the coronavirus crisis
February 18, 2020

A hospital director in Wuhan, China, is the country's latest health-care worker to die from the coronavirus outbreak.

Liu Zhiming, 51, was a neurosurgeon and director of the Wuchang Hospital. Wuhan's health bureau said he died on Tuesday morning, after making "important contributions in the work of fighting and controlling" the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. More than 1,700 doctors and nurses treating patients with COVID-19 have become sick with the virus, and at least seven have died, The Associated Press reports.

Earlier this month, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist named Li Wenliang died of COVID-19. In December, Li told some of his medical school classmates about a mysterious respiratory illness that was spreading in the area; health authorities soon visited him in the middle of the night, followed by police officers who warned him to stop talking about the virus. He became ill after caring for a woman with glaucoma who unknowingly had COVID-19. As of Tuesday, the Chinese government has confirmed 72,436 cases of COVID-19 on mainland China, as well as 1,868 deaths. Catherine Garcia

February 17, 2020

Apple said Monday that due to the coronavirus outbreak, it is cutting its sales expectations for the current quarter.

Last month, Apple projected record revenue for this quarter of between $63 billion and $67 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. The coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, China, and stores and factories across the country were shuttered to try and contain the virus. Wuhan is home to two of Apple's top 200 suppliers.

Most of Apple's products are assembled in China, and the company said the factory closures will result in a temporary global shortage of iPhones. Apple also said demand for its products has dropped in China, the world's second-largest economy, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Apple is the first major U.S. company to outline ways the coronavirus has affected business, and it expects to share more information on revenue during its April earnings call, the Journal reports. Catherine Garcia

February 14, 2020

China on Friday confirmed another 5,090 coronavirus infections, and 121 more deaths, bringing the death toll near 1,400, according to The Associated Press. The country has seen a surge in new cases for the last two days since health authorities in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, changed the way they identify infections, with most of the new cases based on a physician's diagnosis before lab results come back.

The surge in confirmed cases has dampened hope that the spread of the flu-like virus was slowing, but health experts say the higher numbers are partly due to the new methodology. "I suspect but can't be certain that the underlying trend is still downwards," said Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia in England. Harold Maass

February 13, 2020

China's Communist Party on Thursday fired several senior officials in Hubei province, the center of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The Central Committee said Jiang Chaoliang, Hubei's party secretary since 2016, has been removed from his post, and will be replaced by Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong. Ying is an ally of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The coronavirus outbreak originated in the Hubei city of Wuhan, and the Communist Party also fired the Wuhan party boss, Ma Guoqiang.

Chinese citizens have complained about how long it took for the government to acknowledge the outbreak, saying this slow response allowed the virus to spread. There are now 48,206 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Hubei, and the death toll stands at 1,310. Catherine Garcia

February 11, 2020

In an attempt to avoid stigma, the World Health Organization has come up with a new name for the coronavirus illness now affecting people in 25 countries: COVID-19, which stands for "coronavirus disease 2019."

Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted on Tuesday that WHO "had to find a name that does not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual, or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease."

The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and was first detected at the end of last year. Chinese officials on Tuesday said 1,017 people have died from COVID-19 in the country, and there are 42,700 confirmed cases; there are 393 additional cases reported in 24 other countries. "With 99 percent of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world," Tedros said. Catherine Garcia

February 6, 2020

Japan announced Friday that 41 more passengers on board a quarantined cruise ship have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, bringing the total number of sick people to 61.

The Diamond Princess, now docked at the port of Yokohama, is carrying roughly 3,700 passengers and crew members. Officials believe an 80-year-old man who got off the ship in Hong Kong was the first person on board to contract the coronavirus. The sick passengers have all been hospitalized, while those who are in quarantine have been given thermometers and told to keep track of their temperature, notifying the crew if it goes above 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Earlier this week, 273 people on board the ship were tested for coronavirus after coming into contact with the sick passenger or complaining of a fever. The passengers were told on Monday that they would have to stay in their cabins under quarantine for two weeks, and those who don't have windows in their rooms are allowed to go up to the top deck for fresh air. The ship has provided passengers with gloves and face masks, and they have all been advised to stay away from each other. Despite this, "we are still in good spirits," passenger Tammy Smith of California told The Wall Street Journal.

A Holland America ship, the Westerdam, had been scheduled to make stops at multiple ports in Japan, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said non-Japanese passengers would not be allowed to disembark over fears of spreading the virus. Holland America said there are no known cases of coronavirus on board. Catherine Garcia

February 6, 2020

Dr. Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who was the first to sound the alarm about the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, died of the virus early Friday morning.

In late December, the 34-year-old ophthalmologist wrote a message to his medical school classmates, letting them know he was quarantined in a hospital with seven people suffering from a mystery illness. In the middle of the night, Wuhan health authorities visited Li, and asked him why he shared this information; three days later, police officers came and pushed him into signing a statement declaring his warning was "illegal behavior."

Chinese journalists and doctors have criticized the government's reaction to the outbreak, saying officials did not fully comprehend the threat of the virus and then tried to downplay the threat. Last month, Li told The New York Times if officials had shared information on the coronavirus earlier, "I think it would have been a lot better. There should be more openness and transparency."

On Jan. 10, Li treated a woman for glaucoma who did not know she had coronavirus, and he caught it from her. He was married with one child and another on the way. On Thursday, the World Health Organization said there are 28,060 confirmed coronavirus cases in China, with the death toll reaching 564. Wuhan, a city of about 11 million people, has been under lockdown for the last two weeks, in an attempt to keep the virus from spreading. Catherine Garcia

February 4, 2020

A 39-year-old man from Hong Kong who traveled to Wuhan, China, last month died on Tuesday from the new coronavirus, hospital officials said.

The highly contagious coronavirus originated in Wuhan, and this is the second death from the outbreak to take place outside of mainland China. The man went to Wuhan on Jan. 21 and returned to Hong Kong two days later, and was hospitalized on Jan. 31. Officials said he had a preexisting condition. His mother did not go to Wuhan but has contracted the virus; the man's wife, two children, and a person who works for the family have all been quarantined.

People in Hong Kong are calling on the government to seal its border with mainland China. Thousands of medical workers have gone on strike, in an attempt to convince the government to close all of the border checkpoints. On Monday, all but three of the 16 checkpoints were shuttered.

There are 20,438 confirmed cases of Wuhan coronavirus in mainland China, where more than 400 people have died. Catherine Garcia

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