February 11 coronavirus news

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5:43 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Most cluster cases are spread among families, China officials say

From journalist Alex Lin in Hong Kong

Chinese officials studying the Wuhan coronavirus say most of the cluster cases they have observed from a study are within families.

Cluster cases generally refer to "more than two infected cases within a limited space," Wu Zunyou, a virus expert with China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Wu told reporters Tuesday that from a study of more than 1,000 cluster cases, 83% were identified as family clusters. 

Other cluster cases appeared to be from schools, supermarkets or places of work which appeared to be caused by “poor awareness of protection,” such as not wearing masks.

How do you protect yourself and others?

Officials at Tuesday’s press conference reminded the public: if you have infected family members, rooms should be well ventilated, practice good hand hygiene, avoid public gathering and meal-sharing, and employ good health practices if you have to take public transportation.

The World Health Organization has advised people to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.

Scientists believe this coronavirus started in another animal and then spread to humans, so health officials recommend cooking meat and eggs thoroughly.

But in general, the public should do "what you do every cold and flu season," said Dr. John Wiesman, the health secretary in Washington state -- where the first US case of Wuhan coronavirus was confirmed.

That includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and disinfecting the objects and surfaces you touch if you are ill.

If you or your doctor suspect you might have the coronavirus, the CDC advises wearing a surgical mask.

5:34 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Hong Kong confirms 7 additional cases of coronavirus, bringing total to 49

From journalist Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Health workers gather outside Hong Mei House in Hong Kong on Monday, after coronavirus cases were confirmed at the residential complex.
Health workers gather outside Hong Mei House in Hong Kong on Monday, after coronavirus cases were confirmed at the residential complex. Jerome Favre/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Health officials in Hong Kong have confirmed seven additional cases of the virus, bringing the city-wide total to 49.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Dr. Chuang Shuk-Kwan of the Center for Health Protection said four of the additional cases can be traced back to previous confirmed cases.

Chuang said one case number involves a patient who was a co-worker of a confirmed case who contracted the virus whilst eating hotpot at a dinner party.

Three of the cases are not connected to previous community cluster cases, according to Chuang, who added that two of the three remaining cases have no recent travel history.

5:12 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Coronavirus could wreck the global auto industry

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

The human cost of China's coronavirus outbreak is tragic, mounting and already readily apparent. The cost to businesses around the world could also become severe in the coming weeks.

Manufacturers around the world have come to depend on parts from China to keep their own supply chains going. Experts fear that factories across the globe could ground to a halt if many of the plants across China remain closed this coming week.

Auto plants could be among the first to feel the impact. That's because of the massive size of the Chinese auto parts industry and the fact that you can't build a car with only 99% of its parts.

Read the full story here.

An assembly line is pictured at the Dongfeng Honda plant in Wuhan in November 2019.
An assembly line is pictured at the Dongfeng Honda plant in Wuhan in November 2019. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

5:06 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

If you're just joining us, here's what you need to know

People wear protective face masks as they enter a railway station in Shanghai on Monday.
People wear protective face masks as they enter a railway station in Shanghai on Monday. Noel Celis/Getty Images

The coronavirus that was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan continues to spread through China and around the globe. New cases have been confirmed in the past few hours in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Global numbers: 43,105 confirmed cases; 1,018 deaths 

Mainland China:  42,638 confirmed cases;  3,396 cured and discharged; 1,016 deaths

Monday updates: 108 people killed, 2,478 new infections confirmed

Outside mainland China: 467 cases confirmed in  27 countries and regions. Two deaths reported last week, in the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Stuck on a ship

Thousands remained trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan, and 135 people have been infected by the virus on the ship, which has been quarantined since last week. Twenty-four of them are American.

The Westerdam, a cruise liner that has no suspected patients on board, cannot find a home since docking in Hong Kong. Holland America, the company that owns the ship, previously said it would stop in Thailand tomorrow, but now Thai officials have said they won't allow the ship to dock.

The company said in a statement it is "actively working this matter and will provide an update when we are able. We know this is confusing for our guests and their families and we greatly appreciate their patience.”

Coronavirus in the pipes of a Hong Kong tower?

Authorities in Hong Kong are also investigating whether two residents of the same high-rise tower have contracted the coronavirus from fecal matter due to a possible design flaw in the building's piping system.

Health officials have traced at least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus to Hong Mei House in Tsing Yi, a small residential island in Hong Kong.

Parts of the building were evacuated while health officials and engineers carried out emergency checks.

