Coronavirus live updates: Hong Kong to put all visitors on 14-day quarantine
Commuters wearing protective masks walk through Hong Kong Station, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.
Paul Yeung | Bloomberg | Getty Images
This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.
- Global cases: At least 168,019, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization
- Global deaths: At least 6,610, according to the latest figures from the WHO
All times below are in Beijing time.
11:45 am: Ohio primary polls to be ordered closed due to ‘unacceptable health risk,’ governor says
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state’s primary polls will be ordered closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Republican governor said in a statement, “During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus.”
DeWine said Amy Acton, director of the state’s health department, will order the polls closed as a health emergency. He also said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose will pursue voting options through the courts.
Ohio was one of the four states scheduled to hold presidential primaries on Tuesday. Illinois, another state expected to vote Tuesday, said in an earlier Monday statement that it was “proceeding with plans for tomorrow’s primary as scheduled.” — Christine Wang
10:50 am: Hong Kong will start quarantining everyone who visits from outside the city
Hong Kong will put all visitors under quarantine starting midnight on March 19 to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus, chief executive Carrie Lam said at a press briefing.
The government told Hong Kong residents to avoid all non-essential travel.
As of Monday, Hong Kong, which is one of Asia’s major financial hubs, has confirmed 157 cases and four deaths in the city. — Saheli Roy Choudhury
10:45 am: Absent ‘clear directives’ from Trump, US state and city leaders take aggressive actions to contain virus
State and city leaders across America took aggressive action Monday to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, closing restaurants and movie theaters, telling residents to shelter in place, ordering people not to stand too close and urging residents against leaving their home state.
Without meaningful federal intervention, local leaders adopted what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called a “hodgepodge” of actions across the nation to contain the outbreak, which has spread from roughly 100 U.S. cases on March 1 to more than 4,200 people across nearly every state by Monday. More than 70 people in the U.S. have already died from the new coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Across the globe, COVID-19 has infected more than 181,000 people and killed more than 7,100 of them. — Dawn Kopecki, William Feuer, Noah Higgins-Dunn and Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
10:00 am: Nordstrom closes US, Canada stores for 2 weeks
Fashion retailer Nordstrom said in a statement it will close its stores in the U.S. and Canada for two weeks starting Tuesday due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Seattle-based company said it will provide pay and benefits for its store employees during this period. It added that its app and online platforms remain open to customers. — Yen Nee Lee
9:45 am: At least 5 Amazon warehouse workers in Europe test positive for the coronavirus
The cases are at warehouses in Spain and Italy, two areas that have been hit hard in the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The facilities will remain open, despite Italy instituting a nationwide lockdown and Spain declaring a state of emergency.
An Amazon spokesperson said the “vast majority” of its employees around the world continue to come to work and it has stepped up safety measures at fulfillment centers to protect against the virus. The company is following all guidance from health officials related to operating its buildings, the spokesperson added. — Annie Palmer
9:15 am: South Korea reports 84 new cases, 6 additional deaths
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional 84 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the country’s total to 8,320.
There were six additional deaths, with the total number of fatalities now at 81, according to KCDC. — Yen Nee Lee
8:50 am: Qantas Group slashes international capacity by 90%
Australia’s Qantas Group, which operates airlines Qantas and Jetstar, said it will cut its international and domestic capacities as a result of “significant falls in travel demand” due to the new coronavirus outbreak.
The company said in a statement it will slash its total international capacity by around 90% in phases from the end of March until at least the end of May this year, while reducing domestic capacity by around 60% over the same period.
“This represents the grounding of around 150 aircraft,” the statement read. — Yen Nee Lee
8:25 am: Philippines suspends stock market operations indefinitely
The Philippine Stock Exchange has suspended trading starting Tuesday “to ensure the safety of employees and traders in light of the escalating cases of the coronavirus disease,” it said in a Monday statement.
The closure is part of a broader one-month quarantine that President Rodrigo Duterte announced on the main island of Luzon. The quarantine involve the shutting down of transport networks and limiting business operations, Reuters reported.
The country has reported 142 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday noon, according to its Department of Health. The Philippine benchmark index fell by 7.91% at Monday’s close. — Yen Nee Lee
7:50 am: China reports 21 new cases, 13 additional deaths
China’s National Health Commission said as of Monday there were 21 new confirmed cases. Of those, 20 of them were attributed to travelers from overseas, bringing the total number of imported cases to 143. Another 13 people have died, 12 of them in Hubei province where the infection was first detected.
The total number of cases in China stands at 80,881, of which 68,679 were cured and 3,226 people died. — Yen Nee Lee
7:40 am: Malaysia closes borders, schools and businesses
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said late Monday that the country will close its borders to travelers, shut schools and most businesses from Wednesday until March 31.
The announcement came after Malaysia reported an additional 125 coronavirus cases to bring its total to 553, the highest number in Southeast Asia. Of those, 42 have recovered. Malaysia hasn’t reported any deaths.
In a televised speech, Muhyiddin announced the closure of all schools and universities, as well as ordering most public and private enterprises to shut — except supermarkets, grocery stores and those providing “essential services” such as airports and defense.
Foreigners will not be allowed into the country and Malaysian residents will not be allowed to leave, said the prime minister. — Yen Nee Lee
All times below are in Eastern time.
7:12 pm: Stock market leaders unite against calls to stop trading, saying it would only compound anxiety
The country may be prepared to shut its schools, concerts, sporting events, shops, and even bars and restaurants, but one industry that is deeply resistant to shutting down is Wall Street.
“It is important for the markets to remain open, and for them to function in a fair and orderly manner, as they have been,” Stacey Cunningham, New York Stock Exchange president, tweeted out this afternoon.
She’s not alone. The directive to keep open the markets goes as high as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. “We intend to keep the markets open,” he said Friday on CNBC. “That’s a sign of confidence to people. There are people who want to come in and buy. We want to have markets open.” —Bob Pisani