The number of deaths from novel coronavirus in mainland China has risen to 490 with more than 24,300 confirmed cases as of Wednesday morning local time, China's national health commission said.
China is experiencing an outbreak of novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, which was first identified in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province.
It has also been detected in other countries, including in the U.S., but nearly all of the deaths have been reported in mainland China. A person from Wuhan with the virus died in the Philippines and a person who had it died in Hong Kong.
Hyundai Motor Company says it will temporarily suspend production in South Korea, citing a disruption in getting parts from China amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The schedules for the suspension will vary by line, the auto manufacturer said in a statement.
The company will also try and seek alternative suppliers in other regions. "Hyundai Motor will closely monitor developments in China and take all necessary measures to ensure the prompt normalization of its operations," Hyundai Motor Company in Seoul said in a statement.
The virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, and it is at the epicenter of the outbreak. The virus has been detected in other countries but nearly all of the deaths have been in mainland China. A man from Wuhan died in the Philippines, the World Health Organization said Saturday, and a 39-year-old man who had been confirmed to have coronavirus in Hong Kong died, hospital officials said Tuesday.
Wuhan is a center of automotive production and it’s been closed off, along with neighboring cities, isolating more than 50 million people and bringing factories to a standstill, The Associated Press reported. So far, U.S. automakers haven't had to curb production for want of Chinese parts. — Phil Helsel
Ten people from a cruise ship quarantined off Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said.
Japan's health minister, Katsunobu Kato, said that the 10 people from the Diamond Princess will be escorted to a facility in Kanagawa Prefecture, where Yokohama is located. The cruise ship is being quarantined.
Princess Cruises, which owns the cruise ship, has said that a guest who later tested positive for coronavirus sailed from Yokohama on Jan. 20 and disembarked at Hong Kong on Jan. 25. That person did not report any symptoms while on the ship, but later tested positive for coronavirus on Feb. 1 after visiting a Hong Kong hospital, the cruise line said.
That confirmation set off a round of testing for 273 people who either showed symptoms or had close contact with the coronavirus patient who disembarked in Hong Kong, Kato said.
Of the first 31 people tested, 10 people tested positive for the virus, he said. The samples from the other 242 passengers and crew are still being tested.
Princess Cruises identified the 10 who tested positive as nine guests — two Australians, three Japanese, three from Hong Kong, and one from the U.S. — as well as one Filipino crew member. No deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Japan. — Arata Yamamoto and Phil Helsel
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted permission to state and local health departments to use the diagnostic test for the new coronavirus, a move that will speed up the testing process.
The CDC headquarters in Atlanta had been the only place in the country with the test for the virus. That meant that it took at least 24 to 36 hours to get test results back, including the time it took to send samples overnight to Atlanta, plus four to six hours to perform the actual test.
The FDA approved the test under “emergency use authorization,” which hastens the approval process for potentially lifesaving medical or diagnostic products during public health emergencies. — Sara G. Miller
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
Fang Bin, a resident of Wuhan, China, filmed patients inside hospital corridors and body bags in a funeral vehicle. It is not confirmed whether these body bags are victims of coronavirus. Bin said police accused him of taking money from “anti-China” forces after he released the video.
“It is important to tackle misinformation as soon as possible,” Dr. Sylvie Briand, director of WHO's pandemic and epidemic diseases department, said in a briefing with reporters. “When there is an unknown, people try to fill in the void.”
One example of misinformation described by Briand is an erroneous belief that there is “a cloud of virus” and it’s possible to get sick by simply breathing in air.
“This is not the situation,” she said, adding that coronavirus spreads primarily through contact with an infected person and is transmitted through respiratory droplets.
The death in Hong Kong came as hundreds of medical workers began a second day of strikes to force the government to completely shut the city's borders with mainland China to stop the spread of the virus.
On Monday, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced that 10 out of 13 border checkpoints with the mainland would be closed, but stopped short of shutting the entire border.
She has urged striking medical workers to end their action and return to their jobs as she warned of "serious consequences" amid the growing epidemic. — Jasmine Leung