Total global virus death toll hits 1018, with the number of global confirmed cases rising to 43,099, of which 42,638 in China and 461 offshore.
The number of severe cases jumped from 6,484 to 7,333, while the number of discharged patients rose by 716 from 3,281 to 3,996.
The epicenter, China's Hubei province, announced 103 new deaths - the biggest jump yet - to 1,011 deaths
China has first the two highest-ranked health officials in Hubei Province
Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Thailand after being turned away from 3 countries
WHO designates 10 Chinese provinces 'hot spots'
UK confirms 4 more cases tied to possible 'super spreader'
Extended LNY holiday ends but millions still too afraid to return to office
WeWork Chairman says 100 buildings temporarily closed in China
Canadian finance minister warns nCoV "will hit Canadian economy..."
WHO says outbreak in Europe could be "spark that becomes a bigger fire"
Hong Kong reports 6 new cases, bringing total to 42, evacuates building where two nCoV patients lived
NRF forecasts drop in retail sales in February
British Airways extends China flight cancellations
President Xi addresses party officials at outbreak control center
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Update (2010ET): With the numbers now "well under control," it appears Beijing no longer needs local officials to "manage" the data/health-crisis, and has decided to fire the two highest-ranking health officials in the Hubei Province and transition control to someone higher up the chain and closer to CCP committee.
China State TV tweeted:
The Standing Committee of the Hubei Provincial Committee held last night decided to:
remove Zhang Jin, secretary of the Party Committee of the Health Committee;
remove Liu Yingzi, director of the provincial Health Committee.
The two positions mentioned above will be performed concurrently by Comrade Wang Hesheng, the newly-appointed Standing Committee member of the Provincial Party Committee.
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Update (1900ET): The latest official numbers from China's National Health Commission are out and they indicate that after a rebound in the number of cases during the last day, the disease has once again slowed down modestly.
Here's what we know: the total number of mainland cases has risen from 40,171 to 42,638, with 108 new deaths overnight, the most yet in one day, bringing the total death tally in China to 1016. The number of severe cases jumped from 6,484 to 7,333, while the number of discharged patients rose by 716 from 3,281 to 3,996.
As has been the case for the past week, the number of new cases remains within spitting distance of 3,000, drop from yesterday's 2,973 to 2,467, however this number is largely irrelevant: as Dr. Scott Gottlieb the increase in the number of confirmed cases is likely a function of China's "testing reporting capacity", which is roughly 3,000 per day. Furthermore, as we learned earlier today, due to a change in methodology, going forward patients who tested positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed. As such, any change in the number of new cases is not only irrelevant but misleading for all those who actually trade on this as an indicator of whether the Coronavirus has peaked.
The death rate rose to the highest yet, at 2.4%, as the number of deaths keeps rising rapidly even as the number of new cases has been massaged lower for the past week.
And here we get into the part where China openly fabricates numbers. First, as discussed several days ago, the number of people receiving medial attention unexpectedly peaked at just under 190,000 after increasing by about 15,000-20,000 daily until then, in a truly mysterious "kink" on the chart below. One wonders what "change in definition" prompted this?
And finally, in the latest entrant to the "goalseeked" race, we have the number of suspects coronavirus cases, which after rising consistently by about 1,000-2,000 for the past two weeks, suddenly collapsed by 5,353 on Sunday and another 1,914 on Monday, resulting in a sharp drop in the total number of suspects cases from 28,942 to 21,674 over the past two days. On the surface this would be great, the only problem is that this violates virtually every aspect of viral epidemiology, and if anything only confirms how aggressively China is now fudging the data.
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Update (1710ET): China's Hubei Province just announced a 103 count jump in the number of deaths - the biggest daily jump yet - pushing the total number of deaths from the virus in China to at least 1,011.
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Update (1400ET): Yet more comments from President Xi's excursion out into the neighborhoods of Beijing, where the coronavirus is menacing the city's population. During his outing, Xi warned China was prepared for a long and "grim" battle with the virus - and that it would ultimately prevail, no matter what.
