Coronavirus updates: The latest news on the outbreak and the global response

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(nbcnews) – A man in his 20s who lives in Boston and was returning from Wuhan, China, has the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Massachusetts and the 8th in the U.S. overall.

The man recently traveled to Wuhan and sought medical care soon after his return to Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Health announced Saturday.

“He has been isolated since that time and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials,” the department said, adding that his few close contacts have been identified and are being monitored for any signs of symptoms.

“We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately,” said the state’s public health commissioner, Monica Bharel. “Again, the risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.”

Spring Festival holiday extended in Hubei province

The tech giant said Saturday it will be closing all of its offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China “out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts.”

The measure will be in force until Feb. 9, the company said, adding that it “looked forward” to reopening its stores as soon as possible.

Apple’s online store in China remains open. — Yuliya Talmazan

Flight attendants demand flights to China are halted

The Association of Flight Attendants, representing 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines has called for “clear direction from our government to U.S. airlines to pull down all travel to China until the spread of coronavirus is contained,” in a statement.

“It is critical that any crew potentially infected through travel to and from China not be assigned to any additional flights until safely through the fourteen-day incubation period,” the statement added.

The association also called for “responsible leadership” to tackle the issue. — Yuliya Talmazan

Image: Security guards walk in formation for a shift change at a checkpoint to the Hubei province exclusion zone at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang
Security guards at a checkpoint to the Hubei province exclusion zone at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, on Saturday.

Qantas to suspend flights to mainland China amid outbreak

Australian airline Qantas says that it will suspend its two direct flights to mainland China later this month amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The services are between Sydney and Beijing and Shanghai, both of which are far from the city of Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Both will be suspended on Feb. 9, Qantas said in a statement. The airline cited entry restrictions imposed by the U.S. and other countries which would impact the movement of crew.

Service to Hong Kong will not be affected, according to the airline, because Hong Kong is exempt from travel restrictions. The Sydney-Beijing service had already been planned to end on Feb. 23 for commercial reasons, but will now end on Feb. 9, Qantas said.

“In selecting a date to suspend services Qantas is working to balance high passenger numbers in both directions — including Australian residents wanting to return home from China — with the various travel restrictions being applied,” Qantas said in a statement. The dates could change, depending on the circumstances. — Phil Helsel

China coronavirus cases grow; 11,791 confirmed and 259 deaths

The number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in China grew to 11,791 with 259 deaths as of the end of the day Friday local time, China’s national health commission said on its website.

That’s an increase in the national number from 9,692 confirmed cases and 213 deaths in China reported as of the end of the day Thursday.

Earlier Friday, Hubei province’s local health commission reported 11,067 confirmed cases and 258 deaths, and the national numbers show larger total figures. The epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak is the city of Wuhan, which is in Hubei province.

The 46 new deaths were mostly in Hubei province, with 45 there, the national health commission said. The other new death was in the city of Chongqing, which is southwest of Hubei. There are also nearly 18,000 suspected cases in China.

All of the deaths have been in China and the vast majority of confirmed cases are also in the country, although there are also confirmed cases in other countries, including the United States, where there are seven confirmed cases of the virus, also known as 2019-nCoV, health officials there have said. — NBC Beijing

7th case of new coronavirus confirmed in U.S.

An adult male returning from China has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in California, the Santa Clara county public health department said Friday. The Bay area public health department was notified by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that the resident was confirmed to have the respiratory disease, Dr. Sara Cody, director of the County of Santa Clara health department said during a press briefing Friday.

It’s the seventh confirmed case in the U.S. and the third case in California.

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