Coronavirus wrap: Toll crosses 1,000; 'public enemy number 1', says WHO

Topics Coronavirus | China

Man wearing a face mask collects free vegetables sorted by community workers of the residential compound, following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan
The death toll in China due to the novel coronavirus epidemic rose to 1,016 on Tuesday, while 108 new deaths were reported in the worst-affected Hubei province. The confirmed cases of infection soared to 42,638, 

Among the deaths, 103 were in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, and one each in Beijing, Tianjin, Heilongjiang, Anhui and Henan, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the commission as saying.
The new virus is believed to have emerged last year in a market that sells wild animals in Hubei's capital Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak, before spreading across the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) said Saturday that the number of cases being reported daily in China was "stabilising", although the health body warned it was too early to say if the virus had peaked.

With coronavirus getting a tighter grip on the China and impacting world trade, most analysts have started lowering global growth forecasts for the first quarter of calendar year 2020 (Q1-2020). Those at UBS, for instance, expect this would be the weakest quarter for global growth since the global financial crisis (GFC) and on par with the Asian crisis in the late 1990s.

Authorities are fighting to stop it from spreading as millions travel for Chinese New Year, and scientists are trying to understand the virus, which has not been seen by humans before, and its effects.


How the coronavirus outbreak could kill steel's fragile recovery

As production in in 2019 was up by an impressive, but so­mewhat unexpected 8.3 per cent to 996.3 million tonnes (mt), the country’s share of the world output of 1.87 billion tonnes (bt) rose to 53.9 per cent from 50.9 per cent in 2018. In aluminium and copper too, the world’s second largest economy has a predominantly big share of global production and consumption. What is more, with the country being ag­gressively engaged in infrastructure bui­lding and construction ac­tivities with stimulus often provided by Beijing, most of its metal production is consumed locally. Read more.

Coronavirus crisis credit negative for Asia-Pacific port operators: Moody's

The outbreak of in China is credit-negative for Asia-Pacific’s (APAC’s) port operators, given that it has disrupted domestic and global supply chains and has lowered discretionary consumer spending. This will lead to reduced throughput growth of APAC’s ports in 2020. Read more.

Beijing's dangerous groupthink epidemic

The eruption of anger on China’s so­cial media platforms after the death late last week of Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan who raised the alarm about the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia-like virus witnessed at the city’s hospitals several weeks before the local and national government declared an emergency on January 22, has been so unrestrained that it appeared as if Communist censors have gone on strike. Read more.

'Sick' pharma PSU offers to step in to reduce China drug dependence

The outbreak has exposed India’s vulnerability when it comes to sourcing crucial raw materials for medicines from China, which meets about 70 per cent of the country's bulk drugs, or active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), requirement. Read more.

Vaccine for new coronavirus could be ready in 18 months: WHO

The first vaccine targeting China's coronavirus could be available in 18 months, "so we have to do everything today using available weapons", World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva on Tuesday.
He said the virus had been named COVID-19, explaining that it was important to avoid stigma and that other names could be inaccurate.

Coronavirus emergency is 'public enemy number 1': WHO

China's coronavirus outbreak poses a "very grave threat for the rest of the world" and should be viewed as "Public Enemy Number 1", the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to step up measures to detect and contain the virus, especially in at least 30 countries with weaker health systems, where it could "create havoc".

Cisco, Facebook, Sprint pull out of Barcelona meet over coronavirus fears

Cisco Systems Inc, Sprint Corp and Facebook Inc on Tuesday became the latest US technology companies to pull out of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A number of companies ranging from Japan's NTT Docomo and Sony Corp to US chipmakers Intel Corp and Nvidia have already dropped out of the four-day international telecoms conference that draws in more than 100,000 visitors.

Three under observation in Maharashtra; 25,782 screened

Three patients are under observation in hosptials in Maharashtra for the novel coronavirus and nearly 25,800 passengers have been screened at the airport in Mumbai since January 18 for possible exposure to the infection, state health officials said on Tuesday.
Of these patients, who showed symptoms similar to the coronavirus (2019-nCoV), two are in Pune-based Naidu Hospital, while one is in Mumbai's civic-run Kasturba Hospital, they said.
No confirmed case of the viral infection, which originated in China, has been found in the state so far.

Maharashtra woman appeals for rescue from Wuhan in China

A woman from Satara district of Maharashtra stranded in Wuhan in China due to the novel coronavirus outbreak there has appealed to the Centre through social media to airlift her and several compatriots facing a similar situation.
Ashini Avinash Patil, in a video being circulated on social media, claimed she was stuck in Wuhan, one of the worst-hit cities in China, along with 70-80 other Indians.

Smartphone industry feels impact of supply disruption due to coronavirus outbreak in China

The Indian smartphone industry, which relies heavily on China for components and sub-assemblies, has started feeling the impact of supply disruptions in certain product categories due to the coronavirus outbreak, market watchers said on Tuesday.
The industry is keeping a close watch to see if shuttered factories in China reopen in the coming days and supplies resume sometime this week.
"Yes, the industry is already feeling the impact and some products and models have been impacted. It is still early to draw any conclusion as select factories are slated to resume production in a phased manner," India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo told PTI.

First new coronavirus case found among evacuees from China to US

The first confirmed case of novel coronavirus has been found among hundreds of people who were evacuated from China to military bases around the United States, it was reported Monday.
The adult and three other evacuees had been in hospital isolation after showing symptoms of the virus but on Sunday, federal health officials said they had tested negative and they were sent back to the base, where they joined more than 200 people who are under a 14-day quarantine.

Novel coronavirus named 'Covid-19': UN health agency

The World Health Organisation on Tuesday said "Covid-19" would be the new official name for the deadly coronavirus that was first identified in China on December 31.
"We now have a name for the disease and it's Covid-19," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, explaining that "co" stood for "corona", "vi" for "virus" and "d" for "disease".

Cruise ship Diamond Princess expected to remain in quarantine until at least February 19

People on board the ship on Tuesday tweeted that medicines were being delivered to passengers, and that the ship's captain had announced the vessel would head out to sea overnight to produce fresh water and other operations.
Japan has evacuated hundreds of its citizens from Wuhan since the outbreak began. They have been asked to self-quarantine, with most staying in government-appointed hotels for a period of 14 days.
Evacuees from the first flight, which landed January 29, are expected to be released from self-quarantine this week after undergoing an additional test for the virus, officials said.


Cruise ship Diamond Princess at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama

So far, 135 people on board the Diamond Princess have tested positive for the virus since it arrived off Japan on Monday. Authorities on Tuesday were removing from the ship the most recently diagnosed 65 crew and passengers.
The ship was carrying 3,711 people when it arrived off Japan on the evening of February 3, and was officially placed into quarantine two days later. Only those diagnosed with the virus or suffering other serious health conditions have been allowed off the boat, which is expected to remain in quarantine until at least February 19.

Two Japanese citizens evacuated from Wuhan diagnosed with coronavirus

Two Japanese citizens evacuated from the epicentre of a novel coronavirus outbreak have been diagnosed with the infection after initially testing negative, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

Coronavirus : Arunachal strengthens surveillance

The Arunachal Pradesh government has strengthened surveillance in all districts of the state in the wake of the outbreak of novel coronavirus in neighbouring China, a government official said here on Tuesday.
A 24x7 state control room has been set up at the state surveillance unit (SSU) here, state surveillance officer L Jampa informed.

UN meeting ponders fast-track drugs, vaccines for coronavirus

The World Health Organisation convened outside experts Tuesday to fast-track promising tests, drugs and vaccines to help slow the outbreak of a new virus that emerged in China that has killed more than 1,000 people and spread to two dozen other countries.
The new coronavirus was only identified late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan and there are no licensed drugs or vaccines.

Coronavirus outbreak could disrupt supply chains in mid-term: Ind-Ra

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) on Tuesday said coronavirus outbreak could disrupt supply chains and impact credits in the medium term.
The ratings agency, however, said supply chains of Indian companies are unlikely to be materially affected in the near term if the outbreak remains contained in Hubei province.
On the other hand, if it spreads over the next three to four months, sectors like pharmaceuticals, textiles and automobiles could face supply disruptions for critical raw materials, Ind-Ra said in a statement.

WHO warns of 'very grave' global coronavirus threat

The head of the World Health Organisation on Tuesday warned the novel coronavirus was a "very grave threat" for the world as he opened a conference to combat the epidemic.
"With 99% of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva.

Coronovirus outbreak unlikely to impact Indian port operators: Moody's

Coronavirus outbreak in China is expected to have a minimal impact on the Indian ports it rates due to low China-related throughput they handle, ratings agency Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday.
The agency, however, said the outbreak is a "credit negative" for port operators in Asia Pacific.

China defends Pakistan, Nepal's decision to not to evacuate their nationals from coronavirus-hit Wuhan

China on Tuesday defended Pakistan and Nepal governments' decision to not to evacuate their citizens from the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city despite their desperate pleas, saying it has taken "effective measures" to respond to the concerns of the stranded foreign nationals.
Hundreds of Pakistani and Nepali students are still held up in Wuhan and some of them have said that they feel abandoned by their governments which were “sacrificing” them in order to keep their relationships with China strong.

Vivo, Intel, Amdocs pull out of Mobile World Congress 2020

Chinese handset company Vivo, chipset maker Intel and some other global brands on Tuesday announced to have pulled out of international telecom sector event Mobile World Congress 2020 due to novel coronavirus outbreak.
"Vivo has been closely monitoring the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP) outbreak and continuously evaluating planned activities. The health and safety of our employees and the public are our top priority. Based on the present situation, we have decided to withdraw from our debut at MWC 2020 and other related events later this month in Barcelona, Spain," Vivo said in a statement.

Sensex snaps 2-day slide as global markets regain footing despite coronavirus overhang

Markets snapped their two-session slide to close with smart gains on Tuesday, mirroring optimism in the global markets as investors wagered on limited economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Led by gains in index heavyweights RIL, ICICI Bank and HDFC, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 236.52 points, or 0.58 per cent, higher at 41,216.14.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 76.40 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 12,107.90.

