Coronavirus Live Update: Hubei Confirms 2,447 New Cases, 69 Deaths


By William Feuer & Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported an additional 69 deaths and 2,447 cases over the previous 24-hour period. The Hubei Provincial Health Committee said that this brings the total confirmed cases in the province to 22,112 and totals deaths in the province to 618.

Total cases: More than 33,800 as of Friday evening.

Total deaths: At least 717 worldwide as of Friday evening.

6:15 pm: Pentagon sets up more military bases to take in quarantined Americans

The Pentagon identified 11 military installations near major airports that can support those evacuated from China, where the current outbreak originated. Department of Defense personnel won’t be in direct contact with the evacuees and will minimize contact with personnel supporting the evacuees, officials said. The bases are in Hawaii, Illinois, Texas, California, Georgia, New York, Washington state, New Jersey, Michigan and the District of Columbia.

5:25 pm: Hubei reports an additional 2,447 cases, 69 deaths

China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported an additional 69 deaths and 2,447 cases over the previous 24-hour period. The Hubei Provincial Health Committee said that this brings the total confirmed cases in the province to 22,112 and totals deaths in the province to 618.

3:55 pm: Hit to global economy will be worse than SARS

The new coronavirus outbreak will be worse for the global economy than the 2003 SARS outbreak, IHS Markit predicts. Though estimates vary, economists say that the SARS outbreak in China cost the global economy about $40 billion. But during that 2003 outbreak, China was just the sixth-largest economy in the world, IHS Markit’s report says, accounting for 4.2% of the global economy. There’s more at stake now. Today, China is the second-largest economy, making up 16.3% of the world’s GDP.

2:46 pm: Significant economic impact seen from drop in Chinese visitors around world

2:15 pm: Stocks snap back fairly quickly from disease outbreaks

History shows that stocks typically snap back fairly quickly from disease outbreaks. “On a forward-looking basis, dengue fever, swine flu, Ebola, measles, rubella, Zika, they don’t hurt the stock market that much,” said Dan Egan, managing director of behavioral finance and investing at Betterment. In 2016, the Zika virus, linked to birth defects in the babies of mothers infected while pregnant, tore through Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. The global stock market shed 6% a month after Zika took off. But six months later? It was down just around 0.6%. The deadly Ebola virus that broke out two years later dragged global stocks down more than 7%. Just half a year later, much of those losses rebounded. Stocks were down 2% in the immediate wake of the 2010 cholera outbreak, which eventually sickened more than 6% of Haitians. Six months later, they were up more than 13%.

1:56 pm: China grows more isolated as airlines cancel more than 46,000 flights

One by one, air carriers have cut service after demand fell sharply and governments took more drastic measures they say aim to contain the spread of the disease. These steps have left China, the world’s second-largest air travel market after the U.S., more isolated. Airlines in dozens of countries — from New Zealand to Finland to the United Arab Emirates — have scaled back service or in the case of U.S. airlines canceled flights altogether to the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong as the coronavirus spreads, a factor that will drive down airlines’ 2020 revenue and deprive other segments of the travel industry, including hotels and retailers, of high-spending tourists.

1:45 pm: Accuweather says warm spring weather could help contain the virus

AccuWeather founder Joel N. Myers said cold weather and weak sun in China right now could be helping spread the virus, but the warm weather coming this spring may help contain it. Meteorologists looked at past outbreaks, including SARS in 2003, the 1918 Spanish Flu and U.S. flu data over the last decade. “There is less viral spread when the sun is strong and the temperatures are warm from May to September,” he said. “It’s possible the sunshine intensity, the longer daylight periods and the warmer weather could suppress the virus in the summer months.”

1:16 pm: Estee Lauder and L’Oreal lower profit outlook

Cosmetics companies Estee Lauder and L’Oreal said they’ve taken financial hits because of the outbreak. Estee Lauder lowered its profit outlook fiscal 2020 from between $5.85 and $5.93 per share to between $5.60 and $5.70 per share, citing reduced travel and sales in important tourist and shopping areas. L’Oreal said the outbreak has temporarily hurt sales in Asian airports.The companies have previously seen sales thrive in China as wealthy customers purchase luxury products at beauty stores and duty-free shops.

12:36 pm: China Beige Book sees virus as a short-term concern

Global stocks will likely continue to rally as people realize the outbreak is not likely to cause long-term effects on the markets, said Derek Scissors, China Beige Book’s chief economist. “This isn’t a natural disaster that destroys capital stock,” he said on “Squawk Box.” “As long as people recover fully, it’s not going to affect productivity.” China is facing a short-term GDP drag, and companies with international stakes will face some earnings hits, but long-term growth should stay stable, added Scissors, whose China Beige Book firm is an independent provider of Chinese economic data.

11:57 pm: American Airlines cancels more Hong Kong flights

American Airlines is extending extend cancellations of its Hong Kong flights from Los Angeles through March 27, citing weak demand. Earlier this week, the airline said it would suspend those flights through Feb. 20. However, American said it would resume its Hong Kong service from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub on Feb. 21. “We will continue to review our flight schedule to ensure we can accommodate the needs of our customers and will make additional refinements as needed,” American said in a statement. American, Delta and United have all canceled their China service over the past week as coronavirus spreads, while more than a dozen other airlines have either halted or scaled back China service.

11:30 am: WHO officials mourn loss of doctor who sounded alarm on virus

WHO officials mourned the loss of Dr. Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who first sounded the alarm on the coronavirus. The ophthalmologist reportedly warned fellow medical staff of a virus he thought looked like SARS on Dec. 30, sending a message to a chat group warning them to wear protective gear after noticing several cases. He later posted on social media that local police tried silencing him. He was diagnosed with the new coronavirus on Jan. 30 and died Thursday. Dr. Mike Ryan, who runs WHO’s emergency programs, said “we should celebrate his life and mourn his death.” He added: “We’re very sorry to hear of the loss of any frontline worker whose attempted to care for patients. We ourselves have lost our friends in the frontlines.”

