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February 25 coronavirus news

03:03 - Source: CNN
Iran deputy health minister tests positive for coronavirus

What we covered here

  • The latest: The death toll from the coronavirus is now more than 2,700 worldwide, with the vast majority in mainland China. There has been more than 80,000 global cases.
  • Outside of China: Europe’s biggest outbreak is in Italy, where more than 280 have been infected. Iran has reported at least 95 cases and South Korea now has more than 970 cases.
  • Preparing for a pandemic: World Health Organization officials say it’s still too early to declare the novel coronavirus a pandemic — but now is the time to prepare. Meanwhile in the US, President Trump has remained publicly optimistic about the virus, even as Democrats criticize his administration.
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Number of coronavirus cases in Hong Kong rises to 85

Hong Kong has confirmed one new case of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the tally up to 85, according to a government statement. 

The patient is a 60-year-old woman who has no recent travel history. She developed a cough on Feb. 12 and consulted a private doctor several times before she was admitted on Feb. 24. She is currently isolated and in a stable condition.

“According to our preliminary epidemiological investigations, some of the confirmed cases are locally infected. The (Center for Health Protection) strongly urged the public to maintain at all times strict personal and environmental hygiene,” a CHP spokesperson said.

San Francisco mayor declares state of emergency over coronavirus concerns

San Francisco Mayor London Breed
KGO
San Francisco Mayor London Breed

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has declared a state of emergency in the city to better prepare for the potential arrival of coronavirus.

Breed reiterated that there are no confirmed cases in the city, but they are taking the situation seriously. The declaration frees up resources needed to accelerate planning, increase staffing and ensure future reimbursement.

The declaration is effective immediately.

Air Canada extends its suspension of flights to mainland China

Air Canada is extending its suspension of flights between Canada and Beijing and Shanghai until April 10, and daily non-stop flights from Toronto to Hong Kong until April 30, according to the airline.

However, Air Canada will continue to operate its non-stop flights from Vancouver to Hong Kong, which will accommodate customers originally booked on its Toronto-Hong Kong flights, the airline said.

Some background: The airline initially suspended services to Beijing and Shanghai in February after the Canadian government discouraged non-essential travel to China.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Viruses don’t respect boundaries or borders. Watch:

There are no current medical product shortages due to coronavirus, FDA says

HHS Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus while flanked by (from left to right) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen Hahn during a press briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services headquarters on Tuesday, February 25,  in Washington.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
HHS Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus while flanked by (from left to right) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen Hahn during a press briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services headquarters on Tuesday, February 25, in Washington.

While the US Food and Drug is not aware of any shortages of medical products being reported in the United States, it is monitoring some that could be at risk, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told reporters Tuesday.

“FDA is keenly aware that the outbreak will likely affect the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to suppliers [and] shortages of critical medical products in the US,” Hahn said.

In particular, the FDA is keeping its eye on personal protective equipment such as face masks and gowns used by health care workers. The agency is proactively reaching out to hundreds of manufacturers of medical products for information related to these concerns, Hahn said.  

More on this: US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said some of the $2.5 billion requested funds would be used to purchase personal protection equipment for the national stockpile. On Tuesday morning, Azar told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee there are 30 million N95 respirators in the Strategic National Stockpile, and the US would need about 10 times that for health care workers.

Hahn also said that the agency is postponing roughly 100 scheduled inspections in China over February and March — mostly routine surveillance inspections meant to ensure that medical products produced in China meet the standards for entering the US marketplace. But he said these can happen at any time during the year, and the agency is moving things around so they can stay on schedule when it comes to planned inspections for the year.

Number of coronavirus cases in Kuwait rises to 9, state news reports

Members of Kuwait's national guard wear safety masks as they keep watch outside a hotel in the capital where Kuwaitis returning from Iran are quarantined and tested for the virus, on Monday, February 24.
Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images
Members of Kuwait's national guard wear safety masks as they keep watch outside a hotel in the capital where Kuwaitis returning from Iran are quarantined and tested for the virus, on Monday, February 24.

The Kuwaiti health ministry confirmed a woman has tested positive for coronavirus after returning from Iran, according to state news KUNA. 

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Kuwait to nine, state news said.

The Kuwaiti woman was placed in quarantine, and the remaining patients are in stable condition, state news reported, citing the ministry’s statement.