Thailand yields to virus fears, bars docking of cruise ship

Thai health authorities have barred a cruise ship from docking that has already been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan out of concern over a new virus, although no cases have been confirmed on board.
The chief of the Department of Disease Control, Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, said Tuesday that the Public Health Ministry had rejected a request from the crew of the MS Westerdam to dock at Laem Chabang in eastern Thailand.
He said the ministry will further consider how to deal with the ship's situation. It began its cruise on Jan 16 in Singapore. Shipowner Holland America Line says there are no known cases of the virus on board.

Nepal prepares to evacuate its citizens from virus-hit Wuhan city in China

Nepal is preparing to bring back its 180 nationals struck in China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus that has killed over 1,000 people, officials said here.
The disease emerged in December in a market in central China's Wuhan city that sold wild animals, and spread rapidly.
Outside China, there have been more than 350 infections reported in almost 30 places with two deaths, one in the Philippines and the other in Hong Kong.
Nepal government is preparing to bring back Nepalese nationals currently residing in Wuhan city of China through a chartered flight of Nepal Airlines in a few days, official sources said.

As coronavirus fails to ease, interest in 'force majeure'

With the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Hubei province, China, showing no signs of abating any time soon, some companies that buy and sell goods in the Chinese market are taking interest in the legal defense of "force majeure."
The death toll in China from the epidemic continues to climb and now stands above 1,000, more than the SARS epidemic two decades ago, with more than 42,000 confirmed cases in China and 319 cases in 24 other countries.
Force majeure refers to unexpected external circumstances that prevent a party to a contract from meeting their obligations.

China tightens movement restrictions in locked-down

China tightened restrictions at the locked-down epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday, forbidding feverish people in Wuhan from visiting hospitals outside of their home districts.
The measure comes a day after authorities sealed off residential compounds in the central city, where the deadly novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in a market selling wild animals.
Wuhan has been under effective quarantine since January 23 when the government suspended transport links out of the city in a bid to contain the virus, which has so far killed 1,016 people and infected more than 42,600 across China.

Smartphone industry feels impact of supply disruption due to coronavirus outbreak in China

The Indian smartphone industry, which relies heavily on China for components and sub-assemblies, has started feeling the impact of supply disruptions in certain products category due to the coronavirus outbreak, market watchers said on Tuesday.
The industry is keeping a close watch to see if shuttered factories in China reopen in the coming days and supplies resume sometime this week.
"Yes, the industry is already feeling the impact and some products and models have been impacted. It is still early to draw any conclusion as select factories are slated to resume production in a phased manner," India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo told PTI.

Chinese expert says coronavirus may peak soon as death toll surges past 1,000

China's coronavirus outbreak may peak soon, a prominent Chinese expert said on Tuesday, as the death toll soared past 1,000 and worry grew about the true extent of economic disruption to the world's second-largest economy.
Companies struggled to get back to work after an extended Lunar New Year holiday, while hundreds of Chinese firms said they would need loans running into billions of dollars to stay afloat. Layoffs also began, despite assurances by President Xi Jinping that widespread sackings would be avoided.
The government's top medical adviser on the outbreak, Zhong Nanshan, held out hope that the epidemic may peak in February and then plateau before easing.

Coronavirus emergency "holds a very grave threat" for world: WHO

China's coronavirus outbreak poses a "very grave threat for the rest of the world", the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday in an appeal for sharing virus samples and speeding up research into drugs and vaccines.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was addressing the start of a two-day meeting aimed at accelerating research into drugs, diagnostics and vaccines into the flu-like virus amid growing concerns about its ability to spread.
To date China has reported 42,708 confirmed cases, including 1,017 deaths, Tedros said.
"With 99% of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world," he told more than 400 researchers and national authorities, including some taking part by video conference from mainland China and Taiwan.

Coronavirus scare: India orders checking of Chinese agri, livestock imports

India has ordered that and livestock shipments from be checked for the deadly that has led to more than 900 deaths and upwards of 40,000 cases in mainland . Read more.

Coronavirus impact: PTA prices decline by 10% in a week on duty cut

In a major relief to synthetic yarn manufacturers, Purified Tephthalic Acid (PTA) has become cheaper by 10 per cent during the past one week following temporary suspension of import from China due to the spread of coronavirus there. Withdrawal of anti-dumping duty on this critical synthetic textile raw material has made it cheaper in India. Read more.

Coronavirus outbreak: Apparel enquiries diverted from China to India

At this time of the year, buyers from Western markets travel to to negotiate with garment exporters for the next season. Because of the spread, most of them have reportedly cancelled the trip and started discussing with exporters from other countries, including India. Read more.

Trump expects coronavirus to 'go away' in April

US President Donald Trump said he expected the coronavirus outbreak to disappear in April due to hotter weather.
"The virus ... typically that will go away in April," he said, adding: "The heat, generally speaking, kills this kind of virus." 

IMF warns of coronavirus hit to Japan's economy via tourism

A prolonged and widespread coronavirus outbreak could hit Japan's economy, affecting tourism, retail and exports, among other areas, a senior International Monetary Fund official warned.

UK says two of its new coronavirus cases are healthcare workers

Two of the new coronavirus cases in Britain announced are healthcare workers, Public Health England said.
Earlier, Britain said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had doubled to eight as the government declared the virus a serious and imminent threat, giving it additional powers to isolate those suspected of being infected

10.59 million people tested for coronavirus in Wuhan

China's Wuhan city - the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak, has carried out tests on 10.59 million people, almost 99 per cent of its population, and for the remaining others it would be completed by Tuesday, a ruling Communist Party of China official said 
As of afternoon on Monday, 1,499 confirmed patients in critical condition who were not admitted for treatment before February 8 have now been hospitalised, Ma said.

Advance team of WHO experts arrive in China to probe coronavirus

An advance World Health Organization team of medical experts arrived in China on Monday to investigate the coronavirus outbreak
Tedros, who visited Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese ministers in late January, returned with an agreement on sending an international mission


Coronavirus to hit Canadian economy, affect oil prices, tourism

The spreading coronavirus outbreak will hit the Canadian economy, in particular affecting oil prices and the tourism sector, according to the country's Finance minister

Xi Jinping confident about triumphing over coronavirus

Chinese President Xi Jinping, wearing a mask, toured Beijing city to oversee the efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak and said though the situation remained "very serious" China can score a full victory over the epidemic, which has emerged as the biggest challenge to his leadership.
Xi, who mostly remained indoors while his No 2 Premier Li Keqiang, and other senior Communist Party officials toured affected areas including virus-hit Wuhan, went on an inspection of the epidemic prevention and control work in Beijing.
Wearing a mask, Xi spoke to the doctors and learnt about the treatment of infected patients. He made video calls to hospitals in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, state -run Xinhua news agency reported.


Global markets mostly dip on coronavirus woes

Asian and European markets mostly fell Monday as coronavirus scares investors 

34 out of 37 in isolation wards in Maharashtra discharged

Thirty-four of the 37 people admitted in isolation wards in Maharashtra hospitals for suspected exposure to the novel coronavirus have been discharged after their samples tested negative for the infection

4 China returnees test negative to coronavirus in Jharkhand

Four persons, who had recently returned to Jharkhand's Ranchi and Jamshedpur from China, have tested negative to novel coronavirus, health department officials said

Wall Street set for subdued open as investors weigh coronavirus risks

Wall Street was set to open largely unchanged on Monday after last week's strong gains as investors kept an eye on the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak and company updates, with people starting to return to work in China

'Logistical nightmare': Indian envoy describes evacuation of Indians from Wuhan

India's efforts to evacuate its citizens from the coronavirus-hit Hubei province and its capital Wuhan were a logistical nightmare since the entire operation had to be done in a region sealed from all sides, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri said

Wuhan aims to test all suspected coronavirus cases by tomorrow

China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, has not been able to confirm all existing suspected cases of the coronavirus despite a rush to speed up testing
Wuhan government said they would however, aim to test all suspected cases by Tuesday. There have been growing complaints that many patients in the city of 11 million have not been tested or admitted for full-time treatment due to the pressure on medical resources.

Russian authorities quarantine Chinese diplomat as precautionary measure

Russian authorities have quarantined a Chinese diplomat as a safety precaution against the coronavirus outbreak, the Interfax news agency reported
Consul General Cui Shaochun arrived in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Thursday to take up his new post but was told to stay at home for two weeks, Russian foreign ministry official Alexander Kharlov was quoted as saying.

Coronavirus has infected more than 40,600 people globally

Hong Kong has had 36 cases, including one death. Macao has had 10 cases. Most of the illnesses and deaths have been in central Hubei province
  • Japan: 161
  • Singapore: 43
  • Thailand: 32
  • South Korea: 27
  • Malaysia: 18
  • Taiwan: 16
  • Australia: 14
  • Germany: 14
  • Vietnam: 14
  • United States: 12. Separately, one U.S. citizen died in China — France: 11 — United Kingdom: 8
  • United Arab Emirates: 7
  • Canada: 6
  • Philippines: 3 cases, including 1 death — India: 3 — Italy: 3
  • Russia: 2
  • Spain: 2
  • Belgium: 1
  • Nepal: 1
  • Sri Lanka: 1
  • Sweden: 1
  • Cambodia: 1
  • Finland: 1 

China's President Xi Jinping said he will prevent major layoffs

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the government would prevent large-scale layoffs amid the coronavirus outbreak, as he appeared among the public for the first time since the epidemic started.
Xi inspected efforts by community workers in Beijing to contain the virus, visited a local hospital that offers treatment to coronavirus patients and video-chatted with frontline medical staff in Wuhan.

First coronavirus positive case in Kerala tested negative

The latest test result of the woman medical student, who arrived here from China's Wuhan region and was the first positive case from India for the Coronavirus, has come out negative

65 more cases confirmed on Japan cruise ship

Another 65 people aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off Japan have been diagnosed with coronavirus, taking the total number of known infections to 135

Over 197,000 travellers from 1,818 flights screened so far

Over 197,000 passengers travelling in 1,818 flights have been screened for coronavirus, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said 
Screening of passengers has been initiated at 12 major seaports and all minor ports in the country to identify passengers and crew members coming from China and to isolate them in case they are found symptomatic

India lifts ban on some medical gear exports to China

India has cleared some consignments of medical gear placed by China to combat coronavirus.
The decision came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to President Xi Jinping offering solidarity and assistance to deal with the coronavirus outbreak in China that has claimed over 900 lives.

