Coronavirus live updates: Trump and Xi talk on the phone, China death toll hits 636


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

All times below are in Beijing time.

11:43 am: Trump says he is confident of China’s ‘strength and resilience’

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke on the phone Friday morning Beijing time.

“President Trump expressed confidence in China’s strength and resilience in confronting the challenge of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak,” said White House spokesperson Judd Deere in a tweet.

The two leaders talked about the spread of the virus, and Xi said China is doing all it can to fight the outbreak, according to the state-owned broadcaster CCTV.

“(Xi said) we have full confidence and full ability to overcome the epidemic. The long-term good prospects of China’s economic development will not change,” the report said, according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese text. — Cheng, Tan

10:55 am: Japan’s Abe wants government to pull out all stops to limit economic impact

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly called on his government to take “all necessary steps” in order to limit the economic impact of the virus outbreak. That could include dipping into budget reserves, Reuters said.

“There’s a risk the coronavirus outbreak could hurt consumption, so we need to watch developments carefully,” Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura was quoted as saying on Friday, reported Reuters citing Jiji Press.

Japan, which is preparing to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in July and August, is also concerned about the impact on inbound tourism, the report said.

9:42 am: 41 new cases from Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan 

An additional 41 people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which arrived at the Japanese port of Yokohama earlier this week, have tested positive.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases from the cruise ship to 61, said Japan’s health ministry.

About 3,700 passengers and crew were placed under mandatory quarantine for two weeks after 10 people aboard the cruise liner tested positive. — Tan

9:22 am: Newborn in China becomes youngest case

A baby in Wuhan, who was born on Saturday, tested positive for the virus 36 hours after he was delivered, the Associated Press reported. Authorities said he was the youngest person known to be infected with the new coronavirus, according to the report.

“The baby was immediately separated from the mother after the birth and has been under artificial feeding. There was no close contact with the parents, yet it was diagnosed with the disease,” Zeng Lingkong, director of neonatal diseases at Wuhan Children’s Hospital, told Chinese TV.

It was not clear how the child got infected, AP said. — Tan

9:08 am: Moody’s warns that Australian universities could be hit harder than their global peers

Moody’s Investors Service said Australia’s universities could face more immediate credit risks compared to their global peers, as travel restrictions on Chinese citizens will impact international enrolments and exchange programs.

Chinese students make up about 60% of the international students at Australia’s top universities, and international students account for about 33% of the total student intake Down Under, the report said.

“While the impact will remain manageable if the coronavirus is contained within the next few months, a longer outbreak has the potential to materially dent revenue and cash reserves for Australian universities,” according to Moody’s. — Tan

8:40 am: Chinese social media erupts with condolences and anger over whistleblower doctor’s death

On Friday morning, the two most popular hashtags on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, were about the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, the doctor who was reprimanded by the government when he first sounded the alarm on the coronavirus.

Users of WeChat, China’s ubiquitous messaging app, also poured out condolences in their “moments” feed, which is akin to Facebook’s news feed.

The comments ranged from respect and sadness over the loss of a “hero,” to references of “Do you hear the People Sing” from Les Misérables and a remark from Li to Caixin news that, “A healthy society should not only have one voice.” — Cheng

A sign reminding people to wash their hands is pictured outside a dormitory at the Washington State Patrol Fire Training Academy which has been designated as quarantine site for travelers from the Chinese province of Hubei on February 6, 2020 in North Bend, Washington.

Jason Redmond | AFP | Getty Images

8:16 am: China says death toll rises to 636, as total cases cross 31,000

China says there were an additional 73 deaths and 3,143 new cases of the coronavirus in China as of the end of Feb. 6, the National Health Commission said in its daily update on Friday.

This brings the total number of deaths in China to 636 and the cumulative number of confirmed cases to 31,161, the government said.

Most of those who died on Thursday were from Hubei — the epicenter of the outbreak. — Tan

All times below are in Eastern time.

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

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

Pedestrians wearing protective face masks walk though the Chinatown neighborhood of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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

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

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

Source: CNBC

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