Dow futures are down over 100 points, AsiaPac equity markets are down harder, and Treasuries are well bid along with gold after a Chinese officials confirmed the coronavirus can be spread by human-to-human contact, and the deadly disease is spreading to other asian nations.
“Now we can say it is certain that it is a human-to-human transmission phenomenon,” Zhong Nanshan, a scientist who is leading a government-appointed expert panel on the outbreak, said in an interview on state-run television on Monday.
As The New York Times reports, cases have been reported outside China.
The authorities in Thailand detected the new coronavirus last week in two Chinese women who had flown from Wuhan to Bangkok on separate trips. The government said the women, aged 74 and 61, were in good condition.
In Japan, a Chinese man who returned from Wuhan on Jan. 6 was also confirmed to have the disease. He was discharged after five days in a hospital.
South Korea confirmed its first case of the coronavirus on Monday in a 35-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan who arrived on Sunday at Incheon International Airport, which serves Seoul.
The woman was found with a fever, muscle pain and other symptoms while going through customs and was immediately quarantined for tests, said Jung Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The woman was traveling with five other people intending to spend the Lunar New Year holidays in South Korea and Japan, Ms. Jung said. South Korean officials were running tests on anyone believed to have come in contact with the woman in the plane, she said.
Surreal video out of China pic.twitter.com/Qqi5Z8OzQu— Hipster (@Hipster_Trader) January 21, 2020
And fear of a SARS 2.0 outbreak have sparked risk-off trades in early Asia trading.
“There are now sufficient cases that it’s not going to die out by chance,” said Neil Ferguson, a public health expert at Imperial College London who has studied the new virus.
“The real question now is, how efficiently can this virus spread from person to person?”
Hong Kong's Hang Seng is down notably...
As are US futures...
And yuan is being dumped...
Bonds are bid...
Along with gold...
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, said on Monday that the outbreak “must be taken seriously” and that every possible measure should be taken to contain it, according to the state broadcaster CCTV.