Alibaba to offer $2.86 bn low-interest loans to firms hit by coronavirus

Alibaba Group said its affiliate Ant Financial's MYBank unit would offer $2.86 billion in low-interest loans to companies in China in light of the coronavirus 

China to speed up medicinal provisions

China will speed up the provision of medicines that show clinical effects against the coronavirus, state media reported, citing a meeting chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Indians among passengers, crew on board Japan cruise ship

Indians were among the nearly 3,000 passengers and crew members on board a cruise ship quarantined off Japan, according to the Indian Embassy 
Cruise ship Diamond Princess, carrying 3,711 people, arrived at the Japanese coast early last week and was quarantined after a passenger who de-boarded last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of Coronavirus
Total number of those infected on the ship rose to 130. 

Companies feel the pinch of Coronavirus in China

  • Airbnb has suspended bookings in Beijing until February 29
  • Amazon has pulled out of this month's Mobile World
  • Congress in Barcelona, following Ericsson and LG Electronics
  • Singapore Airshow and US defence firms Lockheed Martin and Raytheon said they would not attend.
  • Chinese gaming giant Tencent has asked its employees to continue working from home until February 21, extending the period from Feb. 14 announced previously.
  • Singapore's central bank said it had advised financial institutions in the city-state to take additional measures and precautions after the government raised its coronavirus alert level.
  • State carrier Air China said late on Saturday it will "adjust" its flights between China and the US
  • Apple is extending its retail store closures in China, even as it worked toward opening its corporate offices and contact centres.
  • Facebook said production of its Oculus virtual reality headset would be hit.

27 foreign nationals infected in China

Out of the 27 infected, two foreigners -- an American woman and a Japanese man -- died

Coronavirus: 1,818 flights screened in country so far

Experts at various airports have so far screened 1,818 flights, covering a total of 1,97,192 passengers, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed Lok Sabha on Monday as he spoke on steps taken by the government to deal with Novel Coronavirus.
He also said that screening of passengers has been initiated at 12 major seaports and all minor ports in the country to identify passengers and crew coming from China and to isolate them in case they are found symptomatic.
"Teams of specialist doctors were sent to all airports to ensure effective screening and arrangement for isolation in attached hospitals. As of today, a total of 1818 flights have been screened covering a total of 1,97,192 passengers," he said.

China praises PM Modi's letter to XI on coronavirus assistance

China on Monday appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's letter to President Xi Jinping offering solidarity and assistance to deal with the deadly coronavirus outbreak, saying it "fully demonstrated" New Delhi's friendship with Beijing. In a letter to Xi, Modi expressed solidarity with the president and people of China over the outbreak of the virus that has claimed over 900 lives in the neighbouring country.
"We thank and appreciate India's support for China's fight against the NCP Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, the official name for coronavirus," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. "India's acts of goodwill fully demonstrate its friendship with China," Geng said during an online media briefing while replying to a question on Modi's letter to Xi.

Coronavirus diverts orders to India, but exporters dither on prices

During this time of the year, buyers from the western markets usually travel to China to negotiate deals with garment exporters for the next season. But this time, due to the Novel Coronavirus most of these buyers have cancelled their trips and have started discussing with exporters from India and other countries. While this is good news, the flip side is exporters say they are not in a position to convert the enquiries into orders as they are not able to match the price. Read More

About 60 more novel coronavirus cases on Japan cruise ship: NHK

Around 60 more people on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off Japan have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus, national broadcaster NHK said on Monday.
Other local media also reported approximately 60 more cases had been confirmed, raising the number of infected passengers and crew to around 130. Health ministry officials declined immediate comment.

WHO warns overseas coronavirus spread may be 'tip of the iceberg'

The head of the World Health Organization said on Monday there have been "concerning instances" of coronavirus among people with no travel history to China, warning that it could be the "tip of the iceberg", as he urged all countries to prepare for the possible arrival of the novel virus that has killed over 900 people.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded the doctors, nurses and health workers for doing "their utmost" at personal risk to contain the epidemic, terming them "true heroes" of the outbreak that first surfaced in December in Wuhan city in China's central Hubei province where millions of people are under lockdown in a bid to stop it from spreading.

China inflation at 8-year high as coronavirus disrupts supply chains

China consumer prices rose at their highest rate in more than eight years, official data showed Monday, with inflation more than expected on the back of Lunar New Year demand and a deadly virus outbreak. Beijing had already been battling a slowing domestic economy before the new coronavirus emerged, disrupting businesses, travel and supply chains.

The consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of retail inflation, came in at 5.4 percent last month on-year, up from 4.5 percent in December -- with prices of pork and fresh vegetables pushing up costs. Food prices spiked 20.6 percent.

The overall monthly figure exceeded the 4.9 percent forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg survey and is the highest since October 2011.

Free-falling LNG prices wreak havoc on trade amid coronavirus fears

Record low prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) are roiling the global gas market, creating havoc as traders rush to find alternative locations for cargoes with Chinese buyers rejecting shipments amid the coronavirus epidemic.

Asian spot prices for LNG have already tumbled to troughs of $3 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) - less than half of what they were at the same time last year.

Death toll jumps to 902, Hubei reports 91 new fatalities

The number of deaths from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 902 on Monday after the hardest-hit province of Hubei reported 91 new fatalities. In its daily update, Hubei's health commission also confirmed another 2,618 new cases in the central province, where the outbreak emerged in December. There are now more than 39,800 confirmed cases across China, based on previously released figures from the government.

Two new coronavirus cases, one in UK and one in Spain, had link to ski resort

French health authorities confirmed on Sunday that two people diagnosed on Sunday with the new coronavirus, one in Britain and the other in Spain, were linked to a group of Britons who contracted the virus in a ski resort in France.
Five Britons tested positive for the virus in France on Saturday after sharing a chalet in the French mountain village of Les Contamines-Montjoie.

Amazon withdraws from Barcelona's Mobile World Congress tech conference over coronavirus

Amazon withdrew on Sunday from attending an international telecoms conference in Barcelona later this month because of the new coronavirus.
Several Spanish media outlets, including El Mundo, said the online retailer confirmed that "due to the outbreak and continuing concerns about the new coronavirus" it would not be exhibiting or participating in the Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled from February 24 to 27.

Coronavirus test report possible in 15 minutes

A new test kit to detect coronavirus, that takes just 15 minutes, has been developed at Tianjin University of China. It will help save time in screening out potential patients.
According to Global Times, Tianjin University developed the kit in collaboration with Beijing Biotech company. The kit is undergoing clinical trials and will be sent to the health regulator for approval.
Earlier, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), Chinese health regulatory body, approved a kit developed by SunSure Biotech, which cut the screening time to 30 minutes. IANS reported.

Two arrested for spreading misinformation on coronavirus

151 people screened for coronavirus, 56 under home isolation

A total of 151 people were screened for novel coronavirus across different airports in Assam, while 56 persons travelling from abroad were kept under home isolation, an official release said on Sunday.
The Health and Family Welfare Department said 151 passengers, including 66 in Guwahati have been screened till now.
Fourteen persons were examined during Sunday, the statement said. Read more...

One patient tested negative for coronavirus in Kerala

New confirmed cases of coronavirus dropping since five days in China

China's new confirmed cases of coronavirus pneumonia outside Hubei Province, the ground zero of the epidemic, have been dropping for the five consecutive days, PTI reported.

China's coronavirus death toll climbs to 813, but new cases fall

The death toll in China's coronavirus outbreak jumped to 813 on Sunday, surpassing global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, even as Chinese officials said the cases of infection have started dropping for the first time after weeks of sharp rise.
With 91 more people dying, most in Hubei province, the novel coronavirus death toll is now higher than the 774 people killed worldwide by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic that started in southern China. Read more...

China offers $43bn boost to firms fighting virus

China's central bank said Sunday it will offer a 300 billion yuan ($43 billion) boost next week to help businesses involved in fighting the virus epidemic which has swept China and infected thousands.
The outbreak, which started in the central city of Wuhan, has brought large swathes of the country to a halt and threatens to dampen the country's already slowing economy. Read more...

India ranks 17th among countries at risk of coronavirus import

Of the countries most at risk of importing coronavirus cases, India ranks 17th, researchers have found on the basis of a mathematical model for the expected global spread of the virus that originated in China's Wuhan area in December 2019.

So far India has reported 3 coronavirus positive cases -- all from Kerala.

Among the airports in India, the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is most at risk, followed by airports in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi, according to the model. IANS reported.

Over 1 lakh people screened for coronavirus

Over 100,000 people have been screened for coronavirus infection at various Indian airports as a preventive measure, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.

"As on Sunday, 197,192 passengers in 1,818 flights were screened at 21 airports. The universal screening for passengers from Singapore and Thailand, besides Hong Kong and China, is continuing at earmarked aero-bridges," the Ministry said.

The screening is also being done at seaports and border crossings, IANS reported.

China allocates $10.26 billion to fight coronavirus

China's finance ministry said on Sunday all levels of government had allocated a total of 71.85 billion yuan ($10.26 billion) as of Saturday afternoon to fight coronavirus. The ministry will deploy the funds to ensure that members of public can afford diagnosis and treatment, it said in a statement on its website.

The funds will also be used to ensure that efforts of every region to fight the virus are not hampered by financial constraints, Reuters reported.

Coronavirus: Govt removes surgical masks, gloves from export ban list

The government has removed surgical masks and gloves from the list of banned export items, according to a notification.
Last month, the government put a ban on exports of all kinds of personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks used to protect people from air borne particles amidst outbreak of deadly novel coronavirus in China. Read more...

DGCA suspends pre-flight alcohol test at Kerala airports

Aviation regulator DGCA has stopped the pre-flight breathalyzer (BA) test for the aircrew operating out of Kerala's four airports during the next 15 days in the wake of the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak.
The breathalyzer (BA) test measures whether a person is drunk or not.
"The mandatory BA test for flight crew who are operating out of Kerala's airports has been stopped for the next 15 days in light of coronavirus situation," a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said. Read more...

Coronavirus outbreak: PM writes to Jinping, offers India's support to China

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to Chinese President Xi Jinping, offering India's assistance to China to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
In his letter, the prime minister expressed solidarity with the president and the people of China over the outbreak of the virus in the country, official sources said. Read more...

