Health and Science

Princess Cruises confirms 6 new cases, China faces supply crunch

Key Points
  • China urged medical professionals to make "reasonable use" of protective gear, according to a Reuters translation. It comes as the country struggles with a shortage of protective suits, masks and goggles.
  • Spain and the U.K. announced new coronavirus cases in their countries, and China's northern Hebei province will keep its schools shut until at least March 1 in an effort to contain the epidemic. 
  • The number of deaths from the new virus surpassed the global death toll for SARS, when China reported 811 deaths in the mainland on Sunday. That brings the global death toll to 813 — including one in the Philippines and another in Hong Kong.
People wearing protective face masks walk inside a mall in Shanghai on February 8, 2020.
Noel Celis | AFP | Getty Images

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's US team.

All times below are in Beijing time.

7:28 pm: China pledges more than $10 billion to fight virus

All levels of China's government have allocated a total of 71.85 billion yuan ($10.26 billion) to fight the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has now killed more than 800 people and infected more than 37,000, the country's finance ministry said Sunday.

The funds will reportedly go toward helping citizens afford treatment, a statement on the finance's ministry's website said. Chinese health officials have warned of medical equipment shortages as hospitals in the country come under heavy strain and face resources constraints amid the mounting volume of cases.

6:57 pm: UK confirms fourth coronavirus case

U.K. health authorities announced the country's fourth confirmed case of coronavirus Sunday, said to have been contracted from another British citizen sickened with the disease in France.

"The patient has been transferred to a specialist NHS centre at The Royal Free Hospital, and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus," England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty said in a statement.

6:53 pm: China's Hubei will help pay for electricity and offer subsidies to SMEs, local authorities say

China's Hubei province will help small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic sweeping the country, local authorities announced Sunday, pledging to pay 30% of electricity costs for businesses working in medical supplies. The province, which is the epicenter of the disease's outbreak, will also cut water and gas costs for smaller enterprises and look to lower rent and regulatory fees for those especially impacted by the virus, authorities said.

5:20 pm: Spain confirms British man as its second case of coronavirus

Spain's National Microbiology Center has confirmed its second case of coronavirus, a British male who reportedly came into contact with someone in France who was carrying the deadly virus. The patient, along with his two children and wife, have been under observation in Mallorca. The wife and children tested negative for the disease, Reuters reported on Sunday.

5:00 pm: China announces closure of Hebei schools until March 1

China's northern Hebei province, which surrounds the capital Beijing, will keep its schools shut until at least March 1 in an effort to contain the country's coronavirus epidemic, China's state-run People's Daily newspaper said Sunday. Other municipalities extending the school closures include Shanghai, Jiangsu and Shandong.

3:45 pm: 3,600 passengers and crew quarantined on cruise ship in Hong Kong allowed to leave

All 1,800 crew aboard the World Dream cruise liner, which has been under quarantine in Hong Kong for the past four days, have tested negative for the coronavirus, which medical authorities say means that the passengers are safe to leave. The crew were being monitored for symptoms after possibly being in contact — on a previous trip — with up to eight people infected with the virus.

"As all quarantine measures carried out by the Department of Health have been completed, all passengers and crew members can leave the cruise," Dr Leung Yiu-hong, chief port health officer at the Centre for Health Protection, said at Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on Sunday.

2:32 pm: Princess Cruises confirms six additional coronavirus cases

Princess Cruises confirmed six new cases of coronavirus, the company confirmed Sunday after testing by Japan's health ministry, bringing the total infected passengers on the Diamond Princess to 69. The ship is quarantined off the coast of Japan.

"Our guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess are the focus of our entire global organization right now and all of our hearts are with each of them," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president, who said that Japanese health authorities are supporting the ocean liner and providing medical assistance.

"In partnership with the Japan Ministry of Health the ship has received additional medications which are being sorted and distributed based on medical and urgent priority," Swartz said.

2:27 pm: China urges 'reasonable use' of protective gear amid a supply crunch

China's National Health Commission urged medical professionals to make "reasonable use" of protection gear and warned against their "excessive and disorderly use," according to a Reuters translation.

The World Health Organization has warned against the hoarding of such gear, which includes masks, gowns and gloves, and said there could be a chronic shortage. In late January, UNICEF sent a six-tonne shipment of respiratory masks and protective suits to health workers in China to help protect them.

The city of Xiaogan — the second-worst hit city in Hubei, according to state-run media Xinhua — faces a shortfall of 24,000 protective gear, 60,000 masks, as well as 15,000 goggles and face shields, Xinhua reported last week. It was citing the Xiaogan headquarters for prevention and control of the epidemic.

12:15 pm: Gaming giant Tencent asks staff to stay home for another week

Chinese tech giant Tencent has asked its employees to working from home for another week, extending the return date to from Feb. 14 to Feb. 21.

The move is aimed at protecting employees from the spread of the virus, the gaming company said on the official account of its popular messaging app, WeChat.

11:44 am: China starts receiving patients at the second new hospital in Wuhan

China has been transferring patients to the second newly completed specialized hospital in Wuhan, the Leishenshan Hospital, according to China Global Television Network, controlled by the Communist Party.

The hospital is able to take 1,500 beds and accommodate more than 2,000 medical staff, CGTN said. The first group of patients with the virus was transferred to the hospital on Saturday, the network said.

