Hong Kong became the second place outside mainland China to report a fatality from the coronavirus outbreak, after China reported 425 deaths, bringing the overall toll to 427. Chinese officials reported a total of 20,438 confirmed cases of infection — an increase of 3,235 from Monday, the biggest daily jump since the National Health Commission began releasing statistics. Almost 3,000 of the infected are in critical condition.

●A 39-year-old man died in Hong Kong from coronavirus. Officials said the man, who had a preexisting condition, had traveled to Wuhan last month and was hospitalized Friday.

●A raft of new infections have been announced outside China, including six more in both Thailand and Singapore, suggesting that the virus is gaining steam internationally. The head of the World Health Organization has said the virus’s global spread is still minor.

●Global markets are in recovery mode, with the Dow Jones industrial average opening with a 400-point jump Tuesday morning.

●The spread of the virus is adding to strains on the U.S.-China relationship, with Beijing officials accusing the Trump administration of overreacting with its travel restrictions — even though many other countries and airlines are instituting them.

●As the virus continues to spread, so do fears over rising prejudice. If you’ve seen or experienced discrimination, racism or xenophobia connected to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, tell The Washington Post about it here.

3:06 a.m.
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Americans departing virus-hit Wuhan criticize U.S. government response

FUZHOU, China — Some 530 Americans stuck in the Wuhan area were aboard two evacuation flights en route from China to the United States on Wednesday, after extended delays that appear to be linked to the political frictions between Beijing and Washington.

The two planes from Kalitta Air, an American cargo carrier, arrived at Wuhan airport late Tuesday. Photos from the airport at 7 a.m. local time Wednesday showed medical staff in protective equipment carrying out health checks on passengers in masks.

Some had been in the airport for 48 hours waiting for information, with speculation that flight authorizations had been delayed by Chinese authorities.

For many of the hundreds of Americans at the airport, the evacuation had been a frustrating experience, compounded by the fact that the U.S. government had evacuated its consulate in Wuhan immediately after the city at the center of the deadly coronavirus outbreak went into lockdown.

“I think what the U.S. government failed to anticipate is the fact that their consular officers here probably have made a lot of local connections and wish it would have made it easier to coordinate everything,” said Chunlin Leonhard, a law professor at Loyola University who had been in China on a fellowship and had gone to visit relatives 250 miles outside Wuhan when the lockdown began.

“Because of their departure, everything is left to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which is pretty far away and where they really don’t know the local conditions that well. I think that’s part of the reason why things have been so chaotic,” Leonhard said, estimating that she had 10 phone calls asking for the same information.

By: Anna Fifield

1:53 a.m.
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U.S. evacuates Americans from Wuhan on charter flights

WASHINGTON – Hundreds of Americans were evacuated from Wuhan on a pair of U.S. charter flights that took off from the coronavirus hot zone Tuesday night, the State Department said.

The passengers will arrive in the United States Wednesday and will be quarantined for 14 days.

Medical staff will monitor the health of the travelers, checking their temperatures and examining them for respiratory symptoms. Medical care will be readily available at the first signs of illness.

“The Department of State has no higher priority than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad,” a State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

So far, the U.S. government has evacuated more than 500 passengers from China, according to the State Department. The first of three evacuation flights left Jan. 29. All travelers were screened for symptoms at the airport before they departed.

The military quarantined 195 people from the first evacuation flight at March Air Reserve Base in California.

“We do not believe these people pose a risk to the communities where they are being temporarily housed as we are taking measures to minimize any exposure,” Nancy Messonnier, the top CDC official overseeing the coronavirus response, said at a briefing for reporters on Monday.

The Pentagon said Monday it was prepared to use four military bases to house up to 1,000 additional people who may need to be quarantined after traveling overseas. The bases are the 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute in Fort Carson, Colo.; Travis Air Force Base, Calif.; Lackland Air Force Base, Tex.; and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.

12:32 a.m.
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Ten passengers infected with coronavirus on cruise ship in Japanese waters

Ten people aboard a cruise ship anchored off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, tested positive for the new coronavirus, Japanese media reported Tuesday.

All the infected passengers were in their 50s or older, with some in their 80s, Japan’s health and labor minister said, according to the news agency Jiji.