PM Modi writes to Chinese President Xi Jinping; expresses India's solidarity with China

PM Modi wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping expressing India's solidarity with people of China over Coronavirus outbreak. The prime minister conveyed to Chinese President Xi India's appreciation for China's assistance in evacuation of Indians from Hubei province.

Five suspected cases of coronavirus reported in Pakistan

Five persons with symptoms of coronavirus were rushed to hospital after they arrived in Pakistan from a flight from China, according to a media report on Sunday.
The suspected patients were on the Air China flight carrying 177 passengers, which landed in Islamabad on Friday, The Express Tribune reported quoting airport officials. The five passengers were segregated as their body temperatures registered above normal during thermal scanning at the airport, the paper said. Read more...

Govt removes surgical masks, gloves from export ban list

The government has removed surgical masks and gloves from the list of banned export items, according to a notification. The move assumed significance as there could be a spurt in demand for such products due to outbreak of deadly coronavirus that has claimed more than 500 lives in China. Read more

Two tests positive for coronavirus in UAE, infection cases rise to 7

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said on Saturday that "two new cases of coronavirus" were detected in the country through a routine check-up system set according to standards set by the World Health Organization.
It said that all health facilities will continue to report any new cases suspected to have coronavirus.

Malaysia expands temporary China traveller ban as coronavirus spreads

Malaysia has expanded a ban on visitors from China to include Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, after China's decision to lock down cities in the provinces to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed over 800 lives.
The restriction will be imposed on all tourists regardless of nationality who have visited Hubei, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. Malaysia has reported 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Saturday, two of which had been discharged after making a recovery. Read more

Coronavirus infections so far: 37,500 globally, Japan highest outside China

The latest figures reported by global health authorities as of Sunday in Beijing: — China: 811 deaths and 37,198 confirmed cases on the mainland. In addition, Hong Kong has had 25 cases, including one death.
Macao has had 10 cases. Most of the deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December. (See chart)

Coronavirus: China's Shandong province to close all schools till Feb-end

China's northern Shandong province said all schools will stay closed until the end of February amid an ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the province's education bureau said in a statement on its official webite on Sunday.

The move, which applies to all types of schools, is being carried out to guarantee students' safety, the statement said.

Prolonged coronavirus outbreak in China could hurt Indian pharma sector

Indian pharma firms are closely monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus in China as it could impact the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients in the country, if the situation in the neighbouring nation does not improve soon.
China accounted for 67.56 per cent of total imports of bulk drugs and drug intermediates in 2018-19 at USD 2,405.42 million. Read more

Coronavirus: Lockheed, Raytheon among 70 to pull out of Singapore airshow

More than 70 trade exhibitors have pulled out of the Singapore Airshow amid concerns over the new coronavirus and the number of public tickets available will be less than half of those on offer in 2018 to limit attendance, the show's organiser said on Sunday. Some major exhibitors, including Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co have pulled out over the virus
Experia Events Managing Director Leck Chet Lam told reporters the number of companies not attending represented less than 8% of those that had signed up for the show, to be held from Feb. 11 to 16.He said the number of aircraft on static display would be lower than in 2018, but around 40 to 45 were still expected. Read more

China health body warns against over-use of protective suits

China's National Health Commission called for the "reasonable use" of protective suits in a statement on Sunday and cautioned against "excessive and disorderly" use of the clothing that would waste resources and could also increase infection. Read more here

Tencent employees asked to work from home till Feb 21

Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd has asked its employees to continue working from home until Feb 21, extending the period from Feb 14, to protect employees from the spread of the coronavirus, the company said on its official WeChat account on Sunday.

Coronavirus testing lab set up in Ahmedabad's BJ medical college

The Gujarat government has set up a laboratory testing facility for the novel Coronavirus in Ahmedabad for timely results and reducing the burden on such facilities in Pune and Mumbai in neighbouring Maharashtra, officials said on Saturday.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, officially called 2019-nCoV, in China has put tremendous pressure on medical infrastructure due to a large number of people returning to the country from there.

42 being monitored in Nagaland for coronavirus

Altogether 42 persons arriving in Nagaland from China and other countries, affected by the outbreak of novel coronavirus, are being monitored while seven of them have been kept in isolation at their homes, state health minister Pangnyu Phom said on Saturday.
Allaying concern raised by opposition leader T R Zeliang in the Assembly, the minister said no confirmed case of coronavirus infection has been found in Nagaland so far.

Brazilian plane evacuates Indian from Wuhan

A Brazilian air force plane has evacuated an Indian from the novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China along with a group of Brazilian citizens, diplomatic sources said on Saturday.
The Indian has disembarked from the plane in Poland, they said.

Coronavirus: Chinese man hospitalized in Pune tests negative

Samples of three persons including a Chinese national who were quarantined here for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus have tested negative, a civic official said on Saturday.
The Chinese man, who is 31 years old, was admitted to the civic-run Naidu Hospital upon arrival in the city after he vomited on a Delhi-Pune flight on Friday morning.

China turns to AI, data in fight against coronavirus

As Chinese authorities race to contain the spread of a new virus, which has infected more than 34,000 people and killed more than 700 in China, Beijing is turning to a familiar set of tools to find and prevent potential infections: data tracking and artificial intelligence.
Several Chinese tech firms have developed apps to help people check if they have taken the same flight or train as confirmed virus patients, scraping data from lists published by state media.


What's in a name? WHO tiptoes around what to call virus

Keen to avoid stigmatising the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began, or Chinese people, the World Health Organization is treading carefully on naming the new virus.
The UN health agency's official temporary name for the disease, which it has designated as a global health emergency, is "2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease"
"We thought it was very important that we provide an interim name so that no location was associated with the name," Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO's Emerging Diseases unit, told the agency's executive board on Friday.
"I'm sure you've all seen many media reports that are still calling it using Wuhan or China and we wanted to ensure that there was no stigma," she said.

China blocks Foxconn plan to restart factories over virus worries

Chinese authorities have blocked a plan by Apple supplier Foxconn to resume production in China from Monday, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday, amid concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus.
Public health experts carried out inspections at Foxconn's factories in the southern city of Shenzhen and told the company that its factories had a "high risk of coronavirus infection", making them unsuitable for a production restart, according to reports.

Coronavirus: Death toll rises to 723 in China; US woman, Japanese man first foreigners to die

An American woman and a Japanese man became the first foreigners to have died from the new coronavirus in China as the death toll jumped to 723 in the country with the confirmed cases soaring to 34,598, health officials said on Saturday.
Though the US woman is officially stated to be the first foreigner to have died due to the coronavirus, a Japanese man hospitalised in Wuhan with pneumonia has also died, the Japan's foreign ministry announced in Tokyo.
The Ministry citing Chinese medical authorities said on Saturday the man in his 60s, was possibly infected with the coronavirus but due to difficulties in diagnosing the disease his death had been attributed to viral pneumonia.

Five Britons contract coronavirus in French ski resort

Five British nationals including a child have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in France, after staying in the same ski chalet with a person who had been in Singapore, French health officials said on Saturday.
The new cases emerged after authorities began to retrace the recent travels of one British citizen confirmed by Britain to have contracted the virus in recent days, senior health official Jerome Salomon told a news conference.

Shanghai to help Tesla resume production amid coronavirus spread

US electric carmaker Tesla's factory in China's financial hub of Shanghai will resume production on Feb. 10 with assistance to help it cope with a spreading epidemic of coronavirus, a Shanghai government official said on Saturday.
Many factories across China shut in late January for the Lunar New Year holiday that was originally due to end on Jan. 30 but which was extended in a bid to contain the spread of the new flu-like virus that has killed more than 700 people.

Singapore PM says coronavirus response ‘major test’ as hoarding spikes

Singapore authorities urged residents to relax on their shopping sprees that have emptied supermarket shelves, saying supplies aren’t under threat even as response efforts to battle the coronavirus outbreak have escalated, Bloomberg reported.
Pictures circulated online of snaking lines at supermarkets as people snapped up rice, instant noodles, toilet paper and sanitization products. Online grocers including Inc. and Redmart Ltd. said they have limited or no delivery slots.

Malaysian Hindus defy virus fears to mark festival

Hindus gathered in temples across Malaysia on Saturday to celebrate the annual Thaipusam festival, with many piercing their bodies with hooks and skewers, despite concerns about the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Massive crowds descended on the Batu Caves temple complex on the outskirts of capital Kuala Lumpur to participate in the event, where Hindus showcase their devotion to the deity Lord Murugan.

Bodh Gaya: Devotees from Hong Kong and Taiwan, wearing masks as precaution against coronavirus

The devotees were taking part in the 37th Kagyu Monlam prayers in Bodh Gaya.

Bodh Gaya: Budhhist monks, wearing masks as precaution against possible infection from coronavirus

Taiwan and Hong Kong urged residents not to hoard goods such as toilet paper amid signs of panic buying

Ripples from the health crisis are spreading far beyond the epicenter in the locked-down province of Hubei. Hundreds of miles away, once-busy megacities like Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong are now sights of desolated streets, empty subway cars and runs on toilet paper at supermarkets. 

Three more cases were diagnosed on Saturday among 3,700 passengers and crew on the quarantined ship

Three more people on a cruise ship off Japan have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the number aboard to 64, the government said Saturday, with passengers facing a two-week quarantine.  
Japanese authorities have so far tested about 280 people on board the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined after a former passenger, who disembarked in Hong Kong last month, was diagnosed with the virus

Coronavirus death toll crosses 700 in China, set to surpass SARS pandemic

The death toll in China rose by 86 to 722 on Saturday, and is poised to pass the 774 deaths recorded globally during SARS pademic. During the SARS outbreak between November 2002 and July 2003, the number of reported cases was 8,098, suggesting a far lower transmission rate than the latest coronavirus, but a higher mortality rate. Read more

The latest cases of infections reported by global health authorities as of Saturday in Beijing

A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 34,800 people globally. China has till now reported 722 deaths. Hong Kong has reported 25 cases, including one death while Macao has had 10 cases. 
Number of cases globally: 
— Japan: 89
— Singapore: 33
— Thailand: 32
— South Korea: 24
— Australia: 14
— Germany: 13
— United States: 12
— Taiwan: 16
— Malaysia: 15
— Vietnam: 13
— France: 6
— United Arab Emirates: 5
— Canada: 6
— United Kingdom: 3
— India: 3
— Philippines: 3 cases, including 1 death — Russia: 2 — Italy: 3
— Britain: 3
— Belgium: 1
— Nepal: 1
— Sri Lanka: 1
— Sweden: 1
— Spain: 1
— Cambodia: 1
— Finland: 1

Apple extends store closures in China due to coronavirus

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Apple in the beginning of this month closed all of its corporate offices, stores as well as contact centers in China. The closures were expected to last through February 10 but now Apple retail chief Deidre O'Brien has revealed that the reopening time is on hold until further notice.
The tech giant closed all 42 stores in the country from February 1 based on the latest advice from leading health experts.
"Apple's Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking," O'Brien said in a letter to employees recently.

