NYC college student infected, Chinese scientists find two strains of virus
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- Global cases: At least 93,400, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
- Global deaths: At least 3,190, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
- US cases: At least 108, according to the CDC.
- US deaths: At least 9, according to the CDC and state health officials.
9:33 am: New York City college student tests positive for coronavirus, marking the state’s third case
A New York City college student tested positive the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the state to three. Yeshiva University in New York City said it canceled all classes on one of its Manhattan campuses after one of its students contracted COVID-19. “We are taking every precaution by canceling all classes on Wilf Campus in Washington Heights,” the university said in a statement. “This precautionary step will allow us to work with city agencies and other professionals to best prepare our campus and ensure the uncompromised safety of our students, faculty and staff.” While the school didn’t identify the student, New York City health officials said Tuesday that a patient being treated for the coronavirus at Presbyterian Hospital had two children, one of them was a boy who attends Yeshiva University. —Feuer
9:05 am: Abercrombie & Fitch temporarily closes offices in Shanghai and stores in mainland China, Milan
Mall-based apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch said it has temporarily shut its Shanghai regional home office, in addition to its stores in mainland China and those in and around Milan. It said it has also put into place global travel restrictions for its workers, due to the outbreak. The company says the Asia-Pacific region made up less than 10% of its fiscal 2019 net sales and that its manufacturing exposure to China was 22% in fiscal 2019, down from 36% in 2018. The company said it is planning for “potential disruption of product deliveries across the global supply chain,” because of the outbreak. It said it has seen, and expects to continue to see, hits to sales and profits in the Asia-Pacific region and in stores across Europe and North America. Abercrombie is calling for 2020 net sales to be flat to up 2%, with same-store sales down low-single digits. —Thomas
8:39 am: Italy orders schools to close for two weeks
The Italian government has ordered schools nationwide to close for the next two weeks to limit the spread of the coronavirus, but the country’s education minister says a final decision on the closure not yet been confirmed, according to Italian media reports. State-run RAI, the ANSA and LaPresse news agencies reported that Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte had agreed on the closure during a cabinet meeting. But Education Minister Lucia Azzolina told reporters that nothing is final yet. Italy has seen its virus caseload explode since the first positive test was registered in northern Lombardy on Feb. 19. Since then, more than 2,500 people in Italy have tested positive, and 79 have died. Italy is the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak. —Associated Press
7:51 am: Chinese scientists identify two strains of the coronavirus
Researchers in China have found two different strains of the new coronavirus circulating in Asia. In a preliminary study published Tuesday, scientists at Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai found that a more aggressive type of the new coronavirus had accounted for roughly 70% of analyzed strains, while 30% had been linked to a less aggressive type. The more aggressive type of virus was found to be prevalent in the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan — the Chinese city where COVID-19 was first detected late last year. But, the frequency of this type of virus has since decreased from early January, the scientists said. —Meredith
7:26 am: Italy considers nationwide school closures
Italy’s government is weighing whether to close the nation’s schools, according to the domestic media, as the authorities struggle to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The closures could start from Thursday or at the latest, Monday, and could last for 15 days, La Repubblica reported. It said the government was meeting in Palazzo Chigi, the official meeting place of the Council of Ministers, to decide on the action. It added that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte could make an announcement later Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Italy had the dubious honor of being the the worst-affected country from the coronavirus outside Asia, having overtaken Iran in terms of the number of deaths and infections from the virus. —Ellyatt
7:03 am: Iran cancels Friday prayers in major cities as death toll rises
An Iranian woman wearing a mask walks past a mural displaying her national flag in Tehran on March 4, 2020.
Friday prayers have been canceled across all provincial capitals amid Iran’s growing coronavirus outbreak, state television said, according to The Associated Press. The suspension of religious services on Friday, Islam’s main day of worship, comes amid a rise in the death toll from the coronavirus to 92 people in Iran, and concerns over the possible spread of the virus among government ministers. —Ellyatt
6:32 am: Iran has 92 coronavirus deaths, 2,922 infections, health ministry says
Iran has published its latest coronavirus data, stating that 92 people have died in Iran from the new coronavirus and 2,922 have been infected, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur announced on state TV, Reuters reported. —Reuters
5:26 am: China’s passenger car sales fall 80% in February as demand drops
Passenger car retail sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market, fell 80% in February because of the coronavirus epidemic, one of the country’s industry associations said, Reuters reported. The China Passenger Car Association said in a statement that China’s overall passenger car sales dropped 80%, without giving a full sales figure for the month. “Dealers returned to work gradually in the first three weeks of February and their showroom traffic is very low,” CPCA said, adding it expects February’s sales drop will be the steepest of this year. —Ellyatt