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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of Feb. 1 to Feb. 8 brings supply chain strain

US citizen dies in Wuhan as impact on business begins to crystallize

Medical staff work in the isolated intensive care unit in a hospital in Wuhan, China on Feb. 6.    © AP

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Follow the latest updates here.

Last week brought hundreds more deaths and thousands more confirmed cases in China, while supply chain disruptions began to bite global businesses. Besides manufacturers, the cruise industry was reeling, with cases mounting on a ship quarantined off Yokohama. One estimate, meanwhile, suggested the virus would cost the world economy $280 billion in the first quarter alone.

For more on the spread of the virus and measures being taken to prevent further infections, see our list of the six things you must know about the coronavirus.

You can also read what we know about symptoms and treatments so far.

Here is what happened last week (Tokyo time):

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UPDATES CLOSED

Saturday, February 8

7:10 p.m. The United Arab Emirates confirmed two more cases -- one Chinese and one Filipino -- of the new coronavirus. Both patients are receiving medical treatment, according to the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.

4:15 p.m. Key iPhone supplier Foxconn's plan to resume production on Feb. 10 has been called off by the Chinese authorities due to worries surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.

2:30 p.m. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said that a U.S. citizen diagnosed with the new coronavirus in Wuhan, China, died on Thursday. It is seen as the first death of an American in the coronavirus outbreak.

1:49 p.m. The Japanese government announced that a Japanese man in his 60s died in a hospital in Wuhan. The man was in the hospital for pneumonia treatment since Jan. 22. Though the man had a high chance of being infected with the new coronavirus, it is not clearly confirmed yet.

9:52 a.m. The total number of deaths from the outbreak reached 722 as of the end of Friday, up by 86 from the previous day, according to the country's National Health Commission.

5:35 a.m. As markets look ahead to the prospect of business beginning to resume in China next week, infection rates are jumping in economically vital cities like Wenzhou, Nikkei reports.

5:23 a.m. U.S. stocks closed lower for the first time in five days on Friday, with notable declines in China-led companies like Caterpillar.

4:45 a.m. The global economy will contract for the first time since 2009 in the January-March quarter, Capital Economics predicts in an investor report. The forecast is based on the projection that "the economic disruption related to the coronavirus will cost the world economy over $280 billion in the first quarter of this year."

4:02 a.m. The U.S. is prepared to spend $100 million on assisting China and other countries hit by the coronavirus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.

3:38 a.m. China's auto market will shrink 3-5% in 2020 if the coronavirus outbreak continues into the second quarter, according to industry consultant LMC Automotive.

2:20 a.m. A 100-fold surge in demand for masks, gowns and other protective gear is causing a severe disruption in supply, the head of the World Health Organization warned, with prices soaring as non-medical workers make purchases for personal use.

1:42 a.m. French automaker Renault will suspend production at a South Korean unit in Busan amid supply chain disruptions in China, the company said Friday. A Renault factory in Wuhan will remain closed until Feb. 13 in accordance with the Chinese government's guidelines.

Friday, February 7

11:48 p.m. Italy's foreign minister said flights to and from China will continue to be blocked in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese news agency Xinhua had reported earlier Friday that Rome told Beijing that it was ready to resume some flights.

11:02 p.m. Turkey has stopped imports of livestock and animal fats from China, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Friday. All incoming Chinese nationals there for work will be considered on leave for 14 days, Koca said, until permission to work is granted by the health ministry.

9:32 p.m. Ericsson, the world's second-largest telecom equipment maker, has withdrawn from the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, citing the priority on the health of employees and customers in light of the outbreak.

7:20 p.m. Singapore raised its risk assessment level from "yellow" to "orange" -- the same status as during the SARS period -- meaning the disease is severe and can spread easily from person to person, but is still contained. The country will therefore implement additional measures such as daily health checks at workplaces. "The temperature [of staff] should be taken at least twice daily," the government said. There have been 33 confirmed infection cases so far in the city-state, two of whom are being treated in intensive care.

