volunteers is offering a lifeline to those under lockdown

From CNN's Nectar Gan

Staff members and and volunteers wearing protective face masks transfer medical supplies at a warehouse converted into a makeshift hospital in Wuhan on February 4.
Staff members and and volunteers wearing protective face masks transfer medical supplies at a warehouse converted into a makeshift hospital in Wuhan on February 4. AFP/Getty Images

Hours after a state-imposed lockdown brought public transport in the Chinese city of Wuhan to a halt in late January, Wan Jiuxiong and his colleagues sprang into action.

The 27-year-old ride hailing driver joined a group of volunteers ferrying medical staff to and from overcrowded hospitals, where rows of feverish patients were fighting the coronavirus.

Wan's first assignment was to pick up a nurse from home and drive her to the Jinyintan Hospital, a key facility designated by the government to treat patients infected with the pneumonia-like illness.

Wan's passenger left in a hurry, without saying "goodbye" or "thank you", but Wan isn't looking for thanks.

"In this time of need, we Wuhan people have to save ourselves. Everyone has got to do their own part," he said.

Volunteers on the front lines: Hundreds of volunteers have formed a lifeline for the residents of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The lockdown suspended all buses and subways -- and though the government deployed taxis to help deliver supplies and transport patients, it's not enough.

To fill that gap, ordinary car owners like Wan have organized themselves into groups on WeChat, China's popular messaging app, where they swiftly respond to the requests of medics.

In addition to driving health care workers, some volunteer groups are delivering medical resources and supplies to hospitals. Others provide accommodation and hot meals to overworked doctors and nurses.

"It has been really difficult work for us volunteers. All we relied on is our hot blood," said Chen Hui, a 53-year-old volunteer. "Wuhan is sick, and we all want to cure it by pulling everyone's effort together."

Read the full story here

12:03 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

China cautiously returns to work after weeks of quarantine

From CNN's James Griffiths

Chinese security guards line up before duty on February 9, 2020 in Beijing, China.
Chinese security guards line up before duty on February 9, 2020 in Beijing, China. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Millions of people across China are heading back to work after the Lunar New Year break turned into an extended quarantine due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Many will be working from their homes, with strict quarantine guidelines in place in many cities and most businesses urging people to work remotely if possible to reduce the chances of transmission.

The outbreak shows no signs of slowing, with the number of confirmed cases now at over 40,000 worldwide and the death toll at 910.

The vast majority of the deaths have been in mainland China, leaving the country in something of a bizarre situation where some areas of it will be returning to something approaching business as usual, even as other regions face increasingly draconian restrictions on their movement and behavior in a desperate attempt to contain the virus.

Drastic measures: In a joint statement Saturday, China's National Health Commission, Supreme Court and Ministry of Public Security announced seven "medical-related crimes" that would be severely punished.

They include attacking medical personnel, refusing medical checks and damaging or destroying property at medical facilities.

According to the statement, anyone who violates new virus control regulations will be quickly prosecuted and could face arrest, jail or even the death penalty.

Read more about the outbreak here.

11:38 p.m. ET, February 9, 2020

Opinion: China's hero doctor was punished for telling truth about coronavirus

From Michael Bociurkiw

Li Wenliang
Li Wenliang

Editor's note: Michael Bociurkiw is a global affairs analyst and a former spokesman for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The opinions expressed here are his own.

In their botched handling of the tragic death of Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who sounded the alarm on the Wuhan coronavirus, authorities in Beijing seem to want it both ways.

On the one hand, officials have expressed their sorrow over his death and encouraged people to tell the truth about the outbreak. On the other hand, government censors are hard at work scrubbing online posts that call for freedom of speech in the wake of Li's death.

When millions of people are denied the opportunity to grieve collectively over someone widely regarded as a hero, their trust in government can only further erode.

As Li recently told the Chinese magazine Caixin before his death, "I think a healthy society should not only have one kind of voice."

A tipping point for the public: While Li may not be immortalized to the same degree as the lone protester who faced off against a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square during the 1989 anti-government protests, his "normal guy" persona, and sense of duty has transformed him into an overnight hero -- and his death has unleashed an unprecedented tsunami of grief and anger that probably has not been seen since President Xi Jinping rose to power.

Authorities then botched rollout of the news of Li's death, announcing then retracting and announcing it again. And to many Chinese people, it was a tipping point, given that manipulation and suppression of information is what allowed the wide spread of the novel coronavirus in the first place. 

Read the full op-ed here.

11:23 p.m. ET, February 9, 2020

Honeymooners stuck on quarantined cruise: "Get us off the ship"

Spencer Fehrenbacher shares his situation on day three under quarantine on a cruise ship.
Spencer Fehrenbacher shares his situation on day three under quarantine on a cruise ship. Spencer Fehrenbacher

More than 3,700 people are stuck in Yokohama, Japan, on a cruise ship that became a floating quarantine zone after dozens of people onboard tested positive for the coronavirus.

Among them is Spencer Fehrenbacher, an American citizen and masters degree student in Tianjin, China, who wanted to celebrate the Lunar New Year with his friends on the ship.

Now, he's confined to his cabin, spending his time reading and watching TV. Passengers in interior cabins are allowed out for about an hour and a half, but have to wear masks at all times and stay one meter away from each other, he said.

Then Fehrenbacher learned an additional 41 people were diagnosed with coronavirus. Eventually, 70 people total on the ship would test positive.

"It is beyond frightening news," Fehrenbacher said.

Newlyweds Milena Basso and Gaetano Cerullo are also on the ship. But instead of enjoying the honeymoon they'd saved up for over two years, they're worried about staying healthy and being trapped for longer than 14 days.

"We just don't feel like we're safe," Basso told CNN. "We should be quarantined in a sanitary environment that's safe, not on a cruise ship that's already infected."

"Donald Trump, save us," Basso said. "Get us a government-based airplane. Get us off the ship."

11:09 p.m. ET, February 9, 2020

Take a look at life under lockdown in Wuhan

From CNN's Ben Westcott and Lily Lee

A women biking in Wuhan, China, on February 9.
A women biking in Wuhan, China, on February 9. Getty Images

It has been three weeks since Wu Chen went into self-enforced quarantine in his Wuhan apartment, with only his cat, Baozi, for company.

Since January 13, the 26-year-old graphic designer has only ventured outside his apartment a few times, to stock up on supplies of food and protective face masks -- and to collect food for his cat.

He is one of millions of people who are all but confined to their homes in Wuhan and several other Chinese cities, under an unprecedented lockdown with no sign of ending.

Life under lockdown: Justin Steece, an American teacher in Wuhan, wears a face mask over his nose and mouth and sunglasses to protect his eyes when he goes out. He also puts on an extra layer of clothing, which is then washed once he gets back home.

At the supermarket, there is a small selection of food -- fresh produce is a rare find. Any shopping bags he uses are carefully wiped down with soap.

Killing time: As the weeks drag on, Chinese social media has been flooded with videos of citizens entertaining themselves by square dancing in their living rooms, or re-enacting Chinese operas.

Wu Chen has joined in, posting daily videos on Tik Tok. In one video, he plays hide and seek with his cat.