US firms in China forecast revenue drop due to NCoV

Eighty-seven per cent of American companies in China said the novel coronavirus, which has killed hundreds in the Asian giant and infected tens of thousands, will have a direct impact on their 2020 revenues, according to Shanghai's American Chamber of Commerce.
In a survey the chamber published on Friday, 24 per cent of companies said they expected revenues to fall by at least 16 per cent compared to the previous year because of the outbreak, which by Saturday had killed 722 and infected 34,546 in China, reports Efe news.
Moreover, 29 per cent of the 127 companies in the survey - conducted Tuesday through Thursday - said their corporate headquarters do not fully understand the potential economic impact of the coronavirus.
Among the 127 companies surveyed, 20 have revenues of more than $500 million in China, while 27 make revenues between $100 million and $500 million.

Thailand reports seven new coronavirus cases: Health ministry

Thailand's public health ministry reported seven new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, including three Thais and four Chinese.
The new cases brought the total reported in the country to 32.

Japanese with suspected coronavirus infection dies in China

A Japanese man with a suspected coronavirus infection has died in hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the Japanese foreign ministry said Saturday.
The man in his 60s had been hospitalised due to severe pneumonia and the hospital reported his death to the Japanese embassy in China, the ministry said in a statement.
Chinese medical authorities said the man was highly likely to have been infected with the new coronavirus but "it is difficult to make a definitive judgement," the statement said.

US citizen dies of coronavirus in Wuhan: Embassy

A US citizen has died from the new coronavirus at the epicentre of the epidemic in China, the US embassy said Saturday, in what appears to be the first confirmed foreign death from the outbreak.
"We can confirm that a 60-year-old US citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died at a hospital in Wuhan, China, on February 6," an embassy spokesman told AFP.

Tesla Shanghai factory to resume production on Feb 10, authorities to assist: Govt official

US electric carmaker Tesla's factory in China's financial hub of Shanghai will resume production on Feb. 10, a Shanghai government official said on Saturday, adding that authorities would provide assistance to the firm.
Xu Wei, spokesman of the Shanghai municipal government, made the comment at a news conference.
On Jan 30 Tesla had warned of a 1-1.5 week delay in the ramp-up of Shanghai-built Model 3 cars because China ordered a shutdown of the factory because of the new coronavirus breakout.

Death toll from new coronavirus set to surpass SARS, as China's fatalities above 700

The new coronavirus epidemic in mainland China is almost certain to become more deadly than SARS on Saturday as the death toll passed 700, health experts warned of mask shortages and more cases were confirmed on a quarantined Japanese cruise ship.
The number of new infections in China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, rose on Friday from a day earlier, Chinese health officials said, reversing two days of declines and showing the difficulty of predicting the epidemic's peak.

The death toll in mainland China jumped by 86 to 722, and is poised to pass the 774 deaths recorded globally during the 2002-2003 pandemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another coronavirus that jumped from animals to humans in China.

Hong Kong starts quarantine for mainland China arrivals

Hong Kong on Saturday began enforcing a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China, a dramatic escalation of its bid to stop the deadly new coronavirus from spreading.
The vast majority of people crossing the border are expected to self-quarantine and will face daily phone calls and spot checks by officials, with up to six months in prison for those found in breach of the isolation period.
Authorities hope the prospect of quarantine will virtually halt cross-border traffic while allowing the city to remain stocked with food and goods from the mainland, where the virus has now killed more than 700 people.

15 Kerala students stranded in China's Hubei reach Kochi

Fifteen students from the state who were stranded in Hubei province of China following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus have landed at the Cochin International Airport Limited and underwent a thermal screening for the infection, airport officials said on Saturday.
The students travelled to Bangkok from Kunming Airport and then took an Air Asia flight to reach here, they said.
When the flight reached Kochi at 11 pm on Friday, they were directly taken to the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital in five sterilised ambulances.

China doing good job on coronavirus: Donald Trump

China is doing a good job on its fight against the deadly coronavirus that has taken the lives of large number of people, President Donald Trump has said, adding that the US was helping them out.
"China is working very hard. Late last night, I had a very good talk with President Xi and we talked mostly about the coronavirus," Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday. "I think they are doing a very professional job." The death toll in China due to coronavirus continues to goes up as it jumped to 722 on Friday, while the number of confirmed cases rose to 34,546, Chinese health authorities announced on Saturday.

Japan confirms 3 more coronavirus cases on cruise liner; total now 64

Another 3 people on a cruise liner off Japan have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases from the ship to 64, Japan's health ministry said on Saturday.
Japan's health minister on Friday said 41 people aboard the Diamond Princess had tested positive for coronavirus in addition to 20 previously identified cases, with those infected being moved to hospitals on land.
The liner was placed on a two-week quarantine on arriving at Yokohama on Feb 3.

Cruise line bans China citizens; Outrage as doctor who sounded coronavirus alarm dies

A major cruise line on Friday took the extraordinary step of banning citizens of China regardless of when they were last there, while there was sorrow and anger over the coronavirus death of a doctor from Wuhan who had been reprimanded for sounding an early warning about the disease.
The death of Li Wenliang, 34, came as President Xi Jinping reassured the United States and the World Health Organization (WHO) of transparency and maximum effort to combat the virus.

US states quarantine handful of passengers under Trump coronavirus screening

Only a handful of commercial airline passengers have been quarantined in the United States under new Trump administration travel restrictions aimed at slowing spread of the coronavirus, according to health authorities in five states that responded to a Reuters survey.
The findings indicate the extent to which flight cancellations and the new regulations have effectively shut down US-China travel since the first coronavirus case was diagnosed in the United States on Jan. 20.
Health departments in four of the 10 US states where airports are screening passengers for coronavirus exposure said they had not taken any people into quarantine since the new travel rules took effect on Feb. 2. Only New York State reported having four people under quarantine due to their travel history.

Death toll in China jumps to 722, number of confirmed cases rise to 34,356

The death toll in China due to coronavirus continues to goes up as it jumped to 722 on Friday, while the number of confirmed cases rose to 34,546, Chinese health authorities announced on Saturday.
Eighty-six deaths were reported from mainland China, with 3,399 cases on Friday from 31 provincial-level regions, the National Health Commission said.
Among the deaths, 81 are in Hubei province and its provincial capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, two in Heilongjiang, as well as one in Beijing, Henan and Gansu, the commission said.
By the end of Friday, 26 confirmed cases, including one death, have been reported in Hong Kong. Macao reported 10 cases, while Taiwan 
reported 16 cases, it said.

South African Indians concerned about family members in Wuhan

Several South African Indian-origin teachers who sought lucrative opportunities in Wuhan in China are now too scared to leave their homes amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Family members who have been in contact with some of the teachers shared the concerns that they have, but almost all declined to be named or to identify their family members in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province for fear of reprisals.
A number of South African Indians, especially English teachers, have taken up jobs in China in recent years because they can earn up to five times the salaries that they do at home. The exact number is unknown.
"My cousin is now in quarantine after she defied a lockdown to go and stock up on groceries because she had no food in her apartment," said a woman from Durban.

US offers $100 million to China, others to fight coronavirus

The United States will offer up to $100 million to China and other impacted countries to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.

Coronavirus outbreak may disrupt Indian IT firms' China operations

The spread of novel coronavirus in China could put Indian information technology firms in a spot, with sources in the know saying that workflow disruption is likely in coming weeks due to restricted mobility. However, so far, the companies have dealt with the crisis by allowing their employees to work from home as the Chinese New Year holiday has been getting extended.

Coronavirus outbreak: Crashing freights to hit India's shipping business

Tanking freight rates on the back of the epidemic in China are likely to hurt the earnings of Indian companies in the March quarter. “Freight rates have tumbled significantly and are impacting (Corporation of India) across segments. We have seen the damage in January already. Our Q4 earnings are most likely to be affected due to this,” said Harjeet K. Joshi, chairman of state-owned on Friday. READ MORE


Had offered to bring back Pakistani citizens as well from Wuhan: Jaishankar

The government on Friday said it had offered to bring back people belonging to neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, from the novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan where 80 Indian students are still remaining after evacuation of 647 Indians and seven Maldivians.
On February 1, 324 Indians were brought back from Wuhan by first Air India special flight, while another batch of 323 Indians and seven Maldivians were evacuated from the Chinese city on February 2 through a second special flight.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed Rajya Sabha that the time when the two flights were going, India had told all students and larger community in Wuhan that it was prepared not only to bring back Indians but also all the people of our neighbouring countries who want to come back.

No coronavirus in Telangana so far; tests of 5 awaited: Govt

There have been no coronavirus- positive cases in Telangana as of Friday, even as the test results of five people were awaited, government officials said.
A total of 56 samples had been tested till Thursday.
The five people, whose test results were awaited, have been admitted to state-run hospitals here.
The tests for determination of nCov are now being conducted at the state-run Gandhi Hospital. 

Coronavirus evacuation: AI's 2nd flight from Wuhan did emergency landing due to window crack

Air India's second special flight that evacuated 323 Indians and seven Maldivians from Wuhan in China had done an "emergency landing" at Delhi airport on February 2 due to a crack in its cockpit window, a senior airline official said.
"A windshield was observed to be cracked in the cockpit. Delhi Airport's air traffic control (ATC) was transmitted an emergency message by pilots so that a priority landing can be obtained. The plane landed safely and without any incident" the airline official stated.