7:10 p.m. Taiwan announced that all passengers arriving there after transiting via China, Hong Kong and Macau will have to undertake a self-quarantine for 14 days. The Taipei government also announced it would only allow in flights from Beijing, Pudong, Hongqiao, Xiamen, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Macau to reduce the risk of infection on aircraft, effective Feb.10.

5:57 p.m. Half of the Uniqlo and Muji stores in China have been temporarily shuttered, raising fears about the earnings of the two major Japanese retailers. They are among the few Japanese players succeeding with overseas expansion, with both highly dependent on China for production as well.

5:20 p.m. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council announced it was suspending transportation for the "Three Links" that connect it with mainland China via islands Taiwan controls as part of measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic, effective from Feb. 10.

3:06 p.m. Pan Gongsheng, vice governor of China's central bank, told reporters that the institution was closely watching the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and was preparing policy tools to offset pressure.

12:52 p.m. Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. President Donald Trump that China had "full confidence and capability" of prevailing over the new coronavirus epidemic, during a telephone discussion on Friday, state-run media reported.

11:11 a.m. Art Basel Hong Kong, Asia's most prestigious art show, has been canceled "due to the outbreak and spread of the new coronavirus," organizer MCH Group announced. The event was scheduled for March 19-21.

Art Central 2020, another major art event in Hong Kong, has also been canceled.

11:00 a.m. The U.S. State Department said two planes it chartered had left Wuhan on evacuation missions, according to Reuters.

10:36 a.m. A fourth government-chartered flight bringing Japanese citizens home from Wuhan landed at Haneda Airport. Its 198 passengers include Chinese spouses of Japanese citizens.

9:35 a.m. The number of infections recorded on the cruise ship off Yokohama has increased by 41 from the previous day, bringing the total number of infected passengers to 61, according to Japan's Health ministry.

9:19 a.m. The mainland China death toll had climbed to 633 by the end of Thursday, up 73 from the previous day, according to the National Health Commission. The number of infections in China rose to 31,161.

8:08 a.m. The unexpected blow of the new coronavirus likely prompted Beijing's announcement of a cut to tariffs on American goods as it seeks flexible implementation of the "phase one" trade deal with the U.S.

5:59 a.m. Over two dozen Chinese cities and provinces have postponed local assembly meetings, raising questions as to whether the National People's Congress will meet in March as planned.

5:42 a.m. The coronavirus outbreak has already caused the number of trips to drop by about 35% from 2019's Lunar New Year holiday season. The government expects the number to fall by a steeper 70% during the rest of that period, which ends Feb. 18.

5:20 a.m. A 34-year-old Wuhan doctor who was punished after warning colleagues about the new coronavirus in the early days of the outbreak died Friday from the very illness he raised the alarm about, according to Chinese media.

5:01 a.m. Non-Japanese passengers on a Carnival cruise ship en route from Hong Kong will be denied entry into Japan, Prime Minister Abe said Thursday, because a person aboard the vessel is suspected of being infected with the coronavirus.

4:02 a.m. Apple placed orders for 45 million units of its popular AirPods, but with suppliers halting production due to the virus outbreak in China, those plans are under threat.

3:25 a.m. Nations throughout the developing world are protecting themselves from the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has brought part of that country's economy to a near standstill, by lowering interest rates.

1:31 a.m. Apple supplier Foxconn has built its own production line for surgical masks and asked Taiwanese employees to sign consent forms for returning to mainland China, in an aggressive push to restart production next Monday.

1:06 a.m. The WHO said despite a drop in new coronavirus cases in China on Wednesday, it is too early to say the outbreak has peaked.

Thursday, February 6

11:15 p.m. Two new cases of infection by the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Vietnam, bringing the total number there to 12. The two women are family members of a patient who fell ill after attending a corporate training course in Wuhan.

