Here's a glimpse of new virus-related developments that occurred overnight.
China announces another 15 deaths in Hubei province
Total number of confirmed cases now 1,000+, 41 dead.
China restricts travel for 46+ million people across 16 cities as the death toll surges.
AFP reports that the virus has jumped to Europe, with three confirmed cases now in France.
Two deaths have been reported outside Wuhan.
Some residents displaying symptoms are being turned away from hospitals.
Hospitals in Wuhan make urgent pleas for help and supplies.
Beijing orders PLA medics to assist in Wuhan treating patients
UK and US governments tell citizens to avoid outbreak zones.
63 suspected cases in US, Senator says 3 confirmed, with two reported so far in Illinois and California, and two suspected in Minnesota
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Update (1720ET): Sky News reports that France has confirmed a third case of coronavirus.
Update: officials in France have announced a third case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the country— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) January 24, 2020
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Update (1700ET): All day we've been watching disturbing videos of hospital hallways littered with what appear to be dead bodies, yet the death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus hasn't budged from 26 since Beijing reported the first two deaths outside Hubei yesterday.
Now we know why: As we suspected, the virus has been claiming more victims. But the local authorities, who promised 'transparency' in everything virus-related, apparently felt the need to wait until 4 am local time to drop this massive bomb: Another 15 people have died in Hubei as hospitals struggle with severe shortages of nearly everything, including doctors and nurses. That brings the total number of casualties to 41. In addition, another 180 cases have been discovered in Hubei, bringing the total number of cases over 1,000.
The latest figures show that the virus is more deadly than previously thought.
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Update (1420ET): AFP reports, citing a minister, that two cases of coronavirus are now confirmed in France, as the virus officially spreads to Europe. The outbreak will give President Emmanuel Macron a desperately needed distraction from seemingly never-ending protests of his government.
Across China, fairs and other events celebrating the New Year holiday have been cancelled, meanwhile officials in Wuhan are scrambling to try a build a 1,000 bed hospital in Wuhan in under ten - some say five - days. Amid all of the terrifying videos showing what appear to be dead bodies piling up in a hallway in Wuhan (we shared the video below), reports out of Wuhan offer plenty of reason to fret: A previously healthy young man has succumbed to the virus - the first victim who wasn't elderly or struggling with a serious co-occurring health problem.
Across China, more than 7,000 movie theaters have shuttered until further notice. CNBC reported that this could cost the Chinese box office more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, shares of Netflix rallied Friday on the belief that millions of Chinese might instead stay home and stream - even though Netflix doesn't operate in China.
We joked about it yesterday, but today it has become a reality: Beijing has quarantined an entire province, with more than 46 million on lockdown across China.
As experts warn that there are probably closer to 4,000 cases in China alone, projections suggest that whatever governments - including China - are doing to fight the virus, it likely won't be enough to stop a global outbreak.
The WHO is still waiting on making a call, claiming that it hasn't yet seen enough evidence of human-to-human transmission, despite the fact that this is no longer in doubt. Yesterday, the organization estimated that the Wuhan coronavirus had a Ro rating - a measure of its infectious potential - of 2, making it more contagious than the flu, but less infectious than smallpox. Here's a table for comparison.
After his administration succeeded in pumping the market off the lows with that FAA headline, President Trump tweeted about the outbreak, advising people not to panic because China "has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus."
China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020
He might as well have tweeted: "DON'T PANIC" in big, red, friendly letters.
As Wuhan pleads for resources and the PLA mobilizes military doctors to hospitals in Wuhan and elsewhere, reports have emerged of doctors straight up dying from exhaustion, according to the Washington Post. The Post added that Wuhan is struggling with shortages of every conceivable medical supply, from masks, to rubber gloves to personnel.
Paranoia has led to facemasks flying off the shelves across Asia, and even in New York City's Chinatown, according to media reports. Price gouging in Hong Kong has driven prices of individual masks above $10 dollars in some cases.
One reporter at WaPo reportedly overheard a doctor in Wuhan screaming into the phone at their supervisor, allegedly begging to be fired.
"I don’t want do this job any more. Just fire me! Kick me out, send me back home," a doctor at Wuhan No. 5 Hospital yelled into the phone, frustration and exhaustion exploding out of him. "Don’t I want to go home to celebrate the new year?" he screamed in his Wuhan accent, presumably at his boss, that he’d done four back-to-back shifts as China made plans for the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Friday. "Don’t we want to live, too?"
At least one US senator, Florida's Rick Scott, is pushing President Trump to declare a national public health emergency over the virus - but of course Trump won't do that, at least until the market has closed.
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Update (1320ET): CNBC's Eunice Yoon has provided the latest horrifying update of the spread of the Coronavirus in China:
China quarantines 16 cities, total population 46 million
That is larger than the entire 39.5 million population of California.