10:29 am: WHO to convene international coronavirus forum

The World Health Organization is inviting scientists from across the globe for a two-day international research forum next Tuesday and Wednesday. “There’s still a lot we don’t know. We don’t know the source of the outbreak. We don’t know what its natural reservoir is and we don’t properly understand its transmissibility or severity,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporter. There’s no vaccine or effective treatments against it, he said. “To put it bluntly, we’re shadow boxing. We need to bring this virus out into the light so we can attack it properly.” The WHO is convening a global research and innovation forum to share research and ideas on how to combat the virus, he said.

10 am: WHO holds press briefing on the outbreak

The World Health Organization is holding a press conference at 10 a.m. ET to update the public on the outbreak. At Wednesday’s press briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of confirmed cases grew by more than 3,100 over the previous 24 hours, which he said was “the most cases in a single day since the outbreak started” on Dec. 31. “Our greatest concern is about the potential for spread in other countries with weaker health systems and who lack the capacity to detect and diagnose the virus,” he said. Watch Thursday’s live press conference here.

9:23 am Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says virus won’t hamper trade deal

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration doesn’t think the outbreak will keep China from meeting its commitment to buy $200 billion in U.S.goods through 2021 as part of President Donald Trump’s “phase one” trade deal. That total includes more than $75 billion in additional goods and services in 2020. “Based on our current projections of the virus, we’re not worried about that,” Mnuchin said in an interview. “But let me again say we are monitoring the virus carefully. We’ll have a much better idea over the next two weeks. I think we are going to get more comfortable. But based on current information, I don’t expect there will be any issues in them fulfilling their commitments.

9:02 am: Yum Brands shares drop as CEO comments on coronavirus hit

Yum Brands, owner of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, warned investors that its 2020 results will likely fall below its long-term outlook, hit in part by the virus outbreak and its potential spread to other Asian markets. China is the largest market for KFC and the second largest for Pizza Hut. “While Yum’s business model is highly diversified such that the impact on our financial performance will not be as significant what many companies will experience, this will certainly be a headwind for 2020,” CEO David Gibbs said. Yum were down 3.1% in early trading Thursday after after Gibbs’ comments.

8:55 am: Tapestry lowers forecast, citing coronavirus fallout

Kate Spade and Coach owner Tapestry said the majority of its shops in mainland China are closed because of the outbreak. Tapestry said it is expecting sales during the second half of this year to be $200 million to $250 million lower due to the closures. It said its profits could be reduced by 35 cents to 45 cents per share. If the outbreak spreads, Tapestry said the financial impact could become worse. “The escalating coronavirus outbreak is now significantly impacting our business in China, resulting in the closure of the majority of our stores on the Mainland,” CEO Jide Zeitlin said. “If the situation further deteriorates, or the outbreak affects demand outside of the country, this impact could be worse.”

8:50 am: Toyota hunts for alternative auto parts suppliers

Toyota Motor is looking at alternatives for the production of auto parts made in China because of the coronavirus. The company has halted production at its China plants through Sunday, but may extend the deadline if the situation worsens. Toyota lifted its annual operating profit forecast by 4.2% because of strong currency rates for the Japanese yen and better-than-expected sales. However, the company has not yet factored in the financial impact of the coronavirus, which it said was hard to gauge.

8:10 am: Russia reportedly rejects OPEC’s proposal to impose further oil cuts

Russia is thought to be standing in the way of further OPEC-led production cuts, citing unnamed cartel delegates. The Saudi-led producer group has been unable to reach a consensus over its response to China’s coronavirus outbreak. It comes after delegates representing OPEC and allies, sometimes referred to as OPEC+, met for three days to debate whether further output cuts would be necessary to offset falling demand for crude. Earlier in the day, an OPEC technical panel recommended a provisional cut of 600,000 barrels per day. International benchmark Brent crude traded at $55.07 on Thursday, down around 0.4%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate stood at $50.85, around 0.2% higher.

6:30 am: Tesla temporarily closes China stores amid coronavirus fears

Tesla temporarily closed its stores in mainland China as of last Sunday, according to an online post from a company sales employee on that date. Tesla has 24 stores in mainland China, according to the company’s website.

6:20 am: Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers set up coronavirus task force

The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have set up a task force in an attempt to counter intensifying fears about the coronavirus outbreak. Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto he will run the newly created Novel Coronavirus Countermeasures Task Force. The group held its first meeting on Tuesday, Muto told reporters, and a second briefing could take place as soon as Friday. The Olympic Games are set to take place from July 24 to Aug. 9, with the Paralympic Games scheduled to run from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.

5:10 am: US urges WHO to ‘engage directly’ with Taiwan, prompting China to hit back

The U.S. pushed for the World Health Organization to “engage directly” with Taiwan in the fight against the coronavirus, prompting a swift rebuke from Beijing’s ambassador to the United Nations health agency. Andrew Bremberg, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said it is a “technical imperative that WHO present visible public health data on Taiwan as an affected area and engage directly with Taiwan public health authorities on actions,”. In response, China’s delegation expressed “strong dissatisfaction” that some countries had raised the issue of Taiwan’s participation at WHO. Taiwan is not a member of the WHO due to China’s objections. Beijing considers self-governing Taiwan a wayward province to be brought under its control. Separately, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Joanne Ou, slammed China and the WHO for providing inaccurate information about the number of coronavirus cases in Taiwan. The WHO reported Tuesday that the island had 13 cases, when there were only 10 at that time.


Articles in this issue:


  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

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