Kerala lifts nCoV state calamity alert as no cases reported in last few days

The Kerala government on Friday withdrew the 'state calamity' warning issued in the wake of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) scare as no new positive cases of infection were detected over the last few days, even as over 3,000 people are still under observation.
State Health minister K K Shailaja said of the 3,014 people under watch, 2,953 were home quarantined and 61 in hospitals due to minor symptoms of the virus.
"We have received the result of the repeat sample of the positive patient in Alappuzha, which was sent for retesting at the National Institute of Virology in Pune. It came out negative.

5 including Chinese national quarantined in Maharashtra

Five persons including a Chinese national have been quarantined in Pune, Ahmednagar and Jalgaon cities of Maharashtra for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus, an official statement said on Friday.
Three of them, including the Chinese man, are admitted to the isolation ward at the civic-run Naidu Hospital in Pune, while other two are at district hospitals in Ahmednagar and Jalgaon.
No confirmed case of coronavirus has been found in the state so far.

Air India load on SE Asian cities drops due to coronavirus

The deadly Coronavirus has started taking heavy toll on travel sector with national carrier Air India seeing booking cancellation across various routes to the Southeast Asian cities such as Singapore, Bangkok and Seoul.
Faced with lower passenger load, the airline has replaced B787 with smaller A320 aircraft to serve Singapore.
"The passenger load has fallen on Southeast Asian routes. There has been cancellation till April by both foreign groups coming to India as well as Indians going outside," Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said.
"This means our domestic flights also getting affected. The Buddhist circuit traffic has been impacted," he added.

WHO warns against hoarding of protective gear amid coronavirus scare

Demand for masks, gowns, gloves and other protective gear has risen by up to 100 times and prices have soared due to the China coronavirus, producing a "severe" disruption in supply, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.
"This situation is exacerbated by widespread use of personal protective equipment outside patient care," he told reporters in Geneva, adding that he had spoken to manufacturers and distributors to ensure supplies for those who need them.
He also said he could see practices like hoarding in order to ensure higher prices and called for solidarity from the public and private sector.

India extended offer of evacuating people from Wuhan to all its neighbours: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday informed Rajya Sabha that India had offered all its neighbouring countries including Pakistan to evacuate their people from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, but only Maldives chose to take up the offer.
"We were prepared to bring back not only our people but also those from all our neighbourhood who would have liked to. This was an offer which was made to all our neighbours but only seven nationals of Maldives chose to avail the offer," Jaishankar said in Rajya Sabha.

No Indian on ship quarantined off Japan coast tested positive for nCoV: Jaishankar

Several Indians are onboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess quarantined off the Japanese coast, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday, adding that none of them have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus.
"Many Indian crew and some Indian passengers are onboard the cruise ship #DiamondPrincess quarantined off Japan due to #Coronavirus. None have tested positive, as per the latest information provided by our Embassy," Jaishankar tweeted, adding that the government is closely following the developments.
As many as 61 of some 3700 people onboard the vessel have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, the NHK World reported earlier today. These include 21 Japanese, eight Americans, five Australians, and five Canadians.

India has offered to test samples of coronavirus for other Southeast Asian nations: Harsh Vardhan

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has offered to test samples of novel coronavirus (nCoV) for other Southeast Asian countries as well, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
"We are providing support to other countries in tackling the challenge posed by the coronavirus. The Indian Council of Medical Research has offered to test samples for other Southeast Asian countries," the Minister said.
The Minister also informed the Upper House that the government has also extended assistance to Bhutan in fighting the threat arising out of coronavirus outbreak.

80 Indian students still in coronavirus-hit Wuhan: Jaishankar

An estimated 80 Indian students are still living in the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the Rajya Sabha on Friday, adding that 70 of them chose to stay behind at the time of the evacuation operation.
"By our estimate, there are about 80 Indian students who are currently still in Wuhan," Jaishankar said, adding that a total of 10 among these 80 students had expressed willingness to return to India but could not board the special Air India flight after they failed the screening process at the airport.
The minister said that the Indian Embassy in China is in touch with all the students in Wuhan and the Central government is regularly monitoring their situation.

Pentagon reduces size of Singapore Airshow delegation over coronavirus concerns: Reports

The Pentagon has reduced the size of the delegation traveling to the Singapore Airshow in light of coronavirus concerns, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Ellen Lord, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, will no longer attend the event as the lead Pentagon representative, the people said. Other Pentagon leaders including uniformed military officials still plan to attend.
US weapons maker Lockheed Martin Co said on Thursday it would reduce its attendance at the Singapore Airshow also due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

White House sees minimal impact on US economy from China's coronavirus

The White House's economic adviser on Friday said that President Donald Trump's administration does not expect the coronavirus in China will have a major effect on the US economy.
"There's a lot of variables involved and things we don't know. Internally we have looked at a drop in GDP of perhaps two-tenths of 1% - that's all we found so far. Again, based on the past and based on what we're seeing " said National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow to reporters at the White House.
"We think it will be an absolute minimal impact."

Flights delayed for Chinese stranded in Bali over virus fears

Charter flights offered to thousands of Chinese tourists stranded in Bali after Indonesia halted flights over coronavirus fears have been delayed because travel permits have yet to be approved, Jakarta said Friday.
A diplomatic notice said Beijing was arranging flights for Friday back to Wuhan -- the epicentre of the deadly outbreak which has killed over 600 people and spread around the world.
Many of the marooned tourists are from the stricken city and surrounding Hubei province, the consulate had said.
But Indonesia's foreign affairs ministry said Friday it had not received the necessary paperwork to greenlight charter trips after the Southeast Asian nation shut down all commercial flights to and from mainland China.

Hong Kong unveils virus quarantine plans, with jail for dodgers

Hong Kong on Friday said it will deploy an army of volunteers to bolster plans to forcibly quarantine all arrivals from mainland China, warning that anyone caught breaching the new rules faces up to six months prison.
In a major escalation of its battle against the new coronavirus, the international finance hub has said anyone arriving from the mainland from Saturday will have to undergo 14 days compulsory quarantine.
Officials hope the new measures will virtually halt all cross-border traffic while allowing the city to remain stocked with food and goods from the mainland where the virus has killed more than 600 people.

139,000 passengers screened for possible exposure to coronavirus, no new case detected: Health Min

As many as 139,539 passengers from 1,275 flights have been screened for possible exposure to novel coronavirus so far at 21 identified airports and no new case has been detected in the country, Union Health ministry said on Friday.
India so far has reported three confirmed cases of nCoV from Kerala.
Three medical students studying at the Wuhan University, all natives of Kerala, who returned to India recently and self-reported at a hospital in the state have tested positive for the respiratory virus.
As of now 1,232 samples have been tested and 1,199 samples were found negative. Three samples have already tested positive. Besides, 30 are under process, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said.

Scientists question work suggesting pangolin coronavirus link

Independent scientists questioned research on Friday that suggested that the outbreak of coronavirus disease spreading from China might have passed from bats to humans through the illegal traffic of pangolins.
South China Agricultural University, which said it had led the research, said on its website that the "discovery will be of great significance for the prevention and control of the origin (of the new virus)".
China's official Xinhua news agency reported that the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus strain separated from pangolins in the study was 99% identical to that from infected people. It said the research had found pangolins - the world's only scaly mammals - to be "the most likely intermediate host." But James Wood, head of the veterinary medicine department at Britain's University of Cambridge, said the research was far from robust.

Coronavirus cases on cruise ship marooned off Japan rise to 61

Dozens more people onboard a cruise ship quarantined in the port of Yokohama, Japan, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday and thousands of passengers remained confined to their cabins, only allowed on deck briefly for fresh air.
The Diamond Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, was placed on a two-week quarantine on arriving at Yokohama on Monday after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.
Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told a news conference that 41 people on the liner had tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 61. Twentyone of the new cases were Japanese.
Those infected were taken off the ship and moved to hospitals in Tokyo and neighbouring towns, the health ministry said. Blue and white tarpaulin sheets were hung up to screen them from the view of other passengers.

Measures in place to deal with coronavirus threat in J-K: Official

Preemptive measures are in place to deal with the threat posed by coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir, a senior government official said on Friday, asserting that people, who have arrived from China, have been screened and were found to be asymptomatic.
Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo also advised the officers to be extra vigilant and follow the established protocol in handling all suspected cases.

After IndiGo, China Eastern Airlines suspends flights from Kolkata

With the number of passengers travelling to China from the city dwindling following the outbreak of coronavirus in that country, China Eastern Airlines has decided to suspend its flights between Kolkata and Kunming temporarily, sources in the airline said.
The airline has decided to suspend its flights between the two destinations from February 10 to February 29, they said on Friday.
Director of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport in Kolkata, Kaushik Bhattacharjee, however, told PTI that the airline has decided to operate four flights between Kolkata and Kunming instead of eight per week.

Tech firm Ericsson pulls out of big trade show due to virus

Wireless equipment maker Ericsson is pulling out of the industry's top annual trade event due to the virus outbreak, while automakers are considering whether to reopen factory lines in China.
Here is a look at the latest developments on how the virus is affecting global business: TECH: Ericsson, one of the main suppliers of wireless networks and a rival to China's Huawei, is pulling out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this month. The Swedish company said that because the show draws thousands of visitors, “even if the risk is low, the company cannot guarantee the health and safety of its employees and visitors.” Instead of the Barcelona event - scheduled for Feb. 24-27 - Ericsson will bring demos to customers in their home markets. Huawei recently said it would still attend.

From black swan to bubble: investors weigh coronavirus risks

When worries over the coronavirus shook U.S. stocks out of a period of quiet trading last week, investors wondered if the outbreak was the “Black Swan” event that would trigger a sharp decline. Less than a week later, talk has turned instead to a market melt-up.
After that brief swoon, the market made a roaring recovery, and there were also rallies in Tesla Inc, bitcoin and other assets often seen as barometers for risk appetite.
The sharp snapback has revived concerns among some investors that market participants are growing overly confident that easy money policies from central banks will underpin prices, despite serious risks to global growth from the coronavirus.

Death of Chinese coronavirus doctor sparks online anger at government

A Chinese doctor reprimanded for warning against a "SARS-like" coronavirus before it was officially recognised died of the illness on Friday, triggering online expressions of anger at the government and fuelling suspicions of censorship.
The death of Li Wenliang, 34, came as Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United States that China was doing all it could to contain the virus after earlier assuring the World Health Organization (WHO) of full openness and transparency.

