Coronavirus updates: Death toll crosses 1,000 in mainland China
•Workers in China start to return to offices and factories
• Four more patients test positive for coronavirus in England
• Deaths on mainland China rise to 1,016 as confirmed cases reach more than 42,000
• U.K. calls coronavirus a “serious” health threat and will detain people
• Virus uncertainty weighs on global shares
• China says 27 foreigners infected, 2 dead
• WHO will arrive in Beijing today to discuss joint coronavirus mission
• 65 more cases identified on cruise ship off Japan, including 11 Americans
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FBI, Los Angeles sheriff seeking information on fake coronavirus warning
The FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department are looking for the person or group responsible for posting a false document online suggesting a novel coronavirus case had been confirmed in the Southern California city of Carson, officials said Monday.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health declared the document to be fake, and there are no cases in Carson, which is a city in Los Angeles County.
The fake document has images of the logos of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on it.
The novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, has killed more than 1,000 people in mainland China. There have been 13 confirmed cases in the United States, and no deaths.
There have been only two deaths outside of mainland China, one in the Philippines involving a resident of Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak, and one in Hong Kong. — Phil Helsel
Number of coronavirus deaths tops 1,000 in mainland China
The number of deaths attributed to the coronavirus outbreak in China rose by more than 100 on Monday, bringing the total number of deaths across the country’s 31 provinces to 1,016, officials said.
The country’s National Health Commission said there were more than 42,000 confirmed cases.
Earlier, Chinese authorities said that there was hope the spread of the coronavirus might soon reach a turning point.
“The situation is stabilizing,” Wu Fan, vice dean of Shanghai Fudan University Medical school, said during a briefing when asked about the spread in Shanghai, which has had nearly 300 cases and one death.
But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there had been “concerning instances” of transmission from people who had not been to China.
“The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg,” he said in Geneva.
Wuhan, the Chinese city which is the epicenter of the outbreak, has not been able to confirm all existing suspected cases of the coronavirus despite a rush to speed up testing, the city’s Communist Party secretary told a news conference Monday.
Ma Guoqiang said the Wuhan government would, however, aim to test all suspected cases by Tuesday. There have been growing complaints that many patients in the city of 11 million have not been tested or admitted for full-time treatment due to the pressure on medical resources.
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Ma added that 1,499 patients in critical condition who were not admitted for treatment before Feb. 8 have now been hospitalized. — Tim Stelloh and Reuters
Indeed’s 1,000 Irish staff told to stay home
Recruitment website Indeed has told its 1,000 Ireland-based employees to work from home to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus, the company said Monday.
A spokesman for Indeed said one of its employees in Singapore may have been exposed to coronavirus after their family members visited a facility caring for a coronavirus patient.
Since some employees who visited Singapore have recently visited Indeed’s Dublin and Sydney offices, they are asking all employees in Dublin and Sydney to work from home until they have received confirmation, the spokesman said.
The company said there were no confirmed cases of infection, and the move was out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of its employees. — Michelle Gooden-Jones
Workers in China start to return to work
People across China trickled back to work Monday after an extended Lunar New Year holiday as the government eased restrictions imposed to counter the coronavirus.
Ten extra days had been added to the Lunar New Year holidays that had been due to finish at the end of January. But even Monday, many workplaces remained closed and many people worked from home.
There were few commuters seen during the morning rush-hour on one of Beijing’s busiest subway lines. All were wearing masks. — Reuters
Four more patients test positive in England
Four more patients in England have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the United Kingdom to eight, England’s chief medical officer said.
The new cases are all known contacts of a previously confirmed U.K. case, and the virus was passed on in France, professor Chris Whitty said in a statement. — Michelle Gooden-Jones
Deaths on mainland China climb to 908
The number of people killed by the novel coronavirus in China continued to rise Monday, with officials reporting a total of 908 deaths. Officials with China’s National Health Commission had reported 811 deaths Sunday.
The number of confirmed cases rose to 40,171 while officials were dealing with 23,589 suspected cases.
Hundreds of cases have been reported in two dozen other countries, including in the United States, where 12 cases have been confirmed. — Eric Baculinao and Yuliya Talmazan
U.K. calls virus ‘serious’ health threat
Britain has declared the new coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health” and announced new measures to combat the spread of the disease.
The U.K. Department of Health and Social Care said people with the virus can now be forcibly quarantined and will not be free to leave.
It named two British hospitals as isolation facilities for those affected by the disease and designated the Chinese city of Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province where the virus is believed to have first emerged as a “infected area.” — The Associated Press
Virus uncertainty weighs on global shares
Global shares fell as the death toll from the outbreak exceeded the SARS epidemic of two decades ago, though Chinese shares rose as authorities lifted some work and travel curbs, helping businesses to resume operations.
The dollar took a breather, trading flat against a basket of peers after gaining over 1 percent last week. — Reuters
China says 27 foreigners infected, 2 dead
China’s foreign ministry said that 27 foreigners in the country have been confirmed infected with the new coronavirus as of Monday morning. Two have died.
An American died Feb. 6 and a Japanese patient died Feb. 8, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
Three patients have recovered and been discharged.
Twenty-two other cases are under treatment, he added. — Eric Baculiano
WHO experts travel to Beijing
China’s foreign ministry said a WHO expert group will arrive in Beijing on Monday to discuss specific arrangements for the China-WHO joint mission.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was because of China’s “strong measures and Chinese people’s sacrifice” that cross-border spread of the epidemic has been effectively contained, the ministry spokesperson said.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres also commended China for its “remarkable efforts” to contain the virus propagation, he added. — Eric Baculiano and Michelle Gooden-Jones
65 more cases on cruise ship
Testing on the Diamond Princess docked off of Yokohama, Japan, has revealed 65 more confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to that country’s health officials. The cruise operator earlier put the number of new cases at 66, but later said 65.
The update takes the total of infections on the ship to more than 130, domestic broadcasters TBS and NHK said, citing Japanese health ministry sources.
Officials also said they could not provide a precise breakdown on nationalities. The company said that the new cases involve people from Australia (4), Canada (1), Japan (45), Philippines (3), Ukraine (1) and U.S. (11). Princess Cruises said that all the people newly testing positive are believed to have contracted it before the 14-day quarantine period.
Diamond Princess was placed in quarantine for two weeks upon arriving in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on Feb. 3, after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.
About 3,700 people are aboard the ship. Passengers have been allowed on decks in shifts to get fresh air and encouraged to regularly take their temperature. — F. Brinley Bruton and Reuters