March 3 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Tara John, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:49 PM ET, Tue March 3, 2020
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12:50 a.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Seoul marathon canceled over fears of coronavirus

The Seoul Marathon announced Tuesday on its website that the race scheduled for March 22 is cancelled.

The website stated a full refund would be given to every participant.

South Korea has been one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus with more than 4,800 confirmed infections across the country, leading to 29 deaths.

12:35 a.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Global fears grow as worldwide coronavirus infections surpass 90,000

From CNN's Josh Berlinger in Hong Kong

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that public health officials are operating in "unchartered territory" as they combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 90,000 people across 73 countries and territories as of Monday evening.

The virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica since it was first identified in December last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Medical workers are now battling deadly outbreak clusters in South Korea, Iran and Italy, while other countries are working furiously to avoid a similar fate by readying public health authorities, alerting their citizens and enacting travel restrictions to affected areas.

To date, there have been 173 deaths reported outside mainland China, raising the global death toll to 3,116.

Several nations that have seen cases are putting in place measures to limit the virus' spread: closing schools, encouraging remote work and canceling or scaling back public events, just to name a few.

The WHO has so far held off on classifying the incident as a global pandemic, but has warned it is a possibility in the near future.

"We have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission, but which can also be contained with the right measures," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the global health watchdog.

Read the full story here:

12:28 a.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Authorities unable to find source of coronavirus case in Florida

From CNN's Paul Murphy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, center, speaks about coronavirus cases at a news conference in Tampa, Florida on March 2.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, center, speaks about coronavirus cases at a news conference in Tampa, Florida on March 2.

There is still no clue as to how an individual in Manatee County, Florida, acquired the novel coronavirus that has now infected more than 90,000 people globally.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, contact tracing for the infected person has failed to reveal any potential source of infection.

They have had no travel to any affected regions, nor have they had any contact with an individual who tested positive. Although the individual lives in Manatee County, the source says they are believed to have gone to an ER at a hospital in nearby Sarasota County, Florida earlier in the week. 

But the individual was only tested for the virus on Saturday, after Florida expanded its testing criteria on Friday evening.

That means any healthcare worker who had been treating the patient, without the proper protection, was at danger of being exposed to the virus.

12:25 a.m. ET, March 3, 2020

South Korea confirms 31 cases of coronavirus among military personnel

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Seoul

At least 31 members of the South Korean military have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the country's defense ministry announced today.

The majority of the cases are in the army, where 17 people are infected, with 11 cases in the air force, two in the marines and one in the navy.

The total number of confirmed cases in South Korea is 4,812, including the 31 military cases. The nation's death toll is 29. 

Military exercises postponed: The coronavirus put annual exercises between the US and South Korea on hold late February.

The US military in South Korea announced that “in light of the Republic of Korea government's declaration of the highest alert level 'severe' on COVID-19, the ROK-US Alliance made the decision to postpone the combined command post training for the ROK-US Combined Forces Command until further notice”, according to a statement released by the US Combined Forces Command in South Korea on February 27.

“(Our) commitment to the ROK-US alliance remains ironclad and unbreakable."

12:14 a.m. ET, March 3, 2020

More than 10,500 coronavirus cases have been reported outside mainland China

From CNN's Jaide Garcia in Atlanta

Medical staff arrive at Dongsan Hospital in Daegu, South Korea on March 3.
Medical staff arrive at Dongsan Hospital in Daegu, South Korea on March 3. Lee Moo-ryul/Newsis/AP

There are now more than 10,500 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in over 70 countries and territories outside mainland China, including at least 173 deaths.

Here's the list of confirmed cases and deaths outside mainland China:

1. Afghanistan (1 case)

2. Algeria (2 cases)

3. Andorra (1 case)

4. Armenia (1 case)

5. Australia (31 cases, 1 death)

6. Austria (10 cases)

7. Bahrain (49 cases)

8. Belarus (1 case)

9. Belgium (1 case)

10. Brazil (2 cases)

11. Cambodia (1 case)

12. Canada (24 cases)

13. Croatia (6 cases)

14. Czech Republic (1 case)

15. Denmark (3 cases)

16. Dominican Republic (1 case)

17. Ecuador (7 cases)

18. Egypt (2 cases)

19. Estonia (1 case)

20. Finland (3 cases)

21. France (130 cases, 2 deaths)

22. Georgia (1 case)

23. Germany (158 cases)

24. Greece (7 cases)

25. Hong Kong (100 cases, 2 deaths)

26. Iceland (3 case)

27. India (5 cases)

28. Indonesia (2 cases)

29. Iran (1,501 cases, 66 deaths)

30. Iraq (26 cases)

31. Ireland (1 case)

32. Israel (12 cases)

33. Italy (2,036 cases, 52 deaths)

34. Japan (974 cases, 12 deaths)

35. Jordan (1 case)

36. Kuwait (56 cases)

37. Latvia (1 case)

38. Lebanon (13 cases)

39. Lithuania (1 case)

40. Luxembourg (1 case)

41. Macao (10 cases)

42. Malaysia (25 cases)

43. Mexico (5 cases)

44. Monaco (1 case)

45. Nepal (1 case)

46. Netherlands (7 cases)

47. New Zealand (1 case)

48. Nigeria (1 case)

49. North Macedonia (1 case)

50. Norway (15 cases)

51. Oman (6 cases)

52. Pakistan (5 cases)

53. Philippines (3 cases, 1 death)

54. Portugal (2 cases)

55. Qatar (7 cases)

56. Romania (3 cases)

57. Russia (6 cases)

58. San Marino (1 case)

59. Saudi Arabia (1 case)

60. Senegal (1 case)

61. Singapore (108 cases)

62. South Korea (4,812 cases, 29 deaths)

63. Spain (73 cases)

64. Sri Lanka (1 case)

65. Sweden (13 cases)

66. Switzerland (18 cases)

67. Taiwan (41 cases, 1 death)

68. Thailand (42 cases, 1 death)

69. Tunisia (1 case)

70. United Arab Emirates (21 cases)

71. United Kingdom (35 cases)

72. United States (105 cases*, 6 deaths)

73. Vietnam (16 cases)

*Includes presumptive positive cases from public health labs pending confirmation from the US Centers for Disease Control.  

10:32 a.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Food and Drug Administration issues emergency authorization on health care workers' masks

A medic prepares to transport a patient from the Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington on February 29, where multiple staff and residents have reportedly exhibited coronavirus-like symptoms.
A medic prepares to transport a patient from the Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington on February 29, where multiple staff and residents have reportedly exhibited coronavirus-like symptoms. David Ryder/Getty Images

Concerned about potential shortages of protective gear, the US Food and Drug Administration has granted a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention request to let healthcare workers use a wider variety of respirators.

A number of countries globally have seen shortages of protective masks as governments and citizens buy large numbers to guard against the coronavirus outbreak.

The FDA regulates what respirators healthcare workers can use. Today’s decision will allow medical personnel to use respirators that have been approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, such as certain N95 masks, but do not necessarily meet FDA requirements.

“We will continue pursuing every possible avenue to secure the protective gear needed for responding to the COVID-19 outbreak," US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

The FDA has been monitoring medical supplies with concern that there could be shortages of some protective equipment.

In a statement Monday, they said that they are not aware of “specific widespread shortages of personal protective equipment, but there are reports of increased ordering of these products and shortages have been observed in some US health care institutions.”

There are currently 105 confirmed infections of the coronavirus in the United States.

11:48 p.m. ET, March 2, 2020

Ecuador confirms 7th case of novel coronavirus

Health workers take part in a sanitary campaign at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador on March 1.
Health workers take part in a sanitary campaign at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador on March 1. Christina Vega Rhor/AFP/Getty Images

There are now seven cases of the novel coronavirus in Ecuador, the country's Ministry of Health announced late Monday.

According to the health authorities, the individual was in contact with the initial coronavirus carrier reported in the country.

Currently, there are 177 people under observation due to their interaction with the first Ecuadorian carrier of the virus, according to the Ministry of Health.

11:42 p.m. ET, March 2, 2020

Australia may use biosecurity laws to detain citizens suspected of carrying coronavirus

From CNN’s Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Australia's attorney-general warned Monday that citizens suspected of carrying the coronavirus may fall foul of the country's strict biosecurity laws.

Speaking during an interview with CNN affiliate Sky News Australia, attorney-general Christian Porter said there are a range of powers available that will allow the government to control people’s movements, as it handles outbreaks such as the novel coronavirus.

He said detention may be an option for those who refuse to cooperate with health officials, which could compel detainees to “undergo a brief decontamination or provide information on where they have been or who they have been in contact with.”

The government will also consider declaring “human health zones” that will require everyone entering or leaving a certain area to be screened.

31 cases confirmed in Australia: The warning came as the country confirmed an additional case of novel coronavirus in Queensland Tuesday, bringing the nationwide total to 31, Queensland Health announced in a statement.

The latest patient is a 20-year-old man from China who had traveled to Dubai for more than two weeks before entering Australia, it added.

The man is currently in a stable condition.

11:28 p.m. ET, March 2, 2020

Federal judge in Texas denies request to keep Diamond Princess evacuees in quarantine

People evacuated from China arrive in San Antonio on February 7, to be quarantined at the Lackland Air Force Base.
People evacuated from China arrive in San Antonio on February 7, to be quarantined at the Lackland Air Force Base. Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News/AP

A request by the US city of San Antonio for a restraining order to keep Diamond Princess cruise ship evacuees in quarantine has been denied by a federal judge.

The evacuees are currently being held at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

“The Surgeon General of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services are authorized to make and enforce such regulations as in their judgment are necessary to prevent the transmission or spread of communicable diseases," US district judge Xavier Rodriguez said in his decision late Monday.

According to Rodriguez, the evacuees had successfully passed two coronavirus tests, 24 hours apart, and had been in quarantine for two weeks.

"This court has no authority to second-guess those determinations even though the court also shares the concerns expressed by the plaintiffs,” the judge said.

Over 700 cases of the novel coronavirus have been linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan for two weeks in February.

CNN spoke to evacuees at the Lackland Air Force Base, who were frustrated by the delay in letting them out of quarantine.

“At this point, we are being held illegally against our will,” author and filmmaker Gay Courter said.