China's virus epicentre Hubei speeds testing after complaints

China's Hubei province, the coronavirus outbreak epicentre, has started using a faster and more convenient method of testing in order to isolate patients more quickly, the official People's Daily reported on Friday.
Reuters reported last month that a lack of RNA test kits in Hubei capital Wuhan may have delayed patients from being properly diagnosed and treated, contributing to the spread of the virus in the early days of the outbreak.
Hubei will start recognising computerized tomography (CT) scan results as confirmation of suspected infections of the coronavirus, which has killed over 600 people in China, the newspaper said on its official Weibo account, citing a document published by the National Health Commission on Feb. 5.

Virus continues to take toll on gold demand in China, Hong Kong

The coronavirus epidemic continued to stifle activity in the physical gold markets in top bullion consumer China and Hong Kong this week, while demand was mixed in other Asian hubs.
The death toll in mainland China reached 637 on Friday, with a total 31,211 cases, the World Health Organization chief said, while a Reuters tally showed 320 cases in 27 countries.
"Nobody wants to go out, especially in China. Gold is a luxury item, nobody wants to spend money on that, they want to buy masks and alcohol," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer, Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

Govt directs 12 major ports to put in place screening, quarantine system

The government on Friday said it has directed all 12 major ports to immediately put in place screening, detection and quarantine system for disembarking seafarers and cruise passengers as a preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak.
The direction comes against the backdrop of the virus -- which first emerged in Wuhan city in China's central Hubei province -- spreading to 25 countries, including India (three confirmed cases have been reported from Kerala).
The Ministry of Shipping said it has issued necessary directions to the 12 major ports to "place a screening, detection and quarantine system immediately for disembarking Seafarers or Cruise Passengers".

26 persons having coronavirus-like symptoms tested negative in Punjab

Twenty-six persons with coronavirus-like symptoms in Punjab have tested negative, a state health minister on Friday.
"Till date, 26 symptomatic cases belonging to Punjab have been reported negative by the National Institute of Virology, Pune," Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said in a statement here.
He said the list of passengers having travel history to China was being shared by the Centre with the state.
Out of 1,375 passengers, 1,250 have been traced by the teams of the health department and they all were found asymptomatic, Sidhu said.

Despite coronavirus, Tokyo expects over 8 mn footfalls in Olympics 2020

Japan is not expecting any coronavirus impact at the upcoming Olympic Games in July and estimates over eight million foreigners to reach Tokyo during the prestigious quadrennial event, said a senior official of Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau (TCVB).
So far, over 600 people have lost their lives in China due to coronavirus outbreak and more than 30,000 confirmed cases have been reported.
"London got eight million overseas visitors during the Olympic Games when it was held last time (2012). We hope to cross that number," Kazuomi Yamashita, Director of Marketing/Promotion, Tourist Promotion Officer, TCVB told reporters on Friday.
According to him, the coronavirus impact on Chinese visiting Japan is major. Chinese account for 30 per cent of the annual overseas travellers to Japan. In 2019, 31.88 million travellers visited Japan from overseas.

Visas of foreign nationals travelling from China no longer valid: Govt

India has cancelled all visas issued to foreign nationals coming from China as it stepped up efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus after 150 passengers were identified with symptoms of the deadly virus and sent to isolation units.
Making a suo motu statement in Rajya Sabha, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the government has asked people not to travel to China, the epicentre of the deadly virus outbreak, and will mandatorily quarantine anyone returning from China.

Screening of passengers has been stepped up at 21 airports as well as 12 major seaports and all minor ports. Also, screening is being done at all integrated check posts on the Nepal border after the Himalayan nation reported a confirmed case.

India tour operators face severe blow from China coronavirus

Indian tour operators estimate they could lose up to $500 million because of cancellations from tourists from China and other countries due to the coronavirus outbreak, a cost that could rise four-fold if it persists through the year.
State carrier Air India has cancelled flights to China and Hong Kong until further notice while private carrier IndiGo has suspended its flights until February 20.
"There is a panic in the tourism sector as thousands of bookings have been cancelled," said E M Najeeb, vice president, Indian Association of tour operators.
He said foreign as well as domestic tourists were cancelling travel to the southern state of Kerala where three cases of the disease have been confirmed, prompting state authorities to declare a state of emergency.

Crab export from Bengal hit by coronavirus; govt to look into farmer's plight

Crab export from West Bengal to China came to a halt following the outbreak of novel coronavirus (nCoV), adversely impacting the livelihood of thousands of small farmers.
The state government on Friday said it would look into the plight of the affected farmers.
The dragon economy is a major importer of crabs and tons of crab stock is lying idle in January and February when the demand is high in China due to Lunar New Year festive season there.

GoM headed by health minister monitoring coronavirus situation in country: Harsh Vardhan in RS

As many as 150 passengers with symptoms of coronavirus have so far been referred to isolation facilities in the country as the government steps up efforts to deal with the outbreak.
Making a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said existing visas are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China.
"People travelling to China henceforth will be quarantined on return," he said.

Coronavirus brings China's surveillance state out of the shadows

When the man from Hangzhou returned home from a business trip, the local police got in touch. They had tracked his car by his license plate in nearby Wenzhou, which has had a spate of coronavirus cases despite being far from the epicentre of the outbreak. Stay indoors for two weeks, they requested.
After around 12 days, he was bored and went out early. This time, not only did the police contact him, so did his boss. He had been spotted near Hangzhou's West Lake by a camera with facial recognition technology, and the authorities had alerted his company as a warning.

Sparkle fades as coronavirus risks wiping out luxury goods growth

The luxury goods industry normally relishes the spotlight, but in the case of China's coronavirus it is rueing being one of the most globally exposed sectors to an epidemic that risks all-but wiping out its sales growth this year.
Brands from Burberry to Estee Lauder are shutting stores and cutting profit forecasts as business in the industry's biggest market has virtually ground to a halt.

Hong Kong shoppers snap up rice and noodles as coronavirus fears mount

Panicky Hong Kong residents scooped noodles, rice, meat and toilet rolls into supermarket trolleys on Friday despite government assurances of ample supplies during an outbreak of a new coronavirus that has killed 637 people in mainland China.
Chinese-ruled Hong Kong has reported 25 cases of the fast-spreading virus and one of only two deaths outside mainland China.
"Everyone's snatching whatever they can get. I don't even know what's going on," said a 72-year-old woman surnamed Li as she clutched two bags of toilet rolls.

Berlin wants to evacuate more Germans from virus-hit Wuhan: Magazine

The German government wants to evacuate another group of Germans from the Wuhan area in China due to the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 630 people, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.
Germany evacuated more than 100 Germans and family members from Wuhan - where the outbreak originated - last weekend but the magazine said there were still around 20 Germans in the region.
It said they could be flown back on a plane due to evacuate British citizens at the weekend and discussions were underway with the British government.

Coronavirus to have larger impact on global economy than SARS: IHS Markit

The outbreak of coronavirus will have a larger negative effect on the global economy than the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003, as any slowdown in Chinese economy would send not ripples but waves across the globe, IHS Markit said on Friday.
The virus has brought large parts of the world's second largest economy to a standstill and its impact was felt across industries.
"Coronavirus will have a larger negative effect on the global economy than the SARS outbreak in 2003. At the time of SARS, China was the sixth largest economy, accounting for only 4.2 per cent of world GDP. China is now the world's second largest economy, accounting for 16.3 per cent of world GDP. Therefore, any slowdown in the Chinese economy sends not ripples but waves across the globe," IHS said in a commentary on coronavirus outbreak.

WHO warns of global shortage of coronavirus protective equipment

The world is facing a chronic shortage of gowns, masks, gloves and other protective equipment in the fight against a spreading coronavirus epidemic, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.
The UN agency has been sending testing kits, masks, gloves, respirators and gowns to every region, Tedros told the WHO Executive Board in Geneva.
"However the world is facing a chronic shortage of personnel protective equipment, as you might imagine.
"This afternoon I will be speaking to the pandemic supply chain network to identify the bottlenecks and find solutions and push (for) fairness in distribution of equipment," he said.

Coronavirus disrupts air and sea freight, prices set to rise: DSV

China's fast-spreading coronavirus is squeezing air and sea freight capacity in the country with a spike in freight rates a likely consequence, one of the world's biggest transport and logistics companies said on Friday.
The spread of the deadly virus has shut down many cities and factories in China and disrupted global air travel.
"We are already now seeing capacity problems on air freight," Jens Bjorn Andersen, chief executive of freight forwarder DSV Panalpina said. "Sea freight is also being impacted."

Nepal gifts 100,000 masks to China to help overcome shortage

Nepal on Friday gifted 100,000 protective masks to China which is battling against the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has claimed over 630 lives.
The decision to gift the masks came in the backdrop of its shortage in China.
Foreign Minister Pradip Kumar Gyawali and Health Minister Bhanubakta Dhakal handed over the masks to China's ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi at an event here.

Europe's top economies falter as new virus clouds outlook

Tumbling industrial production in Germany and France in December rounded off a year blighted by trade war tensions for Europe's top economies, official data showed Friday, while the novel coronavirus outbreak threatens hopes of a 2020 revival.
Growth in both nations sputtered in 2019, with output actually shrinking for Germany in the April-June quarter and for France in October-December.

Hong Kong Airlines to lay off 400 staff virus hits city

Hong Kong Airlines said Friday it has been forced to slash hundreds of jobs and ask remaining staff to take unpaid leave as the coronavirus outbreak compounds problems at the already-struggling firm.
The announcement by the city's number two carrier comes days after Cathay Pacific said it had asked all its 27,000 workforce to take three weeks leave without salary between March and June because of collapsing demand caused by the health crisis.

Chinese man quarantined after he throws up on flight

A Chinese man was on Friday admitted to a hospital here for possible exposure to novel coronavirus after he vomited on Pune-bound Air India flight from Delhi, officials said.
The passenger was isolated and shifted to the civic- run Naidu Hospital after the flight arrived at the Pune airport around 7 am, an Air India official said.

Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors to keep Chinese factories idled until Feb 16

Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors plan to restart production at their Chinese factories on Feb. 17, a spokesperson said on Friday.
They suspended Chinese production in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus lockdown disrupts food supplies for birds, animals in Wuhan Zoo

The coronavirus outbreak that has claimed over 630 lives has also badly affected the food supplies of birds and animals at a zoo in Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic that is wreaking havoc in China and abroad.
A total of 636 people have died, mostly in central Hubei province and its capital Wuhan, due to the virus with the total number of confirmed cases jumping to 3,143 as of Thursday, Chinese officials announced on Friday.
Since the outbreak in Hubei province in December, the entire province has been kept under lockdown by officials to prevent the virus from spreading human to human.

Singapore raises coronavirus alert to SARS level as new cases show spread

Singapore on Friday reported three more coronavirus cases that have not been linked to previous infections or travel to China, prompting it to raise its alert to orange, the same level it reached during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Singapore now has 33 confirmed coronavirus cases.
The orange alert means the virus is severe and passes easily from person to person and was last raised during an outbreak of H1N1 influenza in 2009-2010.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) killed more than 30 people in Singapore and hundreds worldwide.

Lifeblood of Amazon merchants threatened as coronavirus infects Chinese workers Inc sellers are bracing for product shortages as Chinese workers - worried about the fast-spreading coronavirus - may be unable or unwilling to return to idled factories.
Brandon Young, who pulls in more than $10 million in annual revenue from the online marketplace, has a 30-45 day supply of portable Apple Inc watch chargers that could be difficult to replenish because they are built from genuine Apple components that are exclusively made in China.

Taiwan to suspend most flights to mainland China to control coronavirus

Taiwan's government said on Friday it would suspend all flights to mainland China from Monday, with the exception of those to Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and Chengdu.
The ban will remain in force until April 29, the Central Epidemic Command Centre said.

China deploys robots on NCoV front lines

From disinfection and street patrols to food and medicine delivery in quarantine wards, robots were being deployed at the front lines to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has claimed hundreds of lives in China.
More than 30 disinfection robots designed and produced by a Shanghai-based enterprise have entered major hospitals in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, to combat the epidemic, reports Xinhua news agency.
The white robot has a hydrogen peroxide sprayer on its "head" and nine ultraviolet lamps in its "belly", and can perform multiple forms of disinfection in environments where humans and machines coexist, Pan Jing, CEO of Shanghai TMiRob, the manufacturer of the robot, said on Friday.

Avoid steroids in coronavirus treatment: Experts

Treating the current novel coronavirus with steroids may do patients more harm than good, experts have warned.
Steroids are often used by doctors to reduce inflammation, which is present in the lungs of patients with novel coronavirus. Lung inflammation was observed during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks, which were caused by coronaviruses.
However, steroids also impair the immune system's ability to fight viruses and other infections that often develop in patients with life-threatening illness.

61 test positive for nCoV on quarantined Japanese ship

Japan's Health Ministry on Friday confirmed that the number of people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus on board a quarantined cruise ship off the coast of Yokohama has increased to 61, after the emergence of 41 fresh cases.
The new cases on the Diamond Princess ship bring Japan's number of confirmed cases to 86, the second highest figure after China which on Friday confirmed 636 deaths and 31,161 infections, a BBC report said.
"The results of the remaining 171 tests came out and 41 tested positive," Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said.

Manipur, Mizoram impose ban on Chinese imports

Amid fears over the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) across the country, Manipur and Mizoram governments have imposed restrictions on imports of foodstuffs and other items from China, Myanmar and other South-East Asian countries, officials said on Friday.
Officials in Imphal said that the Manipur Health and Family Welfare Department has issued notification restricting on production, distribution, sale of any packed food products, which are not marked and labeled properly as per regulations or packed and produced in China, Myanmar and other South-East Asian countries.
"The Chinese food and various other products including second-hand or used clothes are sold in the bordering markets of India-Myanmar along Manipur. People have been advised not to purchase or use these items," the official said.

Nissan's China sales fell 12% in Jan as coronavirus epidemic weighs

Japanese carmaker Nissan said on Friday its sales in China, the world's biggest auto market, fell by 11.8% in January year-on-year, as the Lunar New Year holiday began earlier than usual and the outbreak of coronavirus stymied economic activity.
The company, which has embarked on a turnaround strategy to tackle a slump in sales, had been counting on strong Chinese business.
Last year, it sold around 1.55 million cars in China, 1.1% lower than a year earlier, but bucking the overall Chinese car market that dropped by 8.2%.
Nissan sold 118,143 vehicles in China last month. It is expected to announce its October-to-December results next week.

Italy says air traffic from and to China remains closed

Italy's air traffic from and to China will remain closed, the health ministry said, after China's foreign ministry had said Italy was willing to resume some flights.

S&P cuts China's GDP forecast to 5%

S&P Global Ratings lowered its forecast for China's economic growth this year to 5 per cent from 5.7 per cent. It expects growth to rebound to 6.4 per cent in 2021

China scientists identify Pangolin as possible host for Coronavirus

Researchers said the Pangolin, a mammal illegally trafficked for its scales and meat, is a potential intermediate host for the coronavirus 

Economists cut China’s growth forecast on Coronavirus impact

The outbreak of the coronavirus and China’s efforts to stop the spread mean the economy will grow slower this quarter than first thought, according to economists.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc, UBS Group AG and Macquarie Group Ltd. are among those cutting their growth forecast for both the first quarter and the full year, while others expect material shocks to gross domestic product.
Reflecting the worsening situation, Barclays Bank Plc.‘s Jian Chang now sees a worst-case scenario knocking 2.2 percentage points off first-quarter growth, a downgrade from her Jan. 22 call that the impact would be “transitory” and limited to certain sectors.

Yuan inches lower, set for losing week on anxiety over virus impact on economy

China's yuan eased against the dollar on Friday as it staggered towards a feeble end to a week that saw no end in sight to the country's coronavirus epidemic even as Beijing stepped up containment efforts and support measures for the economy.
While investors have been comforted by China's moves to restore calm to battered markets, confidence remains fragile as the death toll from the outbreak continued to climb sharply to over 600, leaving policymakers fretting over the potential drag on global growth.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) Vice Governor Pan Gongsheng said earlier in the day that China's economy could be disrupted in the first quarter due to epidemic, but it is expected to recover once the virus is brought under control.

Uniqlo shuts around half of its China stores due to coronavirus

Japan's Fast Retailing, which operates casual clothing chain Uniqlo, said it has temporarily closed around 370 of its 750 stores in China due to the coronavirus outbreak.
China has been a key growth market for the company, which faces a saturated market and weak consumer spending in Japan.
In mainland China, the number of deaths from the virus outbreak stood at 636, more than doubling in just under a week, with infections at 31,161.

Venkaiah Naidu congratulates Air India team for evacuating over 600 Indians from coronavirus-affected

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Friday congratulated the Air India team that evacuated around 600 Indians from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
"Many compliments to the 34-member Team Air INDIA for flying into #coronavirus-hit Wuhan city & evacuating more than 600 Indians onboard two special flights," he tweeted.
The two special flights carrying as many as 647 Indians and 7 Maldivians had reached New Delhi on Saturday and Sunday.
The team led by Air India's Director of Operations Captain Amitabh Singh included 30 cabin crew, eight pilots, 10 commercial staff of Air India and one senior officer from AI CMD Secretariat. 

China says Italy willing to resume some China flights

China's foreign ministry said on Friday that Italy was willing to resume some flights between the two countries, after it suspended direct air traffic last month over worries about the coronavirus outbreak.
China's vice foreign minister, Qin Gang, had a meeting on Thursday with Italy's ambassador to China, Luca Ferrari, during which they discussed the issue, the ministry said.
Qin told Ferrari that Italy's decision to stop flights without contacting China in advance had caused "great inconvenience" to citizens of both countries, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
China was "strongly dissatisfied with the overreaction and restrictions", especially as it was trying to bring stranded citizens there home, it said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping discusses coronavirus with Trump: Xinhua

Trump expresses confidence in China's strength and resilience in confronting Coronavirus outbreak.

New virus cases in UK, Germany, Italy put Europe total at 31

Britain, Germany and Italy have announced more cases of the new virus from China, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Europe to 31.
In Germany, all but two cases are related to auto parts supplier Webasto, whose headquarters near Munich was visited by a Chinese colleague. Germany's 13th confirmed case of the new coronavirus, announced by Bavaria's health ministry, was the wife of an employee previously diagnosed with virus.
Two of their children are among those infected. Neither they nor their mother are showing any symptoms.
Germany's two other cases tested positive after arriving on an evacuation flight from China last weekend.

Coronavirus kills 'hero' Chinese doctor who sounded alarm

A Chinese doctor who tried to warn the world about a new coronavirus died of the disease on Friday, prompting an outpouring of sorrow as the death toll passed 630 and Beijing declared a "people's war" on the rapidly spreading pathogen.
Li Wenliang, 34, died in the early hours of the morning at the hospital where he worked and first raised the alarm about the new coronavirus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, hospital officials said.
An ophthalmologist, Li was one of eight people reprimanded by Wuhan police last month for spreading "illegal and false" information about the coronavirus, a flu-like pathogen that since triggered a global health emergency.
His messages to a group of doctors on Chinese social media warning of a new "SARS-like" coronavirus - a reference to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which killed almost 800 people around the world in 2002-2003 - triggered the wrath of Wuhan police. China was accused of trying to cover up SARS.
He was forced to sign a letter on Jan. 3 saying he had "severely disrupted social order" and was threatened with criminal charges.

All 645 Indians evacuated from Wuhan test negative for coronavirus

All 645 people evacuated from China’s Wuhan city, who were lodged at the quarantine facilities set up by the Army and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in and around Delhi, have tested negative for coronavirus, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.
It said as of February 6, 138,750 from 1,265 flights had been screened for the nCoV illness but no new case has been detected. India has reported three confirmed cases from Kerala. Ten other Indians who wanted to return were unable to do so as they could not clear the health screening, the external affairs ministry said. India ‘can look into’ evacuating Pakistanis.

China central bank says coronavirus impact on economy will be temporary

China's central bank said on Friday the impact from the coronavirus outbreak will be temporary and the country's economy remains resilient.
The central bank, in a statement issued ahead of a press briefing, said China is fully confident and capable of coping with any possible impact from the outbreak, which has killed more than 600 people and infected tens of thousands.

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