The roughly 3,500 passengers and crew aboard the British-flagged ship, the Diamond Princess, have been quarantined for more than a day after a traveler from Hong Kong was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

The infected passenger embarked in Yokohama on Jan. 20 and disembarked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25, Princess Cruises said in a statement Tuesday. During that time, he did not visit the ship’s medical center or report any symptoms, according to the company. Six days after leaving, he tested positive for the coronavirus in a Hong Kong hospital, Princess Cruises said.

Japanese health officials began screening passengers Monday night, focusing on those showing symptoms and others who had contact with potentially infected people, according to NHK, Japan’s public broadcasting network.

“The safety, security and well-being of all guests and crew is our absolute priority,” Princess Cruises said. “The review of the arriving guests and crew, by Japanese health authorities, is standard practice after a guest tested positive for coronavirus and we are working closely with the local authorities to provide detailed records to facilitate their review.”

The rest of the Diamond Princess passengers and crew remained on lockdown abord the ship, according to the British channel ITV. Most people self-quarantined in their rooms while they awaited medical checks, passengers told the channel.

One passenger, David Abel, said he had to cancel a Monday night flight back to Oxfordshire after the ship was denied permission to dock.

“The ship is like a ghost town,“ he told ITV. “It’s really weird.”

11:00 p.m.
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Canada confirms fifth case of the novel coronavirus

WASHINGTON – A fifth person in Canada has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Canadian public health officials said Tuesday.

The woman, who is in her 50s, lives in the Vancouver area and began feeling ill a few days ago, said Bonnie Henry, the health officer for British Columbia. She is now in isolation at home and in stable condition.

The woman had been in contact with a “small group” of family members who are visiting from Wuhan. Public health officials are investigating whether any of them have symptoms of the illness.

Henry said that the woman’s family members left Wuhan before the Chinese government imposed travel restrictions and that they have been minimizing their contact with people outside the home.

“This case is not unexpected,” she said. “It tells us that our system is working.”

This is the second positive case of the virus in British Columbia.

10:45 p.m.
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FDA approves new diagnostic test, expanding ability to detect coronavirus

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that state labs can use a new diagnostic test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to check people for the coronavirus, greatly enhancing the capacity to detect the disease.

The FDA’s emergency use authorization allows public health labs labs across the country to use the test, which CDC scientists sent to the FDA for approval Monday. The move will speed up testing, which, until now, had all taken place at CDC headquarters in Atlanta.

“Since this outbreak first emerged, we’ve been working closely with our partners across the U.S government and around the globe to expedite the development and availability of critical medical products to help end this outbreak as quickly as possible,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in a statement. “This continues to be an evolving situation and the ability to distribute this diagnostic test to qualified labs is a critical step forward in protecting the public health.”

The FDA said the test was especially important because there are no commercially available diagnostic tests cleared or approved by the agency.

“This is an unprecedented situation and we have taken aggressive measures,” Nancy Messonnier, the top official overseeing the CDC response, said Monday. “The goal is to slow this thing down before it gets into the United States.”

Other diagnostic developers have sought similar emergency use authorizations related to the coronavirus outbreak, according to the FDA.

“The FDA, among other steps, is providing its highest level of attention to helping expedite the development and review of a variety of medical products being developed to diagnose, treat and prevent the spread of this outbreak,” the agency said.

10:03 p.m.
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House Democrats urge Trump administration to seek emergency funding for coronavirus

House Democrats say the Trump administration should seek emergency funding from Congress to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter Tuesday, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) say it’s clear that “further resources will be necessary to support an aggressive and comprehensive government-wide response to the 2019 novel Coronavirus, both domestically and internationally.”

Their letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar urges President Trump to submit a supplemental spending request in his upcoming budget proposal for 2021, due out Monday.

The Democrats’ recommendation comes after HHS notified Congress on Sunday it may need to transfer up to $136 million to help combat the fast-moving new virus. The notification came with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly burning through $105 million that was set aside for emergency public-health responses to diseases such as the coronavirus.

The Democrats say the administration should request additional funding to cover needs including enhanced screening at ports of entry; repatriation of U.S. citizens; surveillance, epidemiology and laboratory capacity; research and development of vaccines and other countermeasures; and direct assistance to state and local health departments.

The administration significantly increased its response to the outbreak on Friday when HHS declared the coronavirus a public health emergency and instituted new travel restrictions and quarantines.

