The death toll attributed to the 2019 novel coronavirus continues to rise, with thousands of people sickened and hundreds of others killed by the virus, mostly in China.
Here are the latest updates:
Update 2 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Three people in South Korea who were confirmed to have coronavirus have been discharged from the hospital, health officials said Wednesday.
The South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all three recovered from the illness, according to CNN.
The news comes days after officials discharged another patient in South Korea last week, the news outlet reported.
Two dozen coronavirus patients remain hospitalized in South Korea, authorities said.
Update 10 p.m. EST Feb. 11: China reported another drop in the number of new cases of a viral infection and 97 more deaths, pushing the total dead past 1,100 even as the country remains largely closed down to prevent the spread of the disease.
The National Health Commission said that 2,015 new cases had been reported over the last 24 hours, declining for a second day. The total number of cases in mainland China is 44,653, although many experts say a large number of others infected have gone uncounted.
The 97 additional deaths from the virus raised the mainland toll to 1,113.
Update 9 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Japan’s health ministry said that 39 new cases of a virus have been confirmed on a cruise ship quarantined at a Japanese port.
The update brings the total found on the Diamond Princess to 174 cases.
The ministry also said the virus was confirmed in a official who participated in the initial quarantine checks the night the ship returned to Yokohama Port near Tokyo on Feb. 3. The quarantine official is being treated in the hospital.
The U.S.-operated Diamond Princess had completed a 14-day tour during which it stopped at Hong Kong and several other Asian ports before returning to Japan.
Update 3:50 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Officials with the World Health Organization said Tuesday in a situation report that mounting evidence is showing a link between the 2019 novel coronavirus and bats.
Officials said the virus appeared to be linked to bats of the Rhinolophus sub-species, which are abundant in southern China and across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, officials said. However, it remained unclear Monday how the virus passed from bats to humans.
As of Tuesday, more than 43,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, with a vast majority reported in China. Officials with WHO said the virus has claimed 1,017 lives in the country so far. One person has also died of coronavirus in the Philippines.
Update 2:45 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Two new cases of the coronavirus, COVID-9, have been confirmed by authorities in Germany, The Washington Post reported.
The illnesses, which were connected to automotive supplier Webasto, bring the total number of coronavirus cases in Germany to 16, according to the Post.
The company temporarily closed its headquarters after learning of the employee’s diagnoses. Officials told Reuters they planned to reopen the building near Munich on Wednesday.
Update 2:15 p.m. EST Feb. 11: American Airlines officials announced the company is extending its suspension of flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong due to reduced demand amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Airline officials said flights bound to mainland China from the company’s Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles hubs would be suspended until April 24. Flights from Los Angeles to Hong Kong were expected to resume the same day. Flights between Dallas and Hong Kong were expected to resume April 23.
Update 12:05 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Tuesday that a vaccine targeting the coronavirus could be ready in 18 months, according to Reuters.
“So, we have to do everything today using available weapons,” he said.
Tedros on Tuesday asked that countries be “as aggressive as possible” in the fight against COVID-19.
“If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider the virus as public enemy number one, I don’t think we will learn from our lessons,” he said, according to The Guardian. “We are still in containment strategy and should not allow the virus to have a space to have local transmission.”
Update 10:45 a.m. EST Feb. 11: The World Health Organization said just over 42,700 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in China as of 6 a.m. Geneva time Tuesday. Nearly 400 cases have been confirmed in two dozen other countries.
Coronavirus has killed more than 1,017 people in China and one person in the Philippines, according to health officials.
Update 10:40 a.m. EST Feb. 11: The World Health Organization on Tuesday announced the name for the deadly new coronavirus: Covid-19.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said the new name was aimed at preventing “the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing.”
Update 9:40 a.m. EST Feb. 11: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health said Tuesday that two new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, bringing the total number of cases there to 47.
Health officials said the new cases involved a 35-year-old Singapore permanent resident and a 39-year-old Bangladesh national, neither of whom had recently traveled to China. Both new patients were being treated in isolation.
Update 8:45 a.m. EST Feb. 11: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, called the 2019 novel coronavirus “a very grave threat” Tuesday.
His comments came at the start of the global research and innovation forum aimed at addressing the coronavirus.
Last week, Tedros told a WHO executive committee that “panic and fear” was the biggest threat posed by the coronavirus, according to The Washington Post. At the time, only 146 cases of coronavirus had been reported outside China.