According to SCMP, Chinese state media reported that Xi made the comment during a visit to a "district-level disease control office."
"The outbreak of the coronavirus is a major test of the national disease control and prevention centres of all levels in the country," state television quoted him as saying. "It has shown both the strengths and many shortcomings of the system."
Xi has alternatively praised the Communist cadres for their hard work combating the crisis while excoriating and scapegoating local officials accused of reacting too slowly to contain the virus (a policy that was almost definitely handed down by Beijing).
He has also insisted that the Chinese people must remain confident in the economy, which Xi insisted would bounce back from the outbreak once it's contained.
"[We] must remain firmly confident about the fundamentally positive outlook of China’s economy in the long term," he told officials. "The impact is only in the short term, and we should not be scared by it."
Meanwhile, President Trump told the White House press pool that he expects the virus to go away in April because of "the heat." Unfortunately, scientists have walked back their claims about a swift end the outbreak, warning instead that it could drag on for months, if not years.
CNN wrote about the first version of this claim last week. Short version: scientists say it's too early to know how the virus will be affected by the seasons. "His hope is our hope. But we don't have knowledge that it will do that." https://t.co/uwAB1gzWBj https://t.co/y3kU0q5ijo— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 10, 2020
A few new cases have been confirmed over the course of the US trading day, but the total number of cases and deaths hasn't really moved since early this morning Eastern Time.
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Update (1200ET): National Retail Federation said Monday that US retail imports have seen a larger than expected drop so far in February, likely due to the nCoV outbreak and extended LNY holiday.
Meanwhile, the Epoch Times's Jennifer Zeng shared this harrowing video of a woman falling to death while trying to escape quarantine.
China redefining the 'working lunch'.
Factory at lunch...I'm sure the cardboard will fix everything pic.twitter.com/V8mtWbkvUc— AGTrader (@ag_trader) February 10, 2020
We thought Communists thought money is evil?
And check out...the ice wall.
It's like Game of Thrones meets 'the Hot Zone'...
Meanwhile, Hong Kong has stepped up is precautions, with authorities evacuating a building in the New Territories district of Tsing Yi, according to Reuters, where suspected coronavirus cases had had lived. Authorities are investigating whether the virus has survived on surfaces inside the building.
Hong Kong govt evacuates some residents at a building where two patients had confirmed to have coronavirus infection, according to Wong Ka-Hing, Controller at the Centre for Health Protection.— Russian Market (@russian_market) February 10, 2020
CNN clarified that authorities suspect the virus might have found its way into the building's piping system.
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Update (1100ET): According to China's Global Times, Hong Kong has confirmed another 6 cases of nCoV, bringing its total yo 42.
Hong Kong is now just one case behind Singapore (with 43 confirmed cases at last count), leaving HK with the third-most cases outside mainland China (it's 'the Diamond Princes', Singapore then Hong Kong). British Airways, meanwhile, has extended its shutdown of all its flights to Beijing and Shanghai until April.
It's a great day back at work.
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Update (1020ET): Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Monday morning that the coronavirus outbreak will definitely impact the Canadian economy, but the extent of the damage isn't yet clear.
Just minutes later, the WHO started their daily press briefing for Monday by adopting a markedly darker tone. Dr. Tedros, the WHO director-general, said that over the last few days, they've seen "concerning incidents" of onward spreading among people with no history of travel to China (including the Brits who were infected at a French chateau).
This "could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire," Tedros said.
Yesterday, Tedros tweeted that we may be seeing "only the tip of the iceberg" when it comes to the total number of cases, a shocking turn toward skepticism for somebody who seemed willing to distort the truth to help out Beijing just days ago.
There’ve been some concerning instances of onward #2019nCoV spread from people with no travel history to 🇨🇳. The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 9, 2020
He added that a WHO team of experts is finall on the ground in China to "lay the groundwork" for a larger team that will be studying the outbreak. Here's a rundown of what the WHO team will be studying in China, courtesy of Reuters.