A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that the administration is taking all necessary steps to “contain and mitigate” the coronavirus with funding that’s already available.

“Any discussion of a supplemental at this time is premature, but the administration is continually analyzing resource needs, and we will of course work with them if the time comes where we need additional funding,” the official said.

9:20 p.m.
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Fulbright is suspending its program in China due to the coronavirus outbreak

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government-funded Fulbright educational program is evacuating its fellows from China because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for all of China, urging Americans not to travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan,” Peter VanDerwater, Fulbright director of outreach and recruitment, said in an email to The Washington Post. “In response, the Department of State temporarily suspended the U.S. Fulbright Program in China until further notice. Current U.S. Fulbright participants are departing China.”

VanDerwater did not immediately respond to further questions.

The Fulbright program funds undergraduates and graduates who are U.S. citizens to research, teach and study in over 140 countries. The cultural and educational program is supported by the State Department and Department of Education.

According to the organization’s website, there are 50 research and study grants available for China. Fulbright also provides grants for Chinese citizens to study at U.S. universities. These educational exchanges are “designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of China,” according to the China program’s website.

Many study abroad programs in China run by U.S. universities and institutions have ordered participants to return home as the epidemic has spread.

Unrelated to the virus, in January the Peace Corps announced it would be ending its program in China this summer. The service organization did not respond to requests for comment regarding the current status of its volunteers in China as a result of the outbreak.

8:15 p.m.
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Fast food comes with a side of thermometer in coronavirus-stricken areas

WASHINGTON — Fast food chains including KFC, McDonald’s and Starbucks have temporarily closed locations in Wuhan as the coronavirus continues to spread.

But some McDonald’s branches in heavily infected areas have remained open. At those locations, some customers have reported needing to register and take their temperatures before ordering meals.

McDonald’s did not respond to The Post’s questions about the extent of these protocols. The company told other news outlets it was taking precautions, such as mandating constant sanitizing and providing masks and other protective gear for its workers.  

“Masks are urgently being distributed so that very soon all crews across the country will be wearing them,” a spokesperson for McDonald’s told Fox News last week. “Internal communications are enhanced for promoting more frequent hand washing and disinfection, as well as helping employees to have a greater general understanding of epidemic prevention.”

Many restaurants have shut their doors in China’s Hubei province and other virus-stricken areas. Chinese authorities have urged people to avoid crowds and residents have opted to stay inside in the hopes of avoiding infection. That’s been a boom of sorts for delivery services.

7:55 p.m.
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French government recommends citizens leave China unless they have an ‘essential reason to stay’

WASHINGTON — The French ministry of foreign affairs on Tuesday updated its travel guidance for citizens in China, advising all French citizens in China to leave the country temporarily unless they have an “essential reason to stay.”

The message from the Quai d’Orsay said that the French Embassy and consulates in China will remain open and provide essential services to those who stay. However, the ministry suggested that nonessential trips to China should be canceled and that visits to Hunan, Henan, Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces are not recommended without important justification.

The ministry formally discouraged travel to Hubei, the province at the center of the coronovirus outbreak.

7:15 p.m.
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What does it mean to be cured of the coronavirus?

WASHINGTON — Along with rising figures for those infected with and those who have died of the novel coronavirus, there’s a third category in question: How many have been cured? To answer that requires answering another question: What does it mean to be cured?

There are two kinds of “cured” in this context, said Bruce Ribner, a professor at the Emory University School of Medicine.

There’s being “clinically cured,” he said, when someone starts feeling better and stops showing symptoms like fever and coughing. Then there’s being “pathogen cured,” when doctors determine that the virus is indeed no longer in the body and therefore the patient can’t transmit the disease.

The former is clear to a patient. The latter, “we don’t yet have a good handle on what it takes,” said Ribner.

Scientists are busy trying to find out as much as they can about the coronavirus, including how long the transmission period lasts. As part of that process, they’ll also learn more about how to define “cured” in both senses.

“It’s an area of active investigation,” said Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health in Massachusetts.

There still remains no antiviral available to treat the novel coronavirus. But Ellerin said that, as with the influenza, “most patients are cured of this on their own” just by their immune system fighting back against the invading virus. For others, especially older people and those with pre-existing illness, the novel coronavirus infection can be far more severe and deadly.

