Coronavirus: WHO warns virus could spread to every country, Mexico confirms first cases

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Disinfection professionals wearing protective gear spray anti-septic solution against the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a subway station on February 28, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.

Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC’s U.S. team.

All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Total confirmed cases: More than 83,700
  • Total deaths: At least 2,859

9:28 am: New York City tests patient recently returned from Italy

New York City is testing a person who recently returned from Italy for the COVID-19 infection after the CDC expanded its testing guidelines Thursday. The U.S. expanded its testing criteria include Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea, the NYC Health Department said in a tweet. “The spread of the virus from person to person in other countries around the world has raised our level of concern. But rest assured we are deploying all the tools at our disposal to keep New Yorkers healthy,” NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in a video posted on the agency’s website. —Kopecki

8:44 am: Mexico confirms first cases

Mexico’s health secretary confirmed the country’s first and second case of the coronavirus. Hugo Lopez-Gatell said one of the patients is in Mexico City and the other in the northern state of Sinaloa, and neither is seriously ill. At least five family contacts of the first patient have been placed in isolation. He said one of the men had contact with someone who had travelled to the northern Italian region where there has been an outbreak. Brazil on Wednesday confirmed Latin America’s first confirmed case of the new coronavirus in a man who travelled to Italy this month. —Associated Press

8:23 am: NYC pathology specialist says US needs to ramp up capabilities

It’s unclear how many people in the U.S. are circulating with the virus, senior director of New York City Health’s system-wide special pathogens office Dr. Syra Madad said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” The possible case of community transmission earlier this week in California, she said, was a “wake up call.” Cities across the country need to begin to prepare to control an outbreak and treat patients, she added. “We need to ramp up diagnostic capabilities,” she said. “The more you wait, the more human toll is going to mount.” —Feuer

7:47 am: Yum China says its reopening China stores

Yum China, which operates Pizza Hut and KFC in China, said it is gradually reopening restaurants when possible to do so. Some reopened stores will only be partially operational. Yum China had closed about 30% of its stores in response to the outbreak and introduced contactless delivery and pick-up for its food. Shares of the Yum Brands operator were down 3.6% in premarket trading amid broader market losses. —Lucas

7:26 am: Former Fed governor says he expects coordinated global central bank response

7:15 am: US malls ‘will be hit hard’ if virus worsens, new study shows

If the coronavirus spreads further in the U.S., that could mean bad news for U.S. mall owners, according to new survey data. Fifty-eight percent of people say they are likely to avoid public areas, such as shopping centers and entertainment venues, if the virus’ outbreak worsens in the U.S., a poll by Coresight Research found. It surveyed 1,934 U.S. consumers 18 years old and above, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Roughly 27.5% of respondents said they were already beginning to cut back visits to public areas, Coresight’s survey said. Data suggests malls “will be hit hard,” it said. —Thomas

A couple wearing protective facemasks as a prevention measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus walk at a nearly empty shopping mall in Beijing on February 27, 2020.

Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

7:10 am: US markets set to continue losses

6:45 am: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania, New Zealand and Nigeria all confirm first coronavirus cases

Five further countries have reported their first cases of the coronavirus, with the deadly flu-like illness now reported in every continent except Antarctica. Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania, New Zealand and Nigeria all confirmed their first cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with the latter marking the first known case of the coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa. On Thursday, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned that the international spread of the virus showed it had “pandemic potential.” —Meredith

6 am: WHO warns coronavirus outbreak could soon reach every country in the world

The World Health Organization has reaffirmed its warning that the fast-spreading coronavirus could soon reach most, “if not all” countries around the world. Speaking at a news briefing in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said the outbreak was “getting bigger” and reiterated the organization’s warning that the deadly flu-like virus could spread worldwide. His comments come shortly after Nigeria confirmed sub-Saharan Africa’s first case on Friday, with Brazil reporting Latin America’s first COVID-19 infection less than 48 hours earlier. On Tuesday, the WHO had warned countries around the world to be prepared for the coronavirus to be “literally knocking at the door.” —Meredith

5:40 am: Iran’s death toll rises to 34, total number of coronavirus cases at 388

Iranian couple wearing protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus walk at Grand Bazaar in Tehran, Iran February 20, 2020.

Nazanin Tabatabaee | WANA | Reuters

A spokesperson for Iran’s health ministry has confirmed 34 people have died because of coronavirus infections, Reuters reported on Friday, citing an announcement on state television. The total number of infections in the country has climbed to 388, the spokesperson added. Iran is at the epicenter of the outbreak in the Middle East, having recorded the highest number of coronavirus fatalities outside China. —Meredith

Read CNBC’s coverage from the Asia-Pacific overnight: New Zealand, Nigeria report first cases, China’s death toll over 2,700

— CNBC’s Sam Meredith, Saheli Roy Choudhury, Christine Wang, Weizhen Tan contributed to this report.

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