Their arrival marks the first on-the-ground outside assistance that Beijing has allowed into the country, though we suspect they've already been sworn to secrecy and instructed not to expose the real numbers.
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Update (0850ET): Carnival cruise's PR crisis team just hit it out of the park with this one. After the NYT reported on the growing sense of paranoia among the 3,600 people stuck onboard the Diamond Princess - including their 'deranged conspiracies' about the virus spreading through their food and air ducts - another passenger participated in a remote live interview on CNBC to defend the cruise line's handling of the incident.
"I personally believe it's run very well...getting us into quarantine and keeping us in the cabin as much as possible in the circumstances...the only people they've bee letting out are in small groups to get some air."
"I recognize the situation...I'm maintaining my confidence that they will conclude that we're asymptomatic and we'll be allowed to leave after the 14 days."
"Though after you think about how many days remain...it can get a little depressing."
"I give Princess Cruises and the captain of this vessel an A++ in handling this."
In other words, everything is fine. There's nothing to see here people. Hopefully, if we play ball, the Japanese health officials will take pity on us and let us go after 14 days, instead of keeping us trapped on this ship forever.
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Update (0815ET): Listening to WeWork's Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure during a Monday morning interview with CNBC, we heard him say that WeWork has temporarily closed 100 buildings in China due to the coronavirus.
While the virus has been an unequivocal disaster for the Chinese economy, at least WeWork now has a scapegoat for when its already floundering China business goes completely belly-up (dragging the rest of the company down with it).
Meanwhile, CNBC's Eunice Yoon, whose early-morning reports have become a lodestone for investors following the situation inside China's borders, just shared an update on China's big 'return to work', essentially confirming that the global supply chain remains frozen.
#China struggled to reopen today- especially firms in the #globalsupplychain. Manufacturers dealing with a tangle of conflicting requirements that vary province to province, city to city. Most being asked to provide extensive prevention of #coronavirus before they can reopen.— Eunice Yoon (@onlyyoontv) February 10, 2020
Finally, here's some more food for thought that we included in one of our earlier posts:
So what do we know that is reliable about the virus? Well, for one thing, a single cruise ship has the more infected people than any COUNTRY outside China. In fact, almost DOUBLE the number of infected people of any country outside of China.— Antonio Gramsci (@timeofmonsters_) February 10, 2020
How many deaths have there been from the virus outside of China? 2. Yep, 2.— Antonio Gramsci (@timeofmonsters_) February 10, 2020
China reported and we see photos of "super hospitals" in Wuhan built in just days. Photos look like a jails with bars on windows. The explanation, which we accept, is there are just so many infected.
China locks down many cities in the mainland we are told, but we know China does not allow Hong Kong to close its border with China. People flood into Hong Kong from Shenzhen.— Antonio Gramsci (@timeofmonsters_) February 10, 2020
So we know not long ago Hong Kong was a major nuisance for China. But now everyone is in their homes. Very little communication. The military in China is fighting the virus. Perhaps there is something else going on. I do not have the answers at all. Just posing this question.— Antonio Gramsci (@timeofmonsters_) February 10, 2020
Want to throw this out there. This is only a theory. It may be wrong. No one knows. When you have a ruin-type exposure to an event with an unknown probability it is wise to take all precautions. But "purge" is a possibility.— Antonio Gramsci (@timeofmonsters_) February 10, 2020
More food for thought...
Meanwhile, Peter Navarro told Fox Busines that the outbreak in China might inspire more drug and medical supply manufacturers to the US, building on Wilbur Ross's claim that the outbreak could help bring more jobs back to North America. More ominously, he also claimed that China will have to pay for how the virus started.
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Monday was supposed to mark the official 'return to work' for many companies around China. That hasn't exactly panned out...
China is going back to work. pic.twitter.com/90zv3ngJ0W— Russian Market (@russian_market) February 9, 2020
...though the image presented by state controlled media was somewhat more optimistic.