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Update (1220ET): Minutes after the NYC Mayor's office issued a statement saying the risk of outbreak in the city was 'low', Gov. Cuomo's office revealed that one case of suspected coronavirus in NY state had been confirmed negative, while three others are still being tested.
Stocks dipped to their lows of the session shortly after noon as investors finally realized that officials claiming that the virus is 'under control' were merely bluffing.
The Dow is now decidedly lower on the week:
The DoD said it's following CDC guidance on the virus.
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Update (1120ET): A senator has reportedly told the press that the CDC is about to confirm a third case of coronavirus in the US. Unsurprisingly, stocks aren't taking the news too well.
- SENATOR SAYS CDC ABOUT TO CONFIRM 3RD U.S. CASE OF CORONAVIRUS
That Senator has been revealed to be none other than Connecticut's Dick Blumenthal, a lawmaker with such a reputation for vanity, that it's hardly a surprise that he would murder stocks for his own political gain.
Following the briefing from health officials, Bloomy said the US needs "better relations with the Chinese" to help deal with the epidemic, a indirect slight at Trump.
And dozens more cases are still being investigated.
And just like that, stocks go "whoosh".
Meanwhile, in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is warning that the risk of a viral outbreak in his city is low.
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Update (1010ET): The CDC has confirmed the second case of Coronavirus in a Chicago resident who recently traveled to Wuhan.
Other cases have been rumored in Texas and at LAX, but apparently none have been confirmed. The first case emerged earlier this week in Washington State. Fox News has confirmed that Senators are being briefed on the virus Friday morning.
Stocks have turned red on the news...here we go.
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Update (0930ET): Yep, everything is under control. This should be over soon...
Wuhan is rushing to build a hospital specifically for treating patients infected with coronavirus. Hundreds of construction machines are working around the clock. The hospital will be put into operation before Feb 3. China superb engineering ability is being put into good use. pic.twitter.com/Ih7zwcjAbS— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) January 24, 2020
Think Chinese authorities are immediately jumping on every case of coronavirus? Think again...
From the SCMP:
After more than a week of worry and multiple talks with doctors, a woman from Wuhan was relieved on Thursday when her uncle – a suspected coronavirus patient – was finally admitted to hospital.
Wang, who declined to give her full name, said her uncle began coughing on January 15. Five days later, he went to Tongji Hospital and after having a CAT scan was diagnosed with viral pneumonia, though the doctor said he could not be sure if it was the new coronavirus.
"They said it might be, but also might not be, but didn’t have any test kits to make sure," Wang said. "They could only base the diagnosis on blood tests and the CAT scan."
After being given some medicine, Wang’s uncle was sent home.
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Update (0820ET): Over the past few hours, health officials in Nepal have announced that a student who has returned from Wuhan has been found to carry the virus. Meanwhile, officials in India are reporting three suspected cases.
As the response to the virus overwhelms hospitals in Wuhan, the central military command of the PLA, China's army, has ordered medical personnel based in the city of Wuhan to travel to the city's hospitals and aid doctors and nurses struggling to keep up with the influx of cases.
The order comes as experts estimate that some 4,000 individuals may have already been infected across the country.
According to the SCMP, 40 medical officers from the city’s military hospital have already started working in the intensive care unit of Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital. The 40 officers are reported to be an advance party and the General Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army in Beijing will send more in the coming days.
Staff at the PLA hospital swore an oath earlier this week promising to do everything they can to combat the virus.
A medical practitioner who worked at the PLA General Hospital said that the hospital would send staff from its infectious disease centre to help run the new hospital and quarantine centre in Wuhan once it was ready.
Meanwhile, video shows another medical team from Shanghai boarding a military transport destined for Wuhan.
PLA medical team from Second Military Medicine University (第二军医大学）departing Shanghai for Wuhan tonight. pic.twitter.com/WkjFYsp7zq— Alert 5 (@alert5) January 24, 2020
Staff there held an oath-taking ceremony on Wednesday pledging they would do their utmost to win the battle against the new coronavirus.
"We all swore that we will follow the order, make sacrifices if necessary and do our jobs as required and would not be afraid to suffer or even to die," he said. "[We were told that] we triumphed over Sars and we will win again this time."
As we noted below, Wuhan is scrambling to build a makeshift hospital from scratch on the outskirts of the city as a quarantine and treatment center for coronavirus patients. Beijing's ability to quickly expand capacity to treat infected individuals was said to be instrumental in the fight against SARS 17 years ago.
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Asian markets closed on Friday for the Lunar New Year holiday, which officially begins on Saturday. But in China, the Communist Party leadership are scrambling to contain the virus as 13 cities in Hubei Province are now under quarantine, meaning more than 40 million Chinese will be forced to spend the holiday week at home, the South China Morning Post reports.
