Coronavirus live updates: China’s international profile could diminish, Fitch says as death toll tops 900


A woman sits outside wearing a protective mask on February 9, 2020 in Wuhan, China. Flights, trains and public transport including buses, subway and ferry services have been closed for eighteenth days. The number of those who have died from the Wuhan coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, in China has climbed to 813.

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

All times below are in Beijing time.

10:58 am: China’s international profile could diminish, Fitch Ratings says

The coronavirus outbreak could diminish China’s international profile for two reasons, according to ratings agency Fitch. First, China will turn inwards and second, foreigners will turn away, it said.

“China’s political priority will be developing a strategy and implementing tactics to confront the virus and its fallout so as to preserve the leadership credentials of the Party. This will be time-consuming and resource-intensive,” James McCormack, global head of sovereign ratings at Fitch, wrote in a note.

“Short of an unforeseen exogenous crisis, it is hard to imagine international events of any sort being given a higher priority in Beijing. In the short term, at least, an inward orientation among Chinese policymakers is inevitable,” he said.

10:36 am: Chinese Premier Li held a phone call with German Chancellor Merkel

Premier Li Keqiang discussed the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has killed hundreds, mostly on the Chinese mainland, on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on its website.

Li said he hoped Germany would provide necessary assistance in making it easier for China to purchase medical supplies from the European country through commercial channels, according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese text.

Merkel thanked China for its assistance to Germans in the mainland. She noted that her country is willing to strengthen cooperation with Beijing in trying to prevent and control the virus outbreak, which includes providing China with medical supplies and assistance, the foreign affairs ministry said. — Cheng

9:21 am: Foxconn factories may not reopen on Monday as planned

The world’s largest iPhone assembler Foxconn may not reopen its factories in China on Monday as previously planned. That could potentially hit Apple and some analysts have already reduced their iPhone shipment predictions earlier this month.

The Japanese business daily Nikkei reported on Saturday that Foxconn’s plans to resume production on Monday have been called off by Chinese authorities.

While Foxconn did not outright confirm that its plans to restart operations have been delayed, it told CNBC in a statement: “The operation schedules for our facilities in China follow the recommendations of the local governments, and we have not received any requests from our customers on the need to resume production earlier.” — Yoon

8:46 am: Asia markets decline, US futures fall on coronavirus worries

Investor sentiment remained dented in Asia as shares in Japan and South Korea declined. The South Korean benchmark Kospi led losses, down 1.29%, while Australian stocks also traded lower.

US futures also traded lower and indicated a nearly 100-point drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Monday’s open.

Morgan Stanley analysts said in a research note that the disruption to supply chains due to the outbreak is seen as a “major concern for the global economy due to the integrated supply chains, especially in Asia.” Both China and the world economy are set to be affected in February and March, they said.

Many factories in China suspended operations as part of the country’s efforts to temper the spread of the coronavirus. Reports suggest those factories may remain closed for longer than expected (see 7:36 am update).

7:48 am: China reports additional 97 deaths and 3,062 confirmed cases

China’s National Health Commission said it confirmed 3,062 new cases and 97 additional deaths, mostly in Hubei province. As of Sunday night, the government said a total of 40,171 cases have been confirmed and 908 people have died in the country.

7:36 am: Reopening of China’s factories could be delayed, many localities pushing to Mar. 1

Chinese authorities initially said factories would reopen on Monday, after being shuttered as part of the country’s efforts to quarantine the spread of the coronavirus. But that looks set to be delayed:

In Guangdong province, China’s original manufacturing belt, there has been no official notice on when factories should reopen. Many localities, instead, are urging companies to stay shut until Mar. 1.

Police of the Huangpu district in the city of Zhongshan posted on their WeChat social media account that companies should not resume work before March without permission.

A clothing manufacturer in Shenzhen told CNBC he had been instructed by local officials that he could not reopen his factory until he received permission from authorities. He said he is still waiting to find out what documents he needs to submit to receive his permit. — Yoon, Pan

6:56 am: Hubei reports an additional 91 deaths

China’s Hubei province reported an additional 91 deaths and 2,618 new confirmed cases related to the pneumonia-like coronavirus as of the end of Sunday.

The Hubei Provincial Health Committee said that 871 people have died in the province and a total of 29,631 cases have been confirmed thus far, with most of them in the city of Wuhan where the fast-spreading virus was first detected. Hubei has accounted for most of the deaths related to the new coronavirus.

All times below are in Eastern time.

4:25 pm: 14 Americans test positive aboard cruise ship

Fourteen Americans, including a woman from Oregon, who were on the Diamond Princess cruise have tested positive for coronavirus.

Princess Cruises said in a statement that guests on Diamond Princess will receive refunds for their fares and will not be charged for incidental expenses incurred while on the ship. The company also said that it is giving the guests a future cruise credit equal to the fare for this trip.

The Carnival-owned company on Tuesday put the 3,700 passengers and crew members on the ship in quarantine when it reached Japan. The move was required by the Japanese ministry of health.

4:15 pm: Amazon backs out of Barcelona conference

Amazon has backed out of the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona later this month, a spokesperson for Amazon Web Services confirmed to CNBC.

“Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain,” the company said in a statement.

3:35 pm: WHO sending advance team to China

The World Health Organization is sending an advance team to China for an international mission, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, who is part of the advance team, previously served as a special representative for the WHO in the Ebola response effort from 2014 to 2016, according to the WHO website.

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: Amazon pulls out of Barcelona conference, 14 Americans test positive on cruise ship

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng, Eunice Yoon, Hilary Pan, and Jesse Pound contributed to this report.

Source: CNBC

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