Along with many other Chinese cities, Monday marked the first working day in Shanghai after the long Spring festival break. The flow of commuters and traffic amid the #coronavirus outbreak increased significantly compared to previous days. https://t.co/wKFXxhUKKu #NCP pic.twitter.com/46dfKobHAr— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) February 10, 2020
Western media like CNN reported that "millions" returned to work on Monday, even if large swaths of the Chinese economy remained shut down. many will be working from home if possible, as quarantines leave millions stuck in their homes and millions more terrified to go outside. After Chinese health authorities reported 97 deaths on Sunday, the total number of cases worldwide has now topped 40,000, while the death toll has hit 910, according to the most up-to-date data from the SCMP:
But even as workers started to log back in, or even returned to the office in some rare cases, nearly 100 more were declared dead from the outbreak, a daily record. Meanwhile, as we noted last night, the WHO - which previously had aggressively kowtowed to Beijing - said the number of cases outside China could be "just the tip of the iceberg," according to Reuters.
Across mainland China, 3,062 new infections were confirmed on Sunday, bringing the total number to 40,171, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).
Wu Fan, vice-dean of Shanghai Fudan University Medical school, said there was hope the spread might soon reach a turning point.
"The situation is stabilising," she told a briefing when asked about the spread in Shanghai, which has had nearly 300 cases and one death.
But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking in Geneva, said there had been “concerning instances” of transmission from people who had not been to China.
"The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg," he said.
Dr. Tedros added that the WHO is monitoring 10 Chinese provinces as possible virus 'hot spots'.
But outside China, the viral outbreak is beginning to take on more characteristics of a global pandemic. An outbreak at a ski chateau in the French Alps has reawakened anxieties about an uncontrolled outbreak in Western Europe, as government health officials in Britain and France scramble to trace everybody who had contact with a British citizen who apparently picked up the virus during a visit to Singapore.
Authorities worry that this unnamed 'patient zero' might be a 'super spreader': The man unknowingly carried the virus across continents, and at least six people have already been sickened after coming into contact with him. Research released last week suggested that the virus can spread before symptoms are present. on Monday, the British secretary of state declared the virus "a serious and imminent threat to public health." This gave the government new powers to forcibly quarantine people after one infected patient tried to leave Arrowe Park, where the British government has quarantined some of those who just returned from Wuhan. In Hong Kong, two people appear to have escaped from a mandatory quarantine, prompting police to issue wanted notices.
"The Secretary of State declares that the incidence or transmission of novel Coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health," the U.K. health ministry said in a statement on Monday.
"Measures outlined in these regulations are considered as an effective means of delaying or preventing further transmission of the virus."
All rescued Britons signed a contract agreeing to a 14-day quarantine period at a place of the government's choosing. On Monday, EasyJet has confirmed that a passenger who recently flew aboard one of its flights had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The airline said Public Health England is reaching out to passengers.
Source: Johns Hopkins
Public Health England said Monday that anyone who has had contact with the newly confirmed cases should seek help immediately. Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of National Infection Service at Public Health England, said the following, according to the Guardian:
These new cases are all closely linked and were rapidly identified through Public Health England’s comprehensive contact tracing approach and tested quickly.
Our priority is speaking to those people who have had close and sustained contact with confirmed cases so that we can advise them on what they can do to limit the spread of the virus.
Back in China, Reuters reports that more than 300 Chinese firms, including Meituan Dianping, China's largest food-delivery company, and Xiaomi, the smartphone-making giant, have sought bank loans of at least #8.2 billion (5.4 billion yuan). The PBOC has said it will offer special lending facilities, providing the first batch of re-lending fundings on Monday. It plans to offer the facility weekly until the outbreak subsides. Reuters also reported that Apple supplier Foxconn was ultimately not allowed to resume production at its plant in Shenzen, which had been shuttered by authorities during the outbreak. In another blow to Beijing, Mongolia, China's impoverished northern neighbor, has suspended exports of coal to China until March 2, according to the country's National Emergency Commission. The Commission has also recommended cancelling the Mongolian Tsagaan Sar Lunar New Year celebrations set for later in the month, Bloomberg reports.
