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Pope Francis will not address crowds from his usual position in the window overlooking St Peter's Square, the Vatican said Saturday, with his regular appearances being streamed online instead.
The move is an effort to prevent crowds from gathering as the coronavirus continues to grip Italy, with at least one confirmed case in Vatican City.
"These choices are necessary to avoid risks of spreading COVID-19 due to gathering," the statement said.
The pontiff will also not hold his general audience from St Peter's Square on Wednesday. Both addresses usually see thousands of people gather to hear the voice of the Pope.— Bishop
A former Diamond Princess cruise ship passenger has died, according to NHK , Japan's public broadcaster, Reuters reported. This brings the death toll from the ship to seven.
The Diamond Princess ship is believed to be the site of what might have been the first major COVID-19 epidemic outside of China. It was quarantined at a Japanese port on Feb. 4 after a previous guest, who didn't have any symptoms while aboard the ship, tested positive for the virus. — Bishop
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James told reporters Friday he would not play basketball if there was no crowd.
"We play games without the fans? Nah, it's impossible," James said after Lakers' win over the Milwaukee Buck, USA Today reported.
His comments came after the National Basketball Association (NBA) sent a memo to teams on Friday night, urging officials to prepare game contingency plans should the coronavirus continue to spread.
The NBA said teams should identify "actions required if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present" without fans or media, according to a copy of the memo obtained by CNBC.
In Italy — the country with the fourth-highest number of confirmed COVDI-19 cases —multiple sporting events are being held without fans. — Bishop and Young
The leader of Italy's co-ruling Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, has tested positive for the coronavirus, he said in a video on Facebook Saturday.
"I'm fine but I'll have to stay home for the next few days," he said.
Italy is Europe's epicenter of the coronavirus, with at least 4,636 confirmed cases and 197 deaths as of Saturday. — Bishop
Almost 80 million Chinese migrant workers who left for the Chinese New Year holiday have returned to work, Reuters reported Saturday, as business in the country slowly starts to returns to normal.
A government official said 78 million migrant workers had gone back to work — that number accounts for around 60% of those who left for home for the holiday in late January, Reuters said.
All workers are expected to be back at work by early April, the official added. — Bishop
Germany's Robet Koch Institute said Saturday that the number of people with coronavirus had increased to 684. That's a rise of 45 on the day before.
The majority of cases are in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where there are 346 confirmed infections.
Germany has the fifth-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, although its total is significantly lower than the top four; Italy, which has over 4,600 cases, has the fourth-highest number. — Bishop
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has increased by 15 to 45, Reuters reported Saturday, citing the health ministry.
In Kuwait, cases of the virus increased by three to 61, and Qatar now has 12 infections, Reuters said.
The majority of the cases are believed to be related to Iran — the country with the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world. On Saturday, Iran's total stood at 4,747. — Bishop
Coronavirus cases in South Korea jumped by 448 on Saturday, Reuters reported, taking the total number of confirmed cases above 7,000.
Over half of the cases have been linked to a secretive church based in the country, Reuters said. The religious group called Shincheonji has long been suspected of being the center of the outbreak in the country.
The number of deaths in the country increased by two to 46, and the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 7,041, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), Reuters reported.
However, although an jump of 448 cases in one day may seem high, it is actually lower than the previous three days' increases in the country. — Bishop
Major Italian retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo has said it is ready to donate 100 million euros ($113 million) to help the country in its treatment of coronavirus.
Speaking to newspaper Corriere della Sera, CEO Carlo Messina said the funds would be made available for "specific projects that address the health emergency. With 100 million you can do many things."
He also said the bank planned to offer 5 billion euros in loans to support affected businesses.
Italy is Europe's epicenter of the coronavirus, with at least 4,636 confirmed cases and 197 deaths as of Saturday. The government announced 7.5 billion euros ($8.40 billion) in aid last week– twice as much as originally planned — to tackle the outbreak. — Bishop
Fifteen Americans have been quarantined in a Bethlehem hotel over coronavirus fears, a Palestinian government spokesman told Reuters.
Spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said there was an American delegation at the hotel, "and they are being dealt with according to quarantine regulations like all the others who are there."
Palestine currently has at least 22 confirmed cases of the virus and has declared a state of emergency. — Bishop
Officials at Stanford University have announced that a member of faculty has tested positive for COVID-19.
The school has contacted those who might have come into contact with the person and asked them to self-isolate. The staff member worked in a clinic, which has been closed for cleaning.
The faculty member had not been to work since showing symptoms, Stanford University said.
Meanwhile, in an online letter published late Thursday, Provost Persis Drell announced that for the last two weeks of the winter quarter, beginning March 9, classes at Stanford would not meet in person.
"To the extent feasible, we will be moving classes to online formats in place of in-person instruction," Drell said. — Bishop
The Afghanistan health ministry said Saturday that it had three new cases of coronavirus in the country, taking its total to four, Reuters reported.
