February 29 coronavirus news

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10:33 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Oregon's first presumptive case of coronavirus was "community spread"

A person in Oregon diagnosed with a presumptive case of the novel coronavirus had no known travel exposure and is believed to have contracted the disease through the community, according to Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen.

A presumptive case means that a test at a state, county or city lab shows that someone has tested positive for coronavirus, but that result has not yet been confirmed by the CDC’s lab in Atlanta.

This case is the third in the US where the person is believed to have contracted the disease through the community -- meaning they haven't traveled to an infected area or had contact with a person known to be infected with the virus.

“There was no known travel exposure for this individual, so this is a case of community spread of the disease, much like the case from California earlier this week,” Allen said.

The person is from Washington County and is being treated at a Kaiser Permanente hospital.

The patient spent time at the Forest Hills Elementary School in Lake Oswego School District and the Oregon Health Authority is working with school officials and the Oregon Department of Education in the response, Allen said. 

The case tested positive for coronavirus in Oregon, but the results need to be confirmed by the CDC in Atlanta, Allen said.  

The first case of "community spread" occurred in California. The person did not have any relevant travel history or known contact with another infected person.

10:11 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Malaysia reports two new coronavirus cases, bringing its total number of cases to 25

Malaysia has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total tally up to 25 on Friday, according to a report from state media Bernama.

The two new cases are a 41-year-old female Japanese citizen and a 54-year-old male Italian national. 

The woman traveled to Japan in January and to Indonesia in early February. She developed a fever on February 17. The man traveled to Italy from Februray 15 to 21, and started having a fever, cough, and joint and body pains on Februray 22. 

The country has imposed restrictions on travelers from the South Korean cities of Daegu and Cheongdo -- current virus hotspots, according to the report. Malaysian nationals, permanent residents and students returning to Malaysia from these two locations will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. 

9:51 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

There are now 25 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia

The Australian Department of Health has confirmed that 25 people have been infected with coronavirus -- up on the previous 22 cases.

Of those 25, 15 people have reportedly recovered and the rest are in stable condition.

Nine cases are associated with the repatriation flight to bring passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship home from Japan, according to the country's health department.

11:09 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Southeast Asian leaders meeting with President Trump postponed

President Donald Trump's meeting with Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) leaders has been postponed, a senior administration official told CNN.

The meeting was due to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 14, but was postponed Friday.

As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with ASEAN partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Nations) leaders meeting previously scheduled for mid-March.
The United States values our relationships with the nations of this critical region, and looks forward to future meetings,” a senior administration official told CNN.

Exact plans for the meeting had not been announced, but administration officials said they expected President Trump to attend and to have bilateral meetings while there.

President Donald Trump appears at a rally before the South Carolina primary on February 28, 2020 in North Charleston, South Carolina.
President Donald Trump appears at a rally before the South Carolina primary on February 28, 2020 in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

9:07 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Globally, 2,922 people have died from coronavirus

The global death toll from coronavirus has reached 2,922.

On Friday, 47 more people died in mainland China from coronavirus, according to China’s National Health Commission (NHC). All but two of those deaths were in Hubei province, where the outbreak is believed to have started.

That brings mainland China's total death toll to 2,835 since the start of the outbreak in December last year.

Another 87 people have died of coronavirus outside of China.

  • Iran: 34 deaths
  • Italy: 21 deaths
  • South Korea: 16 deaths
  • Japan: 10 deaths
  • Hong Kong: 2 deaths
  • France: 2 deaths
  • Philippines: 1 death
  • Taiwan: 1 death

A resident wears a protective suit as they ride a bicycle in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 27, 2020.
A resident wears a protective suit as they ride a bicycle in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 27, 2020. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The situation in mainland China:

Confirmed cases in mainland China increased by 427 on Friday, with 423 in Hubei province. The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China is now 79,251.

China's NHC added that a total of 39,002 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

At the start of February, China reported thousands of new cases each day. Now, the number of new cases reported have appear to have stabilized.

On Wednesday, for the first time during the outbreak, the number of new cases reported outside of China in a single day was larger than those reported inside China, the World Health Organization said.

8:54 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Italian hospitals face an "overcrowding crisis"

 A paramedic wearing a mask exits a tent set up outside the emergency ward of the Piacenza hospital in Piacenza, Italy, on Thursday, February 27.
A paramedic wearing a mask exits a tent set up outside the emergency ward of the Piacenza hospital in Piacenza, Italy, on Thursday, February 27. Claudio Furlan/LaPresse/ZUMA Press

Hospitals battling Italy's growing coronavirus outbreak are facing a "crisis," according to health officials in the southern European nation.

Italy now has over 820 cases, making it one of the worst hit countries in the world. Lombardy, in northern Italy, has 531 confirmed cases and a death toll of 17, the region's health secretary Giulio Gallera said Friday.

And hospitals are struggling to cope.

If the (coronavirus) keeps spreading, there will be a crisis of the hospitals, not only for those infected, but for all patients,” Gallera said.

Professor Massimo Galli, head of the department of infectious diseases at Sacco Hospital in Milan, said that some hospitals were already facing an overcrowding crisis.

The strain on health care infrastructure has long been a concern attached to the outbreak. In the Chinese province of Hubei, where the virus is thought to have originated, hospitals were initially unable to cope with the influx of new patients, a situation that is thought to have helped accelerate the spread of the virus during the early stages of the outbreak.

8:40 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak

If you're just joining us, here's what's been happening over the last few hours.

Highest level of alert: The World Health Organization increased the global risk from the outbreak from high to very high. “This thing can go in any direction. We’re not undermining the risk, it’s there," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said during a press briefing in Geneva on Friday. 

Global spread: The total number of confirmed cases now stands at more than 84,000, with more than 5,000 cases outside of mainland China. Though the number of new cases is beginning to ease inside of China, new clusters are fast expanding elsewhere, with rising infection rates in South Korea, Iran and Italy. In total, the virus has now spread to more than 56 countries and territories outside of mainland China.

Italy's hospitals overflowing:  Health officials from Italy’s Lombardy region have warned also warned of a “hospital crisis” if the coronavirus continues to spread. According to Professor Massimo Galli, the head of the department of infectious diseases at Sacco Hospital in Milan, his hospital has already reached the limit for the hospital beds in intensive care wards.

US reports 64th case: The US has reported its 64th case in California -- the individual was a Travis Air Force Base evacuee and passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The announcement comes amid growing concerns in the US. According to public health authorities, the country's 63rd case, which was reported earlier Friday, is the second US case of unknown origin, indicating that there's evidence of the virus transmitting within the community.

Shutting down: From conferences to concerts, an increasing number of events around the world are being canceled. CBS also temporarily suspended the production of its show “The Amazing Race” due to “increased concerns and uncertainty regarding the coronavirus around the world,” a CBS spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the WHO headquarters on Friday, February 28, in Geneva.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the WHO headquarters on Friday, February 28, in Geneva. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images