On Tuesday, a hospital in Everett, Wash., discharged the first diagnosed coronavirus patient in the United States. The 35-year-old Washington state man, however, will continue to recover at his Snohomish County home and remain in isolation and monitored by medical officials.

Lauren Sauer, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at John Hopkins University, said that people with the virus should expect long hospital stays.

“We don’t have a definition of what cured is,” she said. “We don’t really have a good understanding of what [definition] people are using globally.”

In Hubei province, Sauer said, someone is considered cured when they haven’t had a fever for three days and have tested negative twice on a PCR test, which looks for the virus in the body. 

“We don’t have a good understanding of how long people remain contagious, so they are being overly cautious,” she said.

6:40 p.m.
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Canadians could be evacuated from Wuhan as soon as Thursday

WASHINGTON — Canada could start evacuating its citizens from Wuhan as early as Thursday, Canadian news outlets reported Tuesday.

Canadian broadcaster CBC said that Global Affairs Canada emailed Canadians staying in the area and told them a government-chartered flight will likely leave Wuhan on Thursday. “Due to demand and the restrictions associated with this flight, we cannot guarantee that everyone who is eligible for a seat will be able to board the plane,” CBC reported the email as saying. “You should make plans for the eventuality that you are not able to board the plane.”

Francois-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, tweeted Tuesday that the chartered plane was on its way to Vietnam where it will be prepared “for departure to China when final approvals are granted.”

6:05 p.m.
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French, German health ministers say Europe would need to collaborate for U.S. style travel ban

WASHINGTON — Germany and France’s health ministers said Tuesday that European governments could consider a U.S.-style ban on foreign visitors who have been to China, but that one country alone should not go implement the idea unilaterally.

“It makes no sense that a single country takes measures,” Jens Spahn, the German health minister, said during a meeting in Paris with his French counterpart, Agnes Buzyn, noting Europe’s border-free travel.

China has slammed the travel restrictions imposed by the United States, and some public health experts have said that the measures are a mistake.

In Europe’s Schengen area, no passport or visa is required for travel, allowing 400 million people across 26 countries to travel freely. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Buzyn said that any travel bans need to be considered in this context.

“We would like … closer cooperation so that we have exactly the same measures in all countries in order to be consistent in Europe since there is this free movement of people, and we wish to maintain this free movement,” the French minister said, according to Agence France-Presse.

5:55 p.m.
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Canadian flight to Jamaica rerouted after passenger falsely claims to have coronavirus

WASHINGTON — A Jamaica-bound flight turned around in midair Monday and returned to Toronto after a passenger claimed to be infected with coronavirus. Morgan Bell, a spokesman for WestJet Airlines, told Agence France-Presse that the flight changed its path “due to an unruly guest.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, our crew followed all protocols for infectious disease on board, including sequestering an individual who made an unfounded claim regarding coronavirus,” Bell said.

Julie-Anne Broderick, one of 243 passengers on board the flight, told the CBC that it was “just really weird.”

“It’s just so selfish,” she said. “We’ve lost a day of our vacation.”

The passenger, a 29-year-old from Ontario, was arrested and charged with mischief after the plane landed. A new flight was rebooked for Tuesday.

5:45 p.m.
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Several European postal services suspend shipments from China

BERLIN — Several national postal services in Europe have suspended the shipment of letters and packages to China, as the fallout of flight cancellations and the disruption of global supply chains becomes increasingly apparent.

Slovenia and Poland’s national couriers both said Tuesday that they had halted deliveries to China until further notice. Slovenia’s postal service added that deliveries from China would also be disrupted.

Both couriers blamed the suspension of flights by air carriers they usually rely on to deliver packages and letters.

While Poland’s national courier said in a statement that there was a “lack of other transport options,” the Slovenian Press Agency reported that the country’s own postal service was still exploring alternatives to air carriers.

On its website, Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL Group — Europe’s largest postal service provider — only noted that the “coronavirus is impacting postal services” in China, without providing further details. The company also cautioned that deliveries to Hong Kong and Macao might be delayed.

Amid questions whether the letters or packages sent from China may expose foreign recipients to the coronavirus, the Polish national postal service issued a response Tuesday, writing that “goods ordered from China do not pose an infection risk.”

The WHO had previously released a similar statement. “People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages,” the statement said.