Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak include:Global deaths and infections pass China figuresWorldwide infections have grown to more than 87,000, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker, while cases inside China, stood at 80,860 as of Monday, according to the Chinese National Health Commission. Deaths outside China have risen to more than 3,241, according…
Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak include:
Global deaths and infections pass China figures
Worldwide infections have grown to more than 87,000, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker, while cases inside China, stood at 80,860 as of Monday, according to the Chinese National Health Commission. Deaths outside China have risen to more than 3,241, according to Johns Hopkins, while deaths inside China stand at 3,208 as of Monday (excluding four in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan).
US ramps up measures to contain virus
The Centres for Disease Control has said events with 50 people or more should not take place for eight weeks. The move came as New York City announced restaurants, bars and cafes would only be able to offer take-out and delivery from, Tuesday, while public schools will be shut from Monday. Nightclubs, movie theatres and other entertainment venues would also close. California, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington also closed their bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. Several Las Vegas hotels and casinos said they would suspend operations.
Central banks act to prop up markets
The US Federal Reserve announced it would cut its benchmark interest rate to near zero and said it would buy US$700bn in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. Australia’s Reserve Bank pumped more money the financial system and said it was prepared to start quantitive easing as the country’s share market closed 9.7% down on Monday. The New Zealand Reserve Bank made a surprise cut to the official cash rate, cutting it from 1% to 0.25%. The PM, Jacinda Ardern warned the virus’s impact could be worse than the GFC.
China’s factory production plunges
Chinese factory output fell at its sharpest pace in 30 years in January and February. Industrial output fell by a larger-than-expected 13.5% over the two months, compared to the previous year. Private sector investment dived 26.4% from a year earlier, and retail sales shrank 20.5% compared with the same period in 2019.
Eight million could be hospitalised in UK from virus
The coronavirus could lead to 7.9 million people being hospitalised, a secret Public Health England (PHE) briefing for senior NHS officials has revealed. Health chiefs tackling the virus admitted that they expect Covid-19 to circulate for another 12 months. On Monday the PM, Boris Johnson, will start his daily press briefings on the outbreak.
Argentina goes into a full lockdown
President Alberto Fernández announced he was closing Argentina’s borders to all arrivals, including the land borders. Schools have been closed until 31 March.
Turkey reports biggest jump in cases
Turkey has reported 12 new cases of Covid-19, taking the country’s total to 18. That’s the biggest jump since it reported its first case last week. The country’s health minister said two of the new cases were related to the first case reported in the country, seven had travelled from Europe and three from the United States
Nike, Lululemon Athletica and Under Armour to close stores
The three major sports brands will close their stores in the United States and other markets, joining a growing list of major retailers moving to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. Nike will close stores in Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand for 16-27 March. It will continue normal operations at stores in South Korea, Japan, most of China and in many other countries. Under Armour will close all its north America stores from Monday for about two weeks. Lululemon will close outlets in North America and Europe for a similar period.
South Africa declares national disaster
South Africa has introduced a series of drastic measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country. These include travel bans to Italy, Germany, China and the United States and banning gatherings of more than 100 people.