Coronavirus updates: American cruise ship passenger tests positive in Malaysia after hundreds left ship, China death toll at 1,665

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A girl wearing a face mask plays on her scooter at a park in Beijing on February 15, 2020.

Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images

This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

All times below are in Beijing time.

8.00 am: Hubei reports 139 additional deaths and 1,843 new cases

Hubei’s health authorities reported 1,843 new cases and 139 more deaths as of Feb. 15.

There are now 56,249 known cases of the respiratory virus in Hubei, which has killed 1,596 people in the province alone. Hubei is the center of the epidemic, and has accounted for most of the cases and deaths so far.

All times below are in Eastern time.

4.15 pm: Toyota will resume output at three auto plants in China

Toyota will resume production at three of its four primary auto plants in China on Monday. The company had initially planned to restart production on Feb.3, but was delayed because of the virus outbreak. 

2.00 pm: Cruise ship confirms 67 new coronavirus cases as US evacuates citizens

The Diamond Princess cruise ship that is in quarantine in Japan confirmed 67 new cases of the virus on board. The ship was put under quarantine last week in Yokohama with about 3,700 people on board.

American passengers aboard the ship will be evacuated on Sunday with chartered aircraft, according to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. There are 400 U.S. citizens on board and at least 40 Americans who were infected have been taken off the ship for treatment. Those who are evacuated will undergo 14 days of quarantine once they reach the U.S.

1.30 pm: Xi started fighting virus earlier than previously known, newly published speech shows

Chinese President Xi Jinping issued internal orders regarding the virus outbreak roughly two weeks before his first public statements on the epidemic, according to a newly published speech on Saturday in the Qiushi Journal, the Communist Party’s top publication.

The speech indicates that Xi started giving orders about the outbreak as early as Jan. 7. His first public instructions on the epidemic was Jan. 20, in which he provided brief instructions on the virus.

China’s release of the speech is an apparent effort to mitigate public anger over the handling of the outbreak, and show that Xi has led the battle against the epidemic — including quarantining millions of people in Hubei, the province at the epicenter of the outbreak.

Xi gave the speech on Feb 3, about the time when the virus was becoming a national crisis.

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: WHO calls on world leaders to ‘stop stigma and hate’ surrounding coronavirus outbreak

— CNBC’s Emma Newburger contributed to this report.

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