Picking up from where JPM left off, research firm Capital Economics said Monday that based on forecasts for global GDP, the outbreak could cost the world more than $280 billion during the first quarter of 2020.
Airbnb has suspended Beijing bookings until at least the end of February while promising to "refund and support guests who had cancelled reservations. And we will continue to work diligently to build programs that support our community of hosts."
Fitch ratings warned overnight that China's international profile "could diminish" because of the outbreak for two reasons: One, China might once again turn inwards as policymakers focus on maintaining social order and fighting the virus, two, foreigners might start to turn away from China (or maybe even move jobs back to North America, as Wilbur Ross suggested).
Authorities said they would inspect the plant "later this week" to ensure virus-control measures are being properly implemented. This after authorities initially denied reports that the plant wouldn't reopen, though they said the plant's reopening would be contingent on it passing an inspection.
But China isn't the only country feeling the blowback. Sony said earlier that it wouldn't attend the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona later this month because of virus-related fears. After all, the Japanese already have enough on their hands with the 'Diamond Princess' and the two dozen-plus infected patients scattered around the country.
CNN reports that the Westerdam, a cruise ship with no confirmed cases of the virus, will dock in Thailand on Thursday after being turned away by Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.
More countries are planning evacuation missions to rescue citizens trapped in Wuhan and other parts of China. Reuters has put together a list (text courtesy of the Guardian) of countries that have carried out at least one evacuation mission so far...
Kazakhstan will send two planes to China on 10 and 11 February to evacuate its citizens. Kazakhstan has already evacuated 83 people from Wuhan. Of the 719 Kazakhs remaining in China, 391 have asked to be repatriated.
Singapore: A second evacuation flight is bringing back another 174 Singaporeans and their family members from Wuhan to the city-state on 9 February, Singapore’s foreign ministry said.
Philippines: Thirty Filipinos returned to the Philippines on 9 February from Wuhan, the department of foreign affairs said. The returning passengers and a 10-member government team will be quarantined for 14 days.
UK: Britain’s final evacuation flight from Wuhan, carrying more than 200 people, landed at a Royal Air Force base in central England on 9 February. A plane carrying 83 British and 27 European Union nationals from Wuhan landed in Britain last week.
Brazil: The 34 Brazilians evacuated from Wuhan landed in Brazil on 9 February, where they will begin 18 days of quarantine.
US: Two planes with about 300 passengers, mostly US citizens, took off from Wuhan on 6 February bound for the US. It was the third group of evacuees from the heart of the coronavirus outbreak, the US state department said.
Taiwan: About 500 Taiwanese stranded in Wuhan are the first batch to be evacuated
Uzbekistan: 251 people from China and quarantined them on arrival in Tashkent, the Central Asian nation’s state airline said on 6 February.
Italy: The country flew back 56 nationals from Wuhan to Rome on 3 February. The group will spend two weeks in quarantine in a military hospital, the government said.
Saudi Arabia: 10 students from Wuhan have been evacuated, Saudi state television reported on 2 February.
A plane-load of New Zealanders, Australians and Pacific Islanders evacuated from Wuhan arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on 5 February, officials said.
Thailand: A plane brought 138 Thai nationals home from Wuhan last week. They will spend two weeks in quarantine.
France: Some nationals have been evacuated from Wuhan and would be placed in quarantine. It said it would first evacuate nationals without symptoms and then those showing symptoms at a later, unspecified date.
Canada: The first group of 176 citizens were evacuated from Wuhan to an Ontario air force base early on 5 February, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper. All evacuees will be quarantined on the base for two weeks.
Japan: The country has repatriated 565 nationals since the end of January.