The cases were confirmed in the western Herat province, which borders Iran.
There are worries about Afghanistan's border with Iran, which is one of the worst-hit countries outside of China, with more than 4,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 124 deaths. — Bishop
A doctor who had recently returned to Melbourne, Australia from the U.S. has been diagnosed with coronavirus, Victoria State Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said Saturday.
Around 70 of the doctor's recent patients would be contacted and required to self-isolate, she said on Twitter, and The Toorak Clinic, where he worked, would be closed.
Mikakos said in a press conference she was "flabbergasted" the doctor had continued to go into work, despite having flu-like symptoms.
"I know many doctors want to be there for their patients & colleagues but now, more than ever, is the time to stay home if you're sick & not soldier on," she tweeted.
Australia has over 60 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and two people have died from the outbreak in the country.— Bishop
In a statement to NBC News, Uber said "drivers and delivery people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in quarantine by a public health authority" will be compensated for up to 14 days.
"This has already begun in some markets and we are working to implement mechanisms to do this worldwide. We believe this is the right thing to do," Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president of rides and platform at Uber, said in a statement. — Wang
The National Basketball Association advised officials to prepare contingency plans should the coronavirus outbreak continue to spread. The NBA said teams should identify "actions required if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present" without fans or media, according to a copy of the memo obtained by CNBC.
The memo said teams should also "prepare for the possibility of implementing temperature checks on players, team staff, referees, and anyone else who is essential to conducting such a game in the team's arena."
One league executive told CNBC the league hasn't considered canceling or playing games without fans, but the memo was sent to organizations as a precaution. — Young
Reuters reported that China's January-February exports contracted 17.2% from last year, marking the steepest fall since February 2019. Analysts polled by Reuters had projected a 14% drop as the coronavirus outbreak disrupted supply chains and dampened demand.
Reuters also reported that China reported a trade deficit of $7.09 billion for the period, versus an expected surplus of $24.6 billion. — Wang
The Florida Department of Health said two residents have died. One person was a new presumptive positive case in Lee County, the department said. The other person was a previously announced presumptive positive case from Santa Rosa County. — Wang
Facebook is temporarily banning ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks. The social media giant said it will begin to enforce the temporary ban on these type of ads "over the next few days."
The policy change comes one day after a company spokesman told CNBC that Facebook will remove political ads posted on its service if they contain misinformation related to the new coronavirus. — Rodriguez
South Korea reported 483 new cases, bringing its total to 6,767 cases. There were two more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 44. — Bhattacharjee
China's National Health Commission reported 99 new confirmed cases as of March 6, and 28 more deaths. Of the new cases, 74 were from the epicenter of Hubei, and all 28 of the deaths were from that province. That brings the country's total to 80,651 confirmed cases, and 3,070 deaths. — Bhattacharjee
The ship will be brought to a non-commercial port, Pence said, and everyone aboard the ship will be tested. He did not say which port the ship will go toward or when it is expected to arrive.
Of the 21 people who tested positive, he added, 19 are crew members and two are passengers. Pence said health officials tested only 46 people aboard the ship.
The ship, which was on a two-week voyage to Hawaii, was ordered to return early to San Francisco, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday, adding that passengers and crew have developed symptoms. A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that three passengers who were previously on the ship have tested positive, including one who has died. — Feuer
Billionaire Tilman Fertitta his restaurant empire Landry's is losing an average of about $1 million per day in sales due to the coronavirus.
Fertitta, whose restaurant brands include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Morton's The Steakhouse, said urban areas and popular tourist locations were particularly affected, and the decline in sales is likely linked to business conferences being canceled across the country.
Fertitta said the coronavirus presents business managers with a challenge but said revenue declines of about 8% to 12% are manageable. "You don't want to go 20% off. When you get to 20% off in a same-store sales, no matter what business you're in, that's when you start getting into trouble," Fertitta said. —Stankiewicz
The number of coronavirus cases in New York state has quadrupled over the last 48 hours to 44, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. "The number will continue to go up because it's mathematics," Cuomo said at a news briefing. "The more you test, the more you will find." Cuomo used Twitter to revise the state's case count from 33 released earlier Friday to 44.
The state reported 11 cases Wednesday evening, 22 on Thursday, 33 Friday afternoon and 44 Friday evening — a fourfold increase over the previous 48 hours. There are roughly 2,700 people in New York City under 'precautionary quarantine' with more than 1,000 others also in voluntary isolation across the state, Cuomo said. — Feuer
South by Southwest, the annual tech, film and music conference held in Austin, Texas, has been canceled due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Local government officials announced the update at a press conference Friday afternoon discussing the status of the outbreak and events in the city. Austin's Mayor Steve Adler said he had declared a local disaster in the city and issued an order canceling the conference.
In a statement on its website, SXSW said it would "faithfully follow the city's directions."
"We are devastated to share this news with you," organizers wrote in a statement on the SXSW website. — Graham