Medical workers outside Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University, where students have been place under quarantine, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

March 9 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Tara John and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 10:14 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020
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6:32 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

An oil price crash and the coronavirus combined to create "complete pandemonium" in global markets

Global markets are plunging after the implosion of an alliance between OPEC and Russia caused the worst one-day crash in crude prices in nearly 30 years, fueling panic triggered by the escalation of the coronavirus epidemic.

A look at the markets' tumble:

  • S&P 500 (SPX) futures plunged as much as 5% Sunday evening, triggering a limit that prevents futures from trading below that mark. 
  • Dow (INDU) futures are down more than 1,200 points, or about 4.9%. 
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP) futures were down 4.8%.
  • Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended 7.3% lower on Monday, the index's biggest plunge since October 2008.
  • Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225) sank 5.1%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HSI) lost 4.2%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) shed 3%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, meanwhile, fell below 0.5%, hitting record lows.

What triggered this? The panic began after Saudi Arabia shocked oil markets by launching a price war. The kingdom is trying to retake global market share after Russia refused Friday to go along with OPEC's efforts to rescue the oil market from a plunge in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

What does this mean? Investors are waking up "shell shocked," wrote Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp, in a Monday research note. He described the panic as "complete pandemonium."

Global markets have also been battered in recent days. About $9 trillion was wiped off global stocks in nine days, Bank of America said in a research note after US markets closed deep in the red again on Thursday.

Read more about it here.

6:21 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

South Korea confirms 96 more cases, bringing national total to 7,478

South Korea has confirmed 96 more coronavirus cases, bringing the national total to 7,478, said the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) today.

South Korea has the most coronavirus cases outside of China, with more than half of all nationwide cases linked to the Shincheonji religious group in the country's south.

The numbers appear to be slowing: The KCDC and other emergency agencies said the weekend's numbers appear to show a decrease in new cases per day.

This could be because of the aggressive, widespread testing the country has implemented, as well as other measures like GPS quarantine monitors and smartphone apps for daily symptom reports.

But it could also be other factors, like the possibility people just didn't go get tested as much this weekend because of bad weather -- leading to a drop in numbers.

6:13 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

A Japan Airlines flight attendant is infected with coronavirus

From CNN's Chie Kobayashi in Tokyo and Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Japan Airlines confirmed today that one of its flight attendants has been infected with the coronavirus.

The patient is identified as a woman in her 50s who first showed symptoms on February 24, said the airline in a statement.

She was on board flight JL009 from Chicago to Tokyo's Narita airport the next day, before seeking medical help in Tokyo.

The airlines said 12 other flight attendants, who were in close contact with her, have been instructed to stay home until March 11. No passengers on board JL009 or other previous flights have been identified as close contacts with the flight attendant.

5:32 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

The head of Iran’s crisis management agency has the coronavirus

From CNN’s Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran

Esmaeel Najjar, the head of Iran’s Crisis Management Organization, has contracted coronavirus, according to semi-official news agency ISNA.

Najjar was discharged from the hospital and is self-quarantined at home, ISNA reported.

Other Iranian leaders have also tested positive: The country's deputy health minister was also confirmed to have coronavirus last month, just a day after he appeared on national television to warn the public of the virus.

5:31 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Shanghai Disney facilities begin phased reopening, but Disneyland park stays closed over coronavirus

From CNN’s Shanshan Wang in Beijing

Some shopping and dining attractions at Shanghai's Disney Resort are resuming operations today “as the first step of a phased reopening,” the company said in a press release -- although the park itself, Shanghai Disneyland, remains closed until further notice.

A limited number of shopping, dining and recreational outlets at Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel will operate under limited capacity and reduced hours.

Guests entering the facilities will have to undergo temperature screenings, wear a face mask, and present a Health QR Code when entering dining venues. Guests are also being asked to “maintain respectful social distances” while in the facilities.

Shanghai Disneyland has been shut since January 25.

Other Asian Disneylands are also closed: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea closed from late last month until March 15, after the Japanese government requested cancelations of big gatherings and events, in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Hong Kong Disneyland, which welcomed 6.7 million guests in the 2018 fiscal year, also announced its temporary closure on January 26. The park said its affiliated resort hotels would remain open.

5:10 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Germany confirms another 256 cases, bringing national total to 1,112

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Germany confirmed another 256 cases today, making the national total 1,112, according to the Robert Koch institute, Germany’s agency for disease control. 

The country has been seeing big daily spikes -- cases increased by nearly 200 from Saturday to Sunday, raising the national total to 847 at the time.

As the virus spreads, international travel restrictions are reflecting the worry over Europe's outbreak; places like Macao and Israel have imposed mandatory 14-day quarantines on travelers from Germany, Spain, and France.

5:02 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Core sectors of the Italian economy will stay open during the lockdown

From CNN’s Hada Messia in Rome and Hira Humayun in Atlanta

Millions of people are under lockdown in northern Italy -- but core sectors of the economy and the public administration will remain open for business, according to a statement from the Finance and Economy ministry Monday. 

The sweeping lockdown went into effect yesterday, placing the entire Lombardy region and 14 other provinces under strict measures, including cancelations of events and school closures.

These measures would impact sectors tied to transportation, lodging, food, drink and entertainment, said the ministry's statement.

“This is of the utmost importance not only from a healthcare point of view but also economically. A temporary downturn in some sectors or areas of the country is preferable to a longer crisis that could spread to the whole economy via demand and supply effects,” the statement said.

The Italian government is preparing measures to support workers and firms across the country, particularly in sectors and areas most affected by the outbreak, the ministry statement added. These measures will aim to prevent "lasting damage to the supply side of the Italian economy and permanent employment losses.”

5:00 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

European stocks plunge amid oil price war and global coronavirus fears

From CNN's Robert North in London

European stocks have plunged in the opening minutes of trade, as investors respond to falling oil prices and Coronavirus fears. The main markets have all fallen heavily, with the FTSE 100 down 8% and the German Dax down 7%.

Ahead of the open, European futures fell 10%. That’s the worst decline for Euro STOXX 50 futures on record -- more severe than the aftermath of September 11, when European futures fell 9%.

It comes as oil prices crashed nearly 30% after Saudi Arabia shocked the markets by launching a price war in crude against one-time ally Russia. Fears over the impact of Coronavirus have also hurt investor confidence.

4:54 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Cruise ships must prove there are no coronavirus cases on board before entering Puerto Rico

From CNN's Daniel Silva Fernandez 

Cruise ships attempting to enter Puerto Rico must first certify that there are no coronavirus cases on board, said Gov. Wanda Vazquez Garced in a tweet Sunday. 

In the tweet, Garced said “any cruise ship that intends to enter Puerto Rico has to confirm that it has no passengers on board with suspicious cases and meets the federal government's symptoms and travel history criteria regarding Covid-19."

The US territory currently has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Global cruise ship crisis: This comes after multiple cruise ships were suspected or found to have the coronavirus on board.

First and best-known is the Princess Diamond cruise ship, which was docked under quarantine for weeks in Japan after many on board were found infected.

Then, the World Dream ship was quarantined in Hong Kong after former passengers on a previous journey tested positive. Finally, all passengers were allowed to disembark the ship after testing negative.

But these incidents sparked fear -- the Westerdam cruise ship found itself denied entry into Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines before Cambodia finally allowed the ship to dock and its passengers to disembark.

And now, the Grand Princess is docked under quarantine off the California coast, with 21 people on board confirmed with coronavirus.