Live Updates: Economic Fallout From Coronavirus Grows


Economic fallout from the epidemic continued to spread on Tuesday, with new evidence emerging in manufacturing, financial markets, commodities, banking and other sectors.

HSBC, one of the most important banks in Hong Kong, said it planned to cut 35,000 jobs and $4.5 billion in costs as it faces headwinds that include the outbreak and months of political strife in Hong Kong. The bank, based in London, has come to depend increasingly on China for growth.

Jaguar Land Rover warned that the coronavirus could soon begin to create production problems at its assembly plants in Britain. Like many carmakers, Jaguar Land Rover uses parts made in China, where many factories have shut down or slowed production; Fiat Chrysler, Renault and Hyundai have already reported interruptions as a result.

U.S. stocks declined on Tuesday, a day after Apple warned that it would miss its sales forecasts because of the disruption in China. Stocks tied to the near-term ups and downs of the economy slumped, with financials, energy and industrial shares the leading losers.

The S&P 500 index fell 0.3 percent. Bond yields declined, with the 10-year Treasury note yielding 1.56 percent, suggesting that investors are lowering their expectations for economic growth and inflation.

With much of the Chinese economy stalled, demand for oil has fallen and prices were down on Tuesday, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate selling for roughly $52.

China’s restrictions vary widely in their strictness. Neighborhoods in some places require residents only to show ID, sign in and have their temperature checked when they enter. Others prohibit residents from bringing guests.

But in places with more stringent policies, only one person from each household is allowed to leave home at a time, and not necessarily every day. Many neighborhoods have issued paper passes to ensure that residents comply.

About 500 people will be released on Wednesday from a quarantined cruise ship that has been a hot spot of the outbreak, Japan’s health ministry said on Tuesday, but confusion about the release was widespread.

  • Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

The ministry said 2,404 people on the ship had been tested for the virus. It said only those who had tested negative and were asymptomatic would be allowed to leave on Wednesday. The ship, the Diamond Princess, has been moored off Yokohama since Feb. 4.

Earlier in the day, the ministry announced that 88 additional cases of coronavirus were confirmed on the ship, bringing the total to 542.

Australia plans to repatriate about 200 of its citizens aboard the ship on Wednesday, and other countries have similar plans, but Japanese officials did not say whether any of those people were among the 500 who would be allowed to disembark.

The release coincides with the expiration of a two-week quarantine imposed on the ship, but it was not clear if that was the reason for letting people go. More than 300 Americans were released this week before that period was completed.

Some public health experts say that the 14-day isolation period makes sense only if it begins with the most recent infection a person might have been exposed to — in other words, new cases mean a continuing risk of exposure and should restart the quarantine clock.

In addition, many infected people have tested negative initially, only to test positive days later, after becoming sick. The Japanese announcement suggested that Japanese people who are released will not be isolated, a decision officials did not explain.

The American passengers who were released were put into 14-day quarantine in the United States. Some of them said on Tuesday that others in their group, who had appeared to be disease-free in Japan, had tested positive for the virus after arriving in the United States.

Australia also plans to quarantine people it repatriates.

The British government is taking steps to evacuate its citizens who have been on the Diamond Princess.

An analysis of 44,672 coronavirus patients in China whose diagnoses were confirmed by laboratory testing has found that 1,023 had died by Feb. 11, which suggests a fatality rate of 2.3 percent.

Collection and reporting of patient data in China have been inconsistent, experts have said, and the fatality rate could change as additional cases or deaths are discovered.

But the mortality rate in the new analysis is far higher than that of the seasonal flu, with which the new coronavirus has sometimes been compared. In the United States, seasonal flu fatality rates hover around 0.1 percent.

The analysis was posted online by researchers at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

If many mild cases are not coming to health officials’ attention, the death rate of those infected may be lower than the study indicates. But if deaths have gone uncounted because China’s health system is overwhelmed, the rate could be higher.

Over all, about 81 percent of patients with confirmed diagnoses experienced mild illness, the researchers found. Nearly 14 percent had severe cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and about 5 percent had critical illnesses.

Thirty percent of those who died were in their 60s, 30 percent were in their 70s and 20 percent were age 80 or older. Though men and women were roughly equally represented among the confirmed cases, men made up nearly 64 percent of the deaths. Patients with underlying medical conditions, like cardiovascular disease or diabetes, died at higher rates.

The fatality rate among patients in Hubei Province, the center of China’s outbreak, was more than seven times higher than that of other provinces.

China on Tuesday announced new figures for the outbreak. The number of cases was put at 72,436 — up 1,888 from the day before — and the death toll now stands at 1,868, up 98, the authorities said.

Xi Jinping, China’s leader, told Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain in a phone call on Tuesday that China was making “visible progress” in containing the epidemic, according to Chinese state media.

With just 42 cases of the coronavirus confirmed in Europe, the continent faces a far less serious outbreak than China, where tens of thousands have contracted the virus. But the people and places associated with the illness have faced a stigma as a result, and fear of the virus is, itself, proving contagious.

A British man who tested positive for coronavirus was branded a “super spreader,” his every movement detailed by the local media.

Business plummeted at a French ski resort identified as the scene of several transmissions of the virus.

The Philippines has lifted its travel ban on citizens employed as domestic workers in Hong Kong and Macau, officials said Tuesday.

The nation had enacted a ban on Feb. 2 on travel to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, preventing workers from traveling to jobs in those places.

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea warned on Tuesday that the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, his country’s biggest trading partner, is creating an “emergency economic situation,” and ordered his government to take actions to limit the fallout.

“The current situation is much worse than we had thought,” Mr. Moon said during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “If the Chinese economic situation aggravates, we will be one of the hardest-hit countries.”

Mr. Moon cited difficulties for South Korean companies in getting components from China, as well as sharp drops in exports to China, the destination for about a quarter of all South Korean exports. He also said travel restrictions hurt the South Korean tourism industry, which relies heavily on Chinese visitors.

“The government needs to take all special measures it can,” Mr. Moon said, ordering the allocation of financial aid and tax breaks to help shore up businesses hurt the most by the virus scare.

Also on Tuesday, a South Korean Air Force plane flew to Japan to evacuate four South Korean citizens stranded on the Diamond Princess, the quarantined cruise ship in Yokohama.

On Monday, Cambodian officials said tests had cleared 406 passengers, and they looked forward to heading home to the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Hun Sen announced that passengers who were waiting in a hotel would be allowed home on flights through Dubai and Japan.

Orlando Ashford, the president of the cruise operator Holland America, who had traveled to Phnom Penh, told anxious passengers to keep their bags packed.

“Fingers crossed,” said Christina Kerby, an American who had boarded the ship in Hong Kong on Feb. 1 and was awaiting approval to depart. “We’ve been cheering as individuals begin to head to the airport.”

But a cohort of passengers who went to the airport later returned to their hotel. It was not clear if any passengers had been able to fly out.

“New fly in the ointment, the countries that the flights have to go through are not allowing us to fly,” Pad Rao, a retired American surgeon, wrote in a message sent from the Westerdam, where about 1,000 crew and passengers remain.

He said he had been tested for the virus on Monday and was awaiting results.

“We need all the help we can get!” he added.

Reporting and research were contributed by Austin Ramzy, Isabella Kwai, Alexandra Stevenson, Hannah Beech, Choe Sang-Hun, Raymond Zhong, Lin Qiqing, Wang Yiwei, Elaine Yu, Roni Caryn Rabin, Richard C. Paddock, Motoko Rich, Daisuke Wakabayashi, Megan Specia, Michael Wolgelenter, Richard Pérez-Peña and Michael Corkery.


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