Tags: Coronavirus | CHINA | CONS | CONSD | COS | DRG | EUROPE

WHO Says Window to Contain Outbreak Is Narrowing

Sunday, 01 March 2020 06:56 AM

 The chief of the World Health Organization said the window is narrowing to contain the new coronavirus after the U.S., Australia and Thailand reported their first fatalities.

There’s no need for fear and panic in the markets, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the world body, said in Riyadh Sunday. While countries need to prepare for a pandemic, facts show there’s no such threat yet, he said. “We shouldn’t abandon the containment strategy because we see it’s working in some countries.”

Health officials in the U.S. state of Washington said a man in his 50s died and in Australia, a 78-year-old man succumbed to the infection in a Perth hospital after being quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Thailand reported the death of a 35-year-old retail worker in a Bangkok suburb.

Key Developments

  • South Korea added 586 cases, taking total to 3,736 with 18 deaths
  • First U.S. death in Washington State as governor declares emergency
  • Australia’s first virus death as man returns from Diamond Princess
  • China reported 35 new deaths -- the lowest in three days

Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.

South Korea Asks U.S. for Restraint

South Korea urged the U.S. to “refrain from taking excessive measures” after the State Department raised its travel advisory on the Korean city of Daegu, where most of the nation’s novel coronavirus cases are centered.

Italy May Spend $4 Billion on Crisis

Italy plans to spend 3.6 billion euros ($4 billion) on the coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri told La Repubblica in an interview.

Separately, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wants to boost the nation’s budget deficit to pay for emergency measures to keep Italy’s economy afloat as it faces a coronavirus outbreak, he told the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano in an interview.

The higher deficit would require parliamentary approval and would be done “in accord with the European authorities,” he said. The proposed boost is part of a second round of measures Conte’s government is drafting to help businesses and mitigate the economic impact of the outbreak in which Italy has more than 1,000 confirmed infections.

South Africa to Quarantine Citizens

South Africa will quarantine dozens of citizens who’ve asked to be repatriated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. About 150 of 201 South Africans living in the area have asked to return and will face a 21-day quarantine.

Emirates Offers Leave to Staff

Emirates Group, which runs the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, is encouraging staff to take paid or unpaid leave as the coronavirus outbreak slows demand for travel. Emirates halted most flights to China and suspended operations to Iran, the epicenters of the coronavirus. It stopped flying tourists from more than 20 countries to Saudi Arabia, the carrier’s biggest market in the Middle East.

What WHO’s Tedros Said in Riyadh

Europe and some developed countries may have some surprises like Italy, but at the same time they have strong institutions that can respond quickly, he said. Those panicking should calm down and try to see reality, he said.

Macau Gaming Revenue Plunges by Record

Casinos in the Chinese territory -- the world’s biggest gambling hub -- reported an 88% drop in gaming revenue in February as they grappled with cost of closing down their businesses for 15 days to help contain the spread of the disease.

Deaths in Australia and Thailand

The man who died in Australia was initially sent to the Howard Springs facility in northern Australia after becoming ill on the flight back home from Japan and was then moved to the hospital in Perth. His 79-year-old wife, who also tested positive for the virus, remains isolated in the hospital in a stable condition, according to a local health official.

The retail worker in Bangkok had dengue fever as well as the new disease known as Covid-19, a government official said Sunday. The patient had been hospitalized for nearly a month and died on Feb. 29 after multiple organ failure. The health ministry is still looking into the case.

NYC Gets CDC OK for Virus Testing

New York City won U.S. approval to develop its own coronavirus test and the federal government also sent new kits that will let the city perform tests without sending samples to a federal lab, Mayor Bill De Blasio said Saturday.

The city had asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “for weeks” for new test kits to speed the process of identifying virus cases.

France Discourages ‘La Bise’

In France, Health Minister Olivier Veran suggested that people refrain from the customary greeting of a peck on the cheek — known as “la bise” — to avoid spreading the coronavirus, apart from renewing an official advisory to avoid shaking hands.

Cases in France jumped to 100 on Saturday, almost double of the day before, Director General for Health Jerome Salomon said in a daily briefing earlier.

In Italy, the epicenter of the virus in Europe, two kisses -- one on each cheek -- are standard.

Washington State Probes Health Facility

Two people at the Life Care Center health facility in Kirkland, Washington, were diagnosed with the virus: a health-care worker and a resident of the facility in her 70s. Neither has recently traveled outside the U.S., said Jeff Duchin, a public health officer for Seattle and King County. In addition, Duchin said there are reports that 27 residents have shown respiratory symptoms, as have 25 staff members. There are about 108 residents and 180 staff at the center.

Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to the nation’s first fatality from the coronavirus and the rising number of cases. He directed state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.

Over-the-Counter Medicine Tested

The Trump administration is testing “off the shelf” drugs that could be used to combat the virus, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said at the CPAC meeting. He said the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee made “an important discovery” involving existing drugs that could “help us not only cure the disease but stop the spread” of Covid-19. “It’s still early.”

NCAA Pressured to Play Without Fans

The head of the National College Players Association said the March Madness basketball tournament may need to go on in empty stadiums to protect athletes from the virus. The advocacy group’s executive director Ramogi Huma called for a serious discussion with the NCAA “about holding competitions without an audience present.”

The Italian Football Federation is planning for some Serie A games to take place behind closed doors, starting as soon as Sunday.

3M to Provide 35 Million Masks

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The chief of the World Health Organization said the window is narrowing to contain the new coronavirus after the U.S., Australia and Thailand reported their first fatalities.There's no need for fear and panic in the markets, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of...
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Sunday, 01 March 2020 06:56 AM
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