March 5 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, James Griffiths, Adam Renton and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 9:36 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020
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5:59 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Coronavirus could cost airline industry $113bn

From CNN's Robert North

The coronavirus outbreak could cost the airline industry as much as $113 billion in lost revenue, according to the airline industry body IATA.

In new forecasts, IATA said airlines' passenger business could lose $63bn if the coronavirus outbreak is contained (in current markets with over 100 cases as of March 2). It warned, however, that if the virus continues to spread, the cost could rise to $113bn.

In this worst-case scenario, the big falls would be in Asia and Europe. IATA said European airlines could see passenger numbers drop by 24%.

This is a big increase to IATA’s previous forecasts. On February 20, IATA predicted that airlines would lose $29.3bn.

5:41 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Iceland confirms "many cases per capita" as coronavirus cases rise by 10 to 26

From CNN's Inga Thordar

Ten Icelandic nationals tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the country's total number of confirmed cases to 26, according to its directorate of health.

All of those individuals were traveling in either northern Italy or Austria.

"It’s clear that in Iceland we have high number of confirmed cases per capita and by international comparison," the directorate said in a statement. "It’s important to note in this context that authorities have taken wide-ranging measures, e.g. the quarantine of individuals returning from infected areas, isolation of diagnosed cases and early testing."

There are now 380 people quarantined in Iceland and the country is working on increasing the capacity of diagnosis at Landspitali hospital in Reykjavik.

An Icelandair flight to Italy on Saturday will collect 70 Icelanders stranded there, and the 12 Icelandic nationals who have been quarantined in Tenerife are also expected to return on Saturday, according to state media.

All four crew on the flight to Verona are nurses and will be dressed in protective clothing.

“This is clearly unusual but this is the most responsible and safe way to get these people home," said Haukur Reynisson, head of operations for Icelandair.

A high proportion of those infected were in the Hotel Aaritz in the town of Selva in Trentino, northern Italy. Of 14 Icelanders there, 12 have been infected, according to state broadcaster RUV.

6:02 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

First coronavirus death in Switzerland

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

Switzerland has had its first death of coronavirus, the Vaud region police said in a statement. 

The patient was 74 years old, had been suffering from a chronic illness and was considered “high risk.” The patient had been infected by the virus on Tuesday and died on Wednesday night.

This post has been updated to reflect the correct day that the patient was infected.

5:03 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

At least 215 people in India interacted with infected Italian tourist group

From CNN's Vedika Sud in New Delhi, Akanksha Sharma in Hong Kong

At least 215 people came into contact with a group of Italian tourists in India, some of whom have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a Rajasthan government official said on Thursday.

According to Govind Pareek, the Joint Director of Public Relations, officials have identified the people the tourists came into contact with while in the region, including the cities of Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur and Jaipur. 

Ninety-three samples have been tested so far. Of these, 60 tested negative for the novel coronavirus. The Rajasthan government is in the process of testing the remaining 122 suspected cases across the state.

Hotel rooms where the Italians stayed have been closed for sanitation, which is still underway, Pareek added. 

India's Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced on Wednesday that 16 of the 22 Italians on the trip have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The group landed in New Delhi on February 21 and traveled to Rajasthan by bus. 

Two of the Italian citizens with the virus are being treated in Rajasthan and the remaining 14 are receiving treatment in the city of Gurugram just outside New Delhi.

The group’s driver, who is an Indian citizen, also tested positive.

5:24 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

UAE urges residents not to travel abroad

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi

T United Arab Emirates urged its citizens and residents on Thursday against travel abroad, the Emirati health ministry said.

“Those who travel may face preventative measures upon their return to the UAE - at the discretion of competent authorities -- including undergoing medical checks at the airport, and a 14-day home quarantine,” the statement said.

The Dubai Health Authority also said that customers travelling to Dubai from Beijing, Beirut, Rome, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Bangkok and Phuket will have to a coronavirus test at the airport.

The UAE has 27 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to state media.