6:30 p.m. Vietnam's tourist industry could lose up to $7.7 billion in the first three months of the year, a government official said, due to Chinese tours being canceled and a general downturn in domestic travelers and international arrivals.

6:17 p.m. Saudi Arabia barred its citizens and residents from travelling to China, warning that anyone who violates this order will not be allowed to return home.

5:01 p.m. Schools in Vietnam will be closed for another week, and not open until Feb. 16.

5:00 p.m. The Philippine central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points on Thursday to help shield the economy from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

3:30 p.m. The first batch of novel coronavirus patients in Wuhan will start taking the antiviral drug remdesivir on Thursday. Remdesivir, developed by the U.S. pharmaceutical company Gilead and not approved elsewhere in the world, has been greenlighted by Chinese healthcare authorities for trial testing.

1:30 p.m. Micronesia, Niue and Tuvalu have banned the entry of visitors from Japan due to fears over the coronavirus, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

1:23 p.m. Virgin Australia said it will cancel all Hong Kong routes due to weak demand resulting from the coronavirus and ongoing protests.

12:57 p.m. Taiwan is forbidding all international cruise liners from anchoring in its harbors, effective today, in light of the Diamond Princess situation in Japan.

11:49 a.m. Japan "continues to negotiate" for permission to let Chinese spouses of its nationals board its fourth charter flight returning from Wuhan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. The plane is to fly to China tonight to pick up about 200 people.

9:03 a.m. Ten more passengers on a cruise ship off Yokohama, Japan, have tested positive for the virus, according to the health ministry. This brings the total number of infected people aboard the Diamond Princess to 20.

8:39 a.m. The mainland China death toll increased by 73 from Wednesday, to 563. The number of confirmed cases shot up by 3,694, to 28,018.

8:07 a.m. Fast-food chain company Yum China said both its sales and profits this year would be hurt by the coronavirus outbreak. The KFC operator has already temporarily shut 30% of its outlets in China but warns it could shutter more.

5:10 a.m. Health officials in the state of Wisconsin confirmed its first case of coronavirus, raising the total number of cases in the U.S. to 12.

5 a.m. A new 1,600-bed hospital opened in Wuhan after just 10 days of construction, but the Chinese city of 11 million people at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak is still struggling to keep up with a rapid surge in patients.

4 a.m. The WHO is asking member nations to contribute $675 million in the next three months to help countries with inadequate medical resources fend off and contain the new coronavirus. The organization will host a meeting of experts in Geneva next week to set research and development priorities for coronavirus drugs, diagnostics and vaccines.

3:15 a.m. Japan's Hoya, the world's biggest maker of glass disks for hard-disk drives, is looking to cut production in Vietnam and Thailand as the coronavirus outbreak slows production in China.

1:50 a.m.The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged up to $100 million to fight the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. The money will come in stages, including an immediate $20 million commitment for a number of public health organizations such as the WHO, the CDC and health workers on the front lines of fighting the virus in China.

1:15 a.m. Flights between China and Japan are down by nearly one-third this month as airlines cut service in response to the coronavirus outbreak, with Osaka and Nagoya hardest hit by the drop in travel.

1:10 a.m. German sportswear company Adidas said it was closing a "considerable" number of its shops in China. Adidas has around 12,000 outlets in China, including franchise stores.

Wednesday, February 5

11:40 p.m. The WHO played down media reports of "breakthrough" drugs discovered to treat people infected with the new coronavirus. "There are no known effective therapeutics against this 2019-nCoV (virus) and the WHO recommends enrollment into a randomized controlled trial to test efficacy and safety," the WHO spokesperson said. A Chinese TV report said earlier that Zhejiang University researchers had found an effective drug for the virus, while Britain's Sky News said scientists had made a "significant breakthrough" in developing a vaccine.

11:30 p.m. Singapore's health ministry confirmed four more coronavirus cases, including a six-month-old baby, taking its tally to 28.