As of Monday, WHO officials said 319 people in 24 countries had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Update 8:52 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Officials in San Diego have confirmed its first case of coronavirus in the Southern California city, KGTV reported.
A Centers for Disease Control spokesman confirmed Monday evening that an individual taken to the University of California at San Diego Health hospital was infected with the virus, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.K
KGTV, citing an anonymous source, said the patient was aboard the first flight from Wuhan, China, to Miramar. It was unclear whether the adult patient was a man or woman, the television station reported.
Update 7:07 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Officials with China’s Hubei health authority now report 1,011 dead, including 103 on Monday, The Washington Post reported. There have been about 42,000 cases of coronavirus, with more than 6,000 patients in critical condition, authorities told the newspaper.
Update 3:10 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Authorities are investigating reports that a British businessman might have spread coronavirus to several Britons in three countries, according to multiple reports.
The man, who was not identified, is believed to have been exposed to coronavirus during a sales conference last month in Singapore, The Guardian reported. Following the conference, the man traveled to France and then back to the U.K., according to the newspaper.
Update 12:25 p.m. EST Feb. 10: President Donald Trump claimed without evidence that people believe the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus “will go away in April.”
“A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat,” Trump said Monday during an address of governors held at the White House. “Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though.”
Previously, Trump said on Twitter that Chinese President Xi Jinping was hopeful that he would successfully counterattack the coronavirus, “especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”
Since the coronavirus was first detected late last year in Wuhan, China, more than 40,500 cases of the virus have been confirmed globally. An overwhelming number of the cases were reported in China, where 909 people have died of the disease as of Monday morning, according to the World Health Organization. One person has died of coronavirus in the Philippines, health officials said.
In the U.S., a dozen people have been confirmed as having been infected with coronavirus: six in California, two in Illinois, one in Massachusetts, one in Arizona, one in Washington and one in Wisconsin.
Update 10:30 a.m. EST Feb. 10: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Monday that health officials are continuing to see a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases with 99% of illnesses being reported in China.
About 2% of the cases have proved deadly, he said.
According to WHO, more than 40,500 cases so coronavirus have been confirmed globally as of 6 a.m. local time (12 a.m. EST). A majority of those — 40,235 — were reported in China, where 909 people have died of the virus. Officials said 319 cases were confirmed in 24 other countries, including the Philippines, where one person died last week.
The number of those killed by the virus has passed the number of people killed in the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. At that time, 774 people died from SARS, The Associated Press reported.
Despite the number of people who died, officials are hopeful, since, for more than 10 days, the number of people recovering is higher than those who have died, the Times reported.
As the numbers continue to climb, workers return to their jobs after the extended Lunar New Year holiday that kept many people home. Shoppers are also heading back to markets and stores despite the threat, the AP reported.
They are taking precautions of wearing face masks as they go about their day.
“We just need to have a little more sense of self-protection,” Iris Ke told the AP. “Life goes on anyway. How come we stop going outside or stop working simply because of fear of disease? We can’t do that.”
But business is still slow, with some shop owners saying it’s about half as busy as normal.
China’s leader Xi Jinping made an appearance at a hospital and government offices in Beijing, about five miles north of his residence in the Forbidden City, The New York Times reported. He made no public statement during the appearance.
He also had a video conference with workers at a hospital in Wuhan, the town that is ground zero for the illness, the Times reported.
There are rules that have been established to help stop the spread. In some areas, business owners must know if their employees have traveled to areas where there are large outbreak numbers. They’re also being told by the government to check the workers’ temperatures and have hand-washing protocols, the Times reported.
And despite the return to normalcy, some business continues to be on hold. Airbnb has suspended all bookings in Beijing amid the outbreak, CNN reported.
Japanese government officials may test all 3,711 passengers and crew on board. They’re also trying to get medicine to more than 600 passengers who have requested it, the AP reported.
Four more patients in England have tested positive, bringing the total there to eight, officials in the UK said. The newest diagnosis was from people who had contact with others who were diagnosed with the virus. The country’s department of health said that people diagnosed with coronavirus could be forcibly quarantined. Two hospitals have been set up as isolation facilities, the AP reported.
So far, there are six confirmed cases in California, two in Illinois and one each in Massachusetts, Washington, Wisconsin, and Arizona, CNN reported.
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— Bob D’Angelo to www.fox23.com