Soldiers spray disinfectant in Seoul. Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

March 7 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:00 p.m. ET, March 7, 2020
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10:44 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

Maryland's 3 coronavirus cases are linked to an Egyptian river cruise

Three Maryland patients contracted the coronavirus on a Nile River cruise in Egypt, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced in a news conference.

Hogan said these cases also appear to be linked to six confirmed coronavirus cases in Texas who were also on a Nile River cruise. 

Two of the Maryland patients had public interaction. Hogan said that one individual, after returning from the cruise on February 20, attended an event in the Philadelphia area where they were in contact with a group of children. As a result, the Central Bucks Co. School District in the Philadelphia suburbs made the decision to close five local schools today.

Another patient attended a public event on February 29 at the Village at Rockville, a retirement community where they were in contact with approximately 70 to 100 individuals including outside visitors, as well as residents and staff, according to Hogan. 

10:39 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

Iraq confirms 8 new cases of coronavirus, bringing total to 46

From CNN's Aqeel Najim in Baghdad 

The Iraqi Ministry of Health announced eight new coronavirus infections Friday, bringing the country's total confirmed cases to 46.

Iraq shares a border with Iran, the Middle Eastern country that has the largest number of infections in the region.

As of Friday night, Iran had more than 4,700 confirmed cases of the virus, including 124 deaths.

10:33 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

Ecuador confirms 14th case of coronavirus

From CNN’s Tatiana Arias in Atlanta and CNNE’s Juliana Gonzalez in Miami

Ecuador’s ministry of health has confirmed an additional case of the coronavirus, bringing the country’s total to 14, according to a statement published via Twitter on Friday.

The statement said that the foreign individual traveled to Ecuador for tourism and is now hospitalized; his condition is not being revealed. It was not announced which country the tourist came from.

10:28 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

US coronavirus cases rise by 100 in just 24 hours

The US now has 329 confirmed or presumed positive cases of the novel coronavirus in 28 states, according to CNN's tally of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state totals.

Compared to the Thursday night total of 227 cases, that is a jump of more than 100 infections in just 24 hours.

The largest clusters of cases are in Washington state, California and New York. In total there have been 15 deaths from the virus in the US.

10:26 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

Indonesia confirms 2 new coronavirus cases

From journalist Chermaine Lee in Hong Kong

Indonesia confirmed two new novel coronavirus cases on Friday, raising the nationwide tally to four, according to a report from state-run news agency Antara News.

10:23 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

American Nurses Association calls for collaborative coronavirus response

From CNN Health's Ben Tinker and Jacqueline Howard

The association representing four million nurses in the United States called on Friday for "a concerted effort among all members of the health care team, decision makers and the public to respond to the coronavirus outbreak."

The American Nurses Association said in a statement that while their members were ready to respond to the crisis, they needed "proper support."

"This includes clear, evidence-based protocols and the highest level of protection in order to care for infected individuals as well as prevent the spread of the coronavirus in health care facilities and the community," the statement said.
"In order to effectively respond, nurses must have the full support of their employers and government organizations to access the appropriate safeguards and secure proper supplies ... The current lack of supplies, testing kits, proper protective gear, and the lack of a universal set of guidelines, all contribute to the spread of coronavirus."
10:24 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

Vietnam reports first coronavirus case in over 3 weeks

From journalist Chermaine Lee in Hong Kong

Vietnam reported its 17th novel coronavirus case on Friday night, the government’s media office said on Twitter.

The new case is the first Vietnam has had in 22 days. 

10:17 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

Inside the religious group blamed for sparking South Korea's coronavirus epidemic

From CNN's Joshua Berlinger

Members of the Shincheonji religious group dress in identical white shirts, black pants and name tags when they gather to hear founder Lee Man-hee preach.

There are no chairs, except for those provided for the elderly or sick. They sit on the floor to listen to sermons to maximize space.

The religious practices of Shincheonji are in the public eye because the movement appears to be the source of South Korea's growing novel coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 6,700 people across the country.

Shincheonji, however, is not the only fringe faith in the country.

Today there are hundreds of similar minority religious groups in South Korea -- including Christian ones -- according to Tark Ji-il, a professor at Busan Presbyterian University and a respected expert on the country's religious movements.

And no one is really sure why South Korea has so many.

Read the full article here.

10:13 p.m. ET, March 6, 2020

FBI employee near San Francisco tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Shimon Prokupecz

An FBI employee out of the San Francisco field division is among those to test positive for the novel coronavirus, an FBI official confirmed Friday.

The infected person is based out of a smaller satellite office and not the main offices in San Francisco.

Employees of the satellite office were sent home and the FBI is taking all necessary steps to prevent further spread of the virus, the official said. 

It’s not clear how the employee contracted the virus. The FBI has notified local health officials and is tracking people who had contact with the employee.