Health authorities reported 66 more suspected cases overnightas a result of broader criteria for people showing symptoms, bringing the total number of suspected cases to 236 as of Friday morning in Hong Kong. Among those cases, more than 100 are now in isolation. Across China, Hong Kong and Macau, authorities have closed schools and suspended the start of the new semester. Even Disneyland Shanghai has announced plans to close for the holiday.
Shanghai Disney Resort closes from Saturday till further notice. pic.twitter.com/fOCvPRi52O— Xinqi Su 蘇昕琪 (@XinqiSu) January 24, 2020
As authorities in Beijing try to convince the world that they have the outbreak under control, researchers in the US and UK have warned that the total number of cases might be closer to 4,000, according to the New York Times.
South Korea and Japan have each confirmed their second cases, while the US worries that a second case may have been discovered in Texas. Reports that an individual is under quarantine in Sydney have also emerged, while fears about a virus case in New Jersey have already been debunked.
Though it's slightly out of date, this map is the most up-to-date accounting of the geographic dispersion of the virus.
S&P Global Ratings has issued a statement claiming that, if the situation worsens, the outbreak could knock 1.2 percentage points off China's GDP. Yet, as the number of cases explodes despite the travel ban, the World Health Organization is insistent that the situation hasn't risen to the level of a global pandemic - at least not yet.
Back in Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Video purportedly showing the hospital at the center of the outbreak paints a picture of widespread misery as health care workers collapse on their feet, infection rates explode even among those responsible for treating patients. Local media has also reported that there aren't enough testing kits and medical workers available to diagnose new cases.
There have even been reports of patients showing concerning symptoms being turned away from hospitals. Nice to see that their good ol' socialized health care system is clearly so well-prepared for such an outbreak. Desperate for money and supplies, hospitals in Wuhan have resorted to begging the government and the public for help.
In the meantime, reports claim that China's censors are removing all frightening videos from domestic social media outlets. There have been reports of people in Shanghai and in Wuhan being herded into makeshift quarantine camps erected near hospitals around the country. In some places, authorities are scrambling to build whole new hospital wings as fast as they can. Chinese officials are scrambling to build a whole new hospital in just five days.
Just as we expected, a shortage of facemasks that inspired hoarding and price gouging in Hong Kong has now spread across Asia, according to the Japan Times.
While they've disappeared from the Chinese Internet, videos showing sick or collapsing patients and health-care workers are flooding US social media.
WATCH: Video shows the situation at a hospital at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak; it has now been removed from China's social media platform pic.twitter.com/uC5QYY9Z0a— BNO News (@BNONews) January 24, 2020
Brutal https://t.co/nFao4ADFPZ— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) January 24, 2020
Not fucking good https://t.co/83jaih5eNr— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) January 24, 2020
Especially for those who have been turned away, the mood on the streets of Wuhan is turning into full blown panic as hundreds of worried patients plead with hospitals for help. 'Please help us' the city's leadership begged as it implored its neighbors for help.
Typically, LNY is the most important holiday in China and celebrations typically begin the night before, which this year is Friday night. Chinese who work typically make it home in time to prepare a meal of fried dumplings and sticky rice cakes before hosting reunion dinners with family. At midnight, Chinese typically set off firecrackers to ring in the new year.
But this year, an anxiety-laden quiet is expected instead. Meanwhile, several US media outlets reported that ordinary Chinese are growing increasingly frustrated with their government.
"We won’t have a new year celebration tonight. There’s no feeling for it, and no food," a Wuhan resident named Wu Qiang, told the NYT.
Qiang added that his family is so on edge, that a simple sneeze from his son set off alarm bells at home.
"I think he’s O.K., but now even an ordinary sneeze makes you worry," Mr. Wu said. "You start to think every cough or sneeze might be the virus."
Another woman put it more bluntly.
"Today should be the Chinese people’s happiest day," she said, "but this sickness has destroyed that feeling."
Whatever impact the virus had on markets seemed to reverse after the WHO decided not to label the virus a global pandemic. But as the videos and images flooding out of China look increasingly concerning, one analyst warned that the massive response to suppress the virus could be a double-edged sword.
After the State Department issued, then retracted, a travel warning yesterday, the American Embassy in Beijing advised travelers from the US to avoid Hubei Province and the surrounding area. The notice was classified as a Level 4 advisory, the most serious travel warning issued by the US government: Other Level 4 warnings issued by the State Department cover travel to Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Venezuela and Yemen, among other places.
In the US, infections have popped up in Washington State and in Texas, where a student at Texas A&M is believed to have been infected.
"Drastic steps, such as city-wide quarantine measures, can be a double-edged sword when it comes to market impact," ING senior rates strategist Antoine Bouvet wrote in morning note. "On the one hand they signal the authorities are taking the problem seriously and help containment, on the other hand, they help paint a dramatic picture to investors unfamiliar with dealing with this sort of risk."