Researchers have yet to confirm if the novel coronavirus can be transmitted via feces.

An official stands guard at an entrance to the Hong Mei House residential building in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
An official stands guard at an entrance to the Hong Mei House residential building in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

3:43 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Two men who tested negative for coronavirus in Japan now have the infection

From CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Two Japanese citizens who had initially tested negative for coronavirus have now been diagnosed with the disease. Japan now has confirmed 163 cases.

The two new patients, both men, were evacuated from China to Japan. One is in his 50s and the other in his 40s, the ministry said, and both have no connection to the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship docked off the coast of Yokohama on which 135 have been infected by the virus.

The men were retested after developing fevers.

3:37 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

South Korea is sending a third plane to Wuhan to pick up its citizens. It's also adding Hong Kong and Macao to its "virus contaminated zone"

From CNN's Jake Kwon in Hong Kong

In this file photo, an airplane carrying South Korean citizens repatriated from Wuhan lands in Seoul, South Korea, January 31.
In this file photo, an airplane carrying South Korean citizens repatriated from Wuhan lands in Seoul, South Korea, January 31. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

South Korea is sending a third chartered plane to Wuhan to repatriate its nationals and their Chinese families, vice minister of health and welfare Kim Gang-lip said Tuesday.

Kim said 170 people are expected to board the plane and South Korean authorities are considering allowing Chinese family members of its citizens to board the plane.

The flight will leave South Korea’s Incheon airport Tuesday evening at 8:45pm local and will arrive back in Gimpo airport in Seoul Wednesday morning, Kim said. Those repatriated will be quarantined at Korea Defense Language Institute, a military school facility located in a rural area, Kim said. 

There were about 2,000 South Korean citizens living in Wuhan before the epidemic, according to the Health and Welfare Ministry. More than 700 South Korean nationals were repatriated on the first two flights.

Seoul also announced Tuesday that it will include the semiautonomous Chinese cities of Hong Kong and Macao in its "contaminated zone" list.

The designation will go into effect Wednesday at midnight. Those entering South Korea from the two cities will be required to fill out a health questionnaire and be checked for fever. They might also be subject to a "quarantine/epidemiological investigation."

Those presenting symptoms, including a fever, will be subjected to a check-up and, if suspected of carrying virus, will be immediately isolated or put under watch.

The Ministry also recommended South Korean nationals avoid travel to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.

 

3:12 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Activist Joshua Wong imports 100,000 masks for underprivileged people in Hong Kong

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong announced on Twitter that his pro-democracy group Demosisto has imported 100,000 masks from the United States to the semiautonomous Chinese city.

He wrote on Twitter:

The masks will be delivered to councillors to help underprivileged sectors, especially poor people, street cleaners and the elderly. This could not be done without the help of overseas HK pro-democracy groups like @hkdc_us, @NY4HK and good-hearted overseas HKers in New York.

Since the coronavirus outbreak has exploded, people have scrambled to get medical supplies such as face masks and hand sanitizer. On Friday, the World Health Organization warned of a global "chronic shortage" of equipment that could shield individuals from the coronavirus.

"We're sending testing kits, mask, gloves, respirators and gowns to countries in every region. However the world is facing a chronic shortage of personal protective equipment," World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva.

The worldwide mask shortage prompted electronics giant Foxconn, the maker of the Apple iPhone, to set up a production line of facial masks at its facility near Shenzhen in southeastern China.

2:35 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

The United Arab Emirates has confirmed one more coronavirus case. Another has recovered

From CNN's Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi

The United Arab Emirates confirmed its eighth coronavirus case late Monday night, the country's Ministry of Health said in a statement posted to Facebook.

The Indian national had recently interacted with another person who had contracted the virus.

The ministry also announced Sunday that a 73-year-old Chinese patient had been cured -- the country's first recovery from the virus.

2:43 a.m. ET, February 11, 2020

Vietnam confirms two more coronavirus cases, including a 3-month-old baby

From journalist Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

A three-month-old baby girl and 55-year-old woman are the latest people in Vietnam to contract coronavirus, according the country's state-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

The two patients are among 10 people in the northern Vinh Phuc province to have been infected. Across Vietnam, 15 people have the virus.

The baby was tested after her grandmother was diagnosed with the virus. She had previously spent four days at her grandmother's house. The baby is in quarantine and in a stable condition.

The 55-year-old woman is the neighbor of an infected patient who had recently been to Wuhan.

She was in a stable condition at a local clinic on Sunday