What's happening with the coronavirus

What's happening with the coronavirus

The charter flight evacuating some Americans from China due to the coronavirus has departed, per Bloomberg. SFGate reports it will stop over in Anchorage and end in Ontario, California, instead of San Francisco as originally planned. HHS Secretary Alex Azar noted during a press briefing Tuesday that the plane is carrying physicians on board.

Tuesday's updates

Teamwork: China agreed to allow the World Health Organization to send a team of international experts to observe the coronavirus on the ground — a move U.S. public health officials say is needed to understand the virus and develop needed vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.

Warning: The U.S. raised its travel advisory for China, with the CDC recommending Americans not take any nonessential trips there.

Transportation limits: Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the semiautonomous city would cut its rail links to mainland China and flights would be reduced, though the measures stopped short of a total closure of the border, per AP.

Market jitters: Coronavirus fears are taking their toll on the financial market and airlines, but some wonder if the oil market is unnecessarily spooked. It's raised concerns about a global shortage of drug supplies and sparked a run on surgical masks.

Misinformation: Fabricated warnings and false information about the coronavirus are testing governments, tech platforms and health officials — as well as a nervous public — in both the U.S. and China.

This week

U.S. cases: The CDC confirmed there were 5 cases in the U.S. as of Sunday, all of whom traveled in Wuhan, China and are now in California (2), Arizona, Washington state and Chicago

Lunar New Year: The holiday was extended until Feb. 2, but many celebrations were canceled, the Washington Post reports, in an effort to stop people from traveling and spreading the virus.

Specialized hospital: Wuhan is quickly building a pre-fabricated 1,000-bed hospital to treat only patients infected with coronavirus, as other hospitals struggle to meet demand and deal with a shortage of supplies, per AP.

Lock down: The Chinese government this past week locked down the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou, collectively home to nearly 20 million people, AP reports.