Another makeshift hospital, the 1,000-bed Huoshenshan facility — which was built in less than two weeks —received its first patients last Monday.

Medical workers help the first batch of patients infected with the new coronavirus move into their isolation wards at Huoshenshan (Fire God Mountain) Hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province on Feb. 4, 2020.
Xiao Yijiu | Xinhua News Agency | Getty

10:48 am: Over 70 exhibitors pull out of Singapore Airshow

More than 70 exhibitors have withdrawn from the Singapore Airshow, Reuters reported. The event, due to be held in Singapore from Feb. 11-16, is touted as Asia's largest aerospace event.

Those that have pulled out of the event include Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. The airshow takes place once every two years, and was initially expected to attract 54,151 trade attendees from 147 countries.

Experia Events Managing Director Leck Chet Lam said the number of firms that have withdrawn represented less than 8% of those that had signed up, according to Reuters. As of Friday, Singapore reported 40 confirmed cases of the new virus.

10:29 am: Singapore's central bank calls on financial firms prepare for increased demand of services

Singapore's central bank has called on financial institutions to "be prepared to manage any increase in demand for certain financial services," as a result of the virus outbreak. Such services include cash withdrawal or online financial services, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement on Sunday.

Singapore has reported 40 confirmed cases so far, and raised its risk assessment to the second highest level on Friday. The city-state of 5.6 million people has one of the most number of confirmed cases outside China.

MAS also reminded financial firms to be careful of cyber security threats. "There have been cases of cyber threat actors taking advantage of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation to conduct email scams, phishing and ransomware attacks," MAS said in a statement on Sunday, referring to the interim name of the new virus.

Chart shows coronovirus hitting major Asian markets

9:21 am: Four on cruise ship docked near New York City test negative

Four passengers onboard the Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas cruise ship have tested negative, according to New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy.

The ship is docked in Port Bayonne in New Jersey, some 15 miles from New York City.

Staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the ship on Friday to test 27 passengers who had recently traveled from mainland China. The CDC cleared 23 of those passengers but the remaining four had to be further evaluated.

"All four passengers from the cruise ship docked in Bayonne tested negative for novel coronavirus," Murphy tweeted. "New Jersey currently has no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and the risk to residents remains low."

VIDEO2:2602:26
Coronavirus fears come to Port of Bayonne as cruise ship passengers tested

8:44 am: China reports 89 additional deaths, bringing total to 811 in the mainland

China reported that the total number of deaths in the country has reached 811 — that's 89 more deaths than a day earlier.

The National Health Commission said on its website that 2,656 new cases were confirmed. This brings the total number to 37,198 in mainland China.

7:30 am: Death toll in Hubei province rises to 780

Hubei province reported an additional 81 deaths and another 2,147 new cases as of Saturday. It brings the cumulative number of deaths in the province to 780, and total confirmed cases to 27,100.

The number of deaths from the mysterious virus is now higher than the global death toll for SARS.

China has reported 811 deaths in the mainland so far. That brings the global death toll to 813 — including one in the Philippines and another in Hong Kong.

The SARS outbreak in 2003 killed 774 people globally, according to the World Health Organization. (Update: This post has been updated to reflect China's total deaths after the numbers were released.)

A citizen wearing a mask cycling across a deserted road in Wuhan, China on February 7, 2020. The 2019 new coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan in late 2019, and has spread to more than two dozen countries since.
Stringer | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

All times below are in Eastern time.

4:09 pm Canada confirms seventh case of coronavirus

The Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed the country's seventh case of the coronavirus on Saturday, Canadian officials told CNBC.

The agency indicated on its website tracking the outbreak that Canadian province British Columbia has a total of four confirmed cases, and the province of Ontario has three.

VIDEO1:2901:29
Here's why millions of chickens may perish in China

1:44 pm Volkswagen postpones restarting production at some China plants

Volkswagen said Saturday that it has pushed back resuming production at some of its China plants, Reuters reported.

The company will not restart production until Feb. 17 at most plants in its joint venture with SAIC motor and the Tianjin plant in its joint venture with the FAW Group due to the coronavirus outbreak.

One car-manufacturing plant Volkswagen operates with SAIC in Shanghai and most of the plants in the FAW joint venture will restart on Feb. 10, the German automaker said in an emailed statement on Saturday.

Volkswagen said it was facing supply chain challenges as China goes back to work after the extended Lunar New Year holiday, as well as limited travel options for its employees.

Rows and rows of empty shelves at a local supermarket in Singapore as panic buying swept through the city after the government raised the alert level for a deadly coronavirus on February 8, 2020 Anxious Singapore shoppers formed long lines at grocery stores and cleared the shelves of essential items, after the city-state raised its alert level.
Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

10:19 am Singapore confirms seven more cases

Singapore's Health Ministry on Saturday confirmed seven new cases of the coronavirus,, bringing the total number of cases in the city-state up to 40.

Five of the seven are linked to previously announced cases, the ministry said on its website.

Of the 40 confirmed cases, two have been discharged from the hospital but four remain in critical condition, it added.

Read CNBC's coverage from the U.S. overnight: Canada confirms seventh case of new coronavirus, US citizen dies in Wuhan

— CNBC's Evelyn Cheng and Yelena Dzhanova contributed to this report.