South Korea: About 368 people were flown home on a charter flight that arrived on 31 January. A second chartered flight departed Seoul for Wuhan on the same day, with plans to evacuate around 350 more South Korean citizens.
Indonesia: The government flew 243 Indonesians from Hubei on 2 February and placed them under quarantine at a military base on an island north-west of Borneo.
...and a (much shorter) list of countries that are still in the 'planning stages':
Netherlands: The country is preparing the voluntary evacuation of 20 Dutch nationals and their families from Hubei, Stef Blok, the Dutch foreign minister, said. The Netherlands is finalising arrangements with EU partners and Chinese authorities.
Spain: The government is working with China and the European Union to repatriate its nationals.
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So far, two foreigners have died within China, one Japanese, one American, news we reported last week.
Those who have already been rescued from Wuhan in the US, UK and other countries are nearing the end of their 2-week quarantine detentions. Unfortunately, Chinese scientists are now saying 14 days might not be long enough for symptoms to appear. At least one patient exhibited no symptoms for 17 days - a full 2.5 weeks.
That's bad news for the cruise ship that was allowed to sail away from Hong Kong after just a four-day hold.
Speaking of Hong Kong, we reported earlier that a 24-year-old man and his grandmother, 91, were initially confirmed to have the virus, but later spread it to seven other family members, including the boy's father, mother, two aunts and three cousins were also infected.-
Officials said the family was part of a gathering of 19 who shared the hotpot meal over the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January. A hotpot - also known as a steamboat - is a bubbling cauldron of stock shared communally, to which diners add ingredients.
Hoarding that started in Hong Kong last week has already spread to Singapore, where CNBC reports shelves are running bare as hundreds of thousands of people scramble to brace for a worsening outbreak.
First found in the city of Wuhan in central China last December, the new coronavirus has infected nearly 37,200 people on the mainland and at least 36 in Hong Kong.
One day after the New York Times published a story asking "Where's Xi?" in the headline, the President/God-Emperor of China has finally appeared in public, wearing his facemask in the correct fashion (several local officials in Hubei elicited an avalanche of public criticism for appearing in public without masks, or with their masks worn incorrectly).
State Broadcaster CCTV aired a brief segment featuring Xi visiting a neighborhood in Beijing. In keeping with the Chinese state's propaganda narrative, Xi "investigated and directed" the ongoing virus prevention work and asked after residents and workers.
Video: Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected the #novelcoronavirus pneumonia prevention and control work in Beijing on Monday afternoon. Xi visited residents and staff in a community in Chaoyang District to learn about the situation of the frontline work. https://t.co/n2zr4Ckifs pic.twitter.com/fYLk7DqIzs— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) February 10, 2020
Xi said Monday that China would take "more decisive" measures to suppress the virus. Those words should send a shudder of anxiety through a population that had expected to return to work on Monday, only to find that one most offices and factories remain closed.
Xi visited the Chaoyang district, according to state-run media Xinhua
Across China, public anger over the death of Dr. Li, a martyr who was one of eight doctors punished by local authorities for speaking out about the virus. He succumbed to the virus last week, making him the first outbreak martyr. While his portrait has circulated on the Internet, and in fliers, Weibo has introduced a new emoji on the Chinese Internet to commemorate Li: A chicken drumstick.
“Give Dr Li a fried chicken drumstick!” A new emoji featuring a fried chicken drumstick was added to #China's Twitter-like platform, Weibo, to commemorate "whistleblower" doctor #LiWenliang, who was believed to love eating fried chicken drumsticks. Li died from #nCoV Friday. pic.twitter.com/LpUxAPKxcf— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) February 10, 2020
The virus has spread to at least 27 countries and territories and infected more than 330 people outside China. While vaccines have been tested on animals, China's CDC announced Monday that animal testing was in the "very early stage" of vaccine development. With the number dead already having surpassed the total number of deaths from the SARS outbreak by a margin greater than 100, many are bracing for the outbreak to be much worse than experts had anticipated.