Coronavirus live updates: US confirms second fatality as global death toll nears 3,000

(NEW YORK) — A viral outbreak that began in China has since spread to every continent across the globe except Antarctica, infecting nearly 90,000 people.

Although the spread of the novel coronavirus appeared to be slowing down in China on Monday, it has picked up speed elsewhere in the world, including in the United States.

Here’s the latest on the developing situation:

8:07 a.m. ET Trump teases meeting with drug-makers

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday morning to tease his upcoming meeting with major drug-makers at the White House, saying there was progress on the development of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

“I am meeting with the major pharmaceutical companies today at the White House about progress on a vaccine and cure. Progress being made!” Trump tweeted.

I am meeting with the major pharmaceutical companies today at the White House about progress on a vaccine and cure. Progress being made!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2020

Over the weekend, Trump said a vaccine is being developed “very quickly” and “very rapidly.” However, Dr. Anthony Facui, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned last week that the process is likely to take “about a year to a year and a half.”

7:22 a.m. ET Health worker from Iran is 1st coronavirus case in New York

In an interview Monday on CBS This Morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed that the state’s first patient to test positive for the novel coronavirus is a female health worker who lives in Manhattan and had just returned from Iran, which has reported hundreds of confirmed cases. She is under isolation in her apartment.

“This is somewhat of a unique case because this woman was a health care worker, coming back from Iran,” Cuomo said. “She knew to take precautions herself, which was fortunate.”

The governor added that “New Yorkers should not be surprised.”

“We’ve been talking about this for days. I have said, it’s not a question of if but when,” Cuomo said. “You see the number of cases around the globe. New York is the gateway to the world. So that’s not shocking.”

New York state now has the federal authority to test for the new virus, which the governor said will allow health officials to “scale up very, very quickly.” Cuomo also urged the public to remain calm.

“We want to have a healthy diligence about this issue, but we don’t want an unnecessary anxiety we don’t want people overreacting,” he said. “We have to treat it. We have to be serious, but there’s the fear, in my opinion, is outpacing reason at this point.”


Two people sickened with the novel coronavirus have died in the United States, as the global death toll from the viral outbreak that began in China nears 3,000.

Both patients who succumbed to the newly identified virus, known officially as COVID-19, were residents of Washington state’s King County, officials said. The second death was announced Sunday night.

The United States has confirmed at least 74 cases of COVID-19 so far, including several community-acquired cases in which the patients had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual.

At least six residents of a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington state, were among those who had contracted the virus, according to the public health department for the city of Seattle and King County.

The new coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan back in December and has since spread overseas to at least 58 other countries, with South Korea, Italy and Iran seeing the biggest surge in case numbers recently. The World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a global health emergency and said it has “pandemic potential,” has recorded more than 87,000 confirmed infections globally. Over 91% of those cases were in China.

At least 2,873 people have died from confirmed cases of the virus, all but 104 in China, according to the latest data from the WHO.

COVID-19 causes symptoms similar to pneumonia, ranging from the mild, such as a slight cough, to the more severe, including fever and difficulty breathing, according to the CDC. There is no vaccine yet for the virus.

South Korea has the second-highest national total of cases, behind China. As of Monday, South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recorded 4,212 people who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and 22 fatalities. A majority of the cases have been linked to a secretive religious sect in the city of Daegu.

Meanwhile, Italy has the third-highest national total, with 1,577 cases confirmed as of Sunday night. At least 34 of those patients had died, according to the Italian Ministry of Health. The epicenter is in the northern region of Lombardy.

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