January 22 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Steve George and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 10:05 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020
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1:18 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020

CDC testing several people in US for possible Wuhan virus

From CNN Health’s Elizabeth Cohen

Amid an international outbreak of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received specimens from several people in the United States who've traveled to Wuhan, China, or who’ve had close contact with “someone under investigation,” according to CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund. 

Nordlund did not say whether these tests have been completed and the results are still unknown. 

The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 17 people and sickened more than 500, mostly in China but also in other countries such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

The CDC has the only laboratory in the United States that can test for this new virus.

On Tuesday, the CDC announced that the United States had its first case of the Wuhan coronavirus, a man in his 30s who lives in Washington, where he is hospitalized. The man recently returned from Wuhan.

12:41 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Five more Chinese provinces report new cases

From CNN's Steven Jiang in Beijing

Five Chinese provinces reported additional cases of the Wuhan coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people infected in mainland China to 547.

The worldwide number of cases has reached 555 on Wednesday. 

Hebei, Jiangsu, and Heilongjiang provinces each confirmed their first case, while Hubei province reported an additional 69 (this includes the city of Wuhan). Beijing reported an additional four cases.

The total number of provinces that have reported cases across mainland China has increased to 24, according to combined reports from China's national and provincial health authorities.

Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images
Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

9:29 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Wuhan's Olympic qualifying events canceled

From CNN's Matias Grez and Sean Coppack in London

The Olympic boxing qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020 has been canceled due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the International Olympic Committee confirmed in a statement Wednesday.

The Asian Football Confederation also announced that the Olympic qualifying event for women's football has been moved from from Wuhan to Nanjing.

Tokyo 2020 takes place from July 24 to August 9.

Read the full story here.

12:03 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Decision from WHO emergency meeting expected soon

Top officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) convened for an emergency meeting in Geneva on Wednesday.

They are deciding whether the quickly developing coronavirus outbreak constitutes a "public health emergency of international concern," and what recommendations should be made regarding it, including potential cross-border screening, greater surveillance and rolling out treatment programs.

A decision is expected shortly. The WHO will hold a news conference at 7:00 p.m. Geneva time (1:00 p.m. ET).

11:19 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Face masks are made mandatory in Wuhan

From Yong Xiong in Wuhan

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

It is now mandatory to wear face masks in public places in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged last month.  

Wuhan's municipal government published a notice on Wednesday, stating that all public places are to require customers to wear masks and owners are to prevent people from entering if they are not. 

It reads:

People who don't obey the requirements shall be dealt with by authorities in accordance with their respective duties and laws.

The public places include: 

  • Hotels, restaurants, guest houses, cafes, bars, tea houses
  • Public baths, barbers, beauty shops
  • Theaters, video halls, entertainment halls, dance halls, concert halls
  • Stadiums, swimming pools, parks
  • Exhibition halls, museums, art galleries, libraries
  • Shopping malls, bookstores
  • Waiting rooms, public transportation
  • Other public places where crowds gather
10:56 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Authorities think the outbreak started here

The first patient infected with the coronavirus developed symptoms in Wuhan on December 8, according to Wuhan Municipal Health Commission.

Wuhan is the largest city in central China and a major transportation hub. Officials in China have linked the viral infections to a Wuhan seafood and wildlife market, which has been closed since January 1 to prevent further spread of the illness.

10:38 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

One person under observation in Mexico

From CNN’s Tatiana Arias and CNN en Español's Florencia Trucco

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that one person in the country is “under observation” for possibly having the Wuhan coronavirus. He added that the case has not been confirmed.

Speaking at a daily press conference on Wednesday, Lopez Obrador said the person is in Tamaulipas.

An earlier suspected case in Mexico was determined not to be the Wuhan virus.

10:18 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Death toll in China rises to 17

From CNN’s Steven Jiang in Beijing

Eight new deaths from the coronavirus were confirmed in the province of Hubei on Wednesday, according to the health authority in Wuhan, the provincial capital.

The new deaths bring the total number of people who died to 17.

Additionally the number of confirmed cases has risen to 444 in Hubei, bringing the total across mainland China to 509 according to the national health authority and the Wuhan Health Commission. 

9:48 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Scientists estimate more than 4,000 coronavirus cases in Wuhan city alone

From CNN Health’s Meera Senthilingam

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Scientists at Imperial College London estimate that around 4,000 people are likely to have been infected by the new coronavirus in Wuhan city alone as of January 18.

Official numbers show nine people have died and at least 479 have been infected by the outbreak, but a team at Imperial believes these numbers are a gross underestimate. Mild symptoms and delayed onset mean many cases are likely to have been undetected. 

The new estimates are more than double previous estimates the scientists released last week, which suggested 1,723 people were likely to have been infected by January 12. The revision takes into account new information available this week, such as reports of exported cases in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.