4:31 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

South Korea halts exports of face masks, sets new limits for pricing and purchasing

From CNN's Hyoungjoo Choi in Seoul

People buy face masks at a department store on February 28, in Seoul, South Korea.
People buy face masks at a department store on February 28, in Seoul, South Korea. Credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Face masks produced in South Korea will no longer be exported abroad as of tomorrow, the country's vice finance minister said today.

This move comes amid the largest coronavirus outbreak outside China, and after much public criticism of the government for severe shortages of face masks, resulting in citizens waiting long hours at designated locations to purchase them in limited numbers.

The government had previously restricted the export of face masks, allowing up to 10% of those produced to be exported until April 30.

South Korea has reported more than 5,700 cases of the virus and 35 deaths.

Face mask supply: South Korea is aiming to increase its daily mask output from 10 million to at least 13 million, authorities said.

Masks will be distributed mainly to pharmacies, post offices, and government locations for citizens to purchase.

Starting from Monday, each citizen can purchase up to two masks per week. The government will monitor sales through a computerized system, to prevent people from buying more than their share.

The government will also designate certain days of the week for citizens to purchase masks after presenting their identification cards, to avoid big crowds of shoppers.

Mask price: The finance ministry will also price all masks distributed by the government at $1.27 (1,500 Korean won), and it may set a maximum price limit for private sellers.

The government will reward anyone who reports on illegal business transactions of mask sales.

4:19 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Netflix pulls out of SXSW conference due to coronavirus fears

View of the Netflix offices in Los Angeles on May 29, 2019.
View of the Netflix offices in Los Angeles on May 29, 2019. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Netflix is pulling out of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference over concerns about the coronavirus, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

The spokesperson said Netflix did not have a statement regarding the decision. The news was first reported by Variety.

SXSW is an annual conference combining technology, music, media, and film that takes place in Austin, Texas. It is set to take place from March 13-22.

Austin public health officials announced Wednesday that the conference would continue as planned despite concerns about the coronavirus.

"It's important for us to remember at this stage that we're actively evaluating mass gatherings on a daily basis," said the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health.
"Right now there's no evidence that closing South by Southwest or other activities is going to make this community safer. We're constantly monitoring that situation."
4:08 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Iran is developing a coronavirus vaccine and is ready to start producing test kits

From CNN’s Radina Gigova in Atlanta

Iran has begun work on developing a coronavirus vaccine and is ready to start producing test kits, the head of the Medical Sciences University of Iran told state news agency ILNA. 

“A number of universities, including the Medical Sciences University of Iran, have started activities needed for the production of test kits so that we can ultimately obtain complete indigenous production of the test kits,” said Dr. Jaleel Kouhpayezadeh.
“We have also started activities towards the production of a vaccine but it is an endeavor that is time consuming, though we hope to reach desired results as soon as possible,” he added.  

Kouhpayezadeh added that proper personal sanitation and home quarantines are among the most important ways to control the spread of the virus, and called on citizens to observe the safety protocols. 

Iran is one of the worst hit countries by the coronavirus outbreak and has officially recorded 2,922 cases, including 92 deaths.

4:07 a.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Eurovision Song Contest is "proceeding with planning"

From CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite and Vasco Cotovio in London

The European Broadcast Union (EBU) says it is proceeding with planning this year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, scheduled for May.

This comes after reports suggested it was considering an online format due to the coronavirus threat.

In a statement to CNN, the EBU said:

“We will continue to follow developments across Europe; and are looking at various possible scenarios together with the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 host broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS. However, it is currently too early to comment on these scenarios as they depend on developments in the coming months.
The EBU is, of course, closely monitoring the situation concerning the spread of coronavirus and taking all necessary health and safety precautions in line with WHO and national authority guidelines."

The EBU had already imposed a travel ban after one of its staff in Geneva tested positive for the coronavirus.

What is Eurovision? The singing competition takes place once a year, and is hosted by the previous edition's winning country. There are two semi-finals, and a grand final.

Eurovision attracts hundreds of millions of viewers, and has given the world acts including Abba, Celine Dion and Olivia Newton-John.