11:10 p.m. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Beijing, expressing deep appreciation for his country's support in China's fight against the growing epidemic.

11 p.m. About 350 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, aboard two planes, arrived at a U.S. military base in California, in Washington's latest effort to fly its citizens away from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

8:58 p.m. The coronavirus may be capable of passing from infected pregnant women to their unborn children, doctors at the Wuhan Children's Hospital said, according to a Reuters report citing China's state broadcaster CCTV. After a coronavirus patient gave birth to a baby on Sunday, doctors confirmed that the newborn also had the virus.

6:53 p.m. Taiwan's government said it will close its border to all Chinese nationals who reside in mainland China, starting Thursday.

Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal -- one of two terminals that are being shuttered in an effort to contain the virus.    © Reuters

6:18 p.m. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said her government will quarantine everyone traveling from mainland China for 14 days, starting Saturday at midnight. It will also shut down two cruise terminals, after thousands were held on a ship as local authorities checked for the virus. The city has set aside HK$10 billion ($1.3 billion) for a fund to combat the virus, with stimulus measures for the battered local economy expected soon.

6:13 p.m. Vietnam has banned all foreign visitors arriving directly from anywhere in mainland China, with immediate effect.

5:49 p.m. Cathay Pacific Airways is asking all of its 27,000 employees to take unpaid leave for three weeks, CEO Augustus Tang told staff on Wednesday.

5 p.m. Taiwan announced that, starting on Thursday, travelers who have been to China, Hong Kong or Macao will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Fines for violations will range from NT$10,000 to NT$150,000 ($300 to $5,000).

4:30 p.m. Malaysia's health ministry announced that a father and his 9-year-old son who were among those brought home from Wuhan on Tuesday have contracted the virus, bringing the number of Malaysians with the virus to three.

4:07 p.m. The Bank of Thailand cut its policy rate to a record low of 1% in an effort to cushion the country's tourism-led economy from the spreading epidemic.

3 p.m. The Philippine health department confirmed the country's third coronavirus case, a 60-year-old female Chinese national from Wuhan who arrived in the Philippines last month via Hong Kong. She visited the central Philippine islands of Cebu and Bohol.

2:30 p.m. LG Electronics said it will not take part in the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona due to concerns of the virus. Some companies face tough decisions regarding their participation in the world's largest mobile technology event.

2:20 p.m. Canada's Bombardier, U.S. business jet maker Gulfstream Aerospace and China's COMAC are among the manufacturers that have withdrawn from next week's Singapore Airshow, Asia's largest aerospace exhibition, due to coronavirus concerns.

1 p.m. Japan plans to send a fourth chartered flight to Wuhan on Thursday to bring back about 200 Japanese people, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said.

11:30 a.m. South Korea has confirmed two more cases, raising its total number to 18. One of them had traveled to Singapore for a conference from Jan. 18 to Jan. 24. Taiwan added one confirmed case, raising its total to 11. The island's latest patient was a passenger on the charter flight that brought Taiwanese back from Wuhan late Monday night.

10:30 a.m. United Airlines said it will suspend all flights to and from Hong Kong, meaning no U.S. carrier will have passenger service to the city after this week. The airline said it would suspend flights through Feb. 20, citing a drop in demand.

9 a.m. The mainland China death toll increased by 65 from Tuesday, to 490, all in Hubei Province. The number of confirmed cases shot up by 3,887, a record, to 24,324.

8:32 a.m. Japan's health ministry said 10 people on a cruise liner docked off the port of Yokohama have tested positive for the coronavirus.

7:30 a.m. Walt Disney Co. said it expects its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong to be shut for two months, likely resulting in a roughly $175 million hit to operating income this quarter.

6:30 a.m. New York stocks surged as investors grew optimistic about China's efforts to minimize the economic impact from the coronavirus epidemic, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 407.82 points, or 1.44%, to 28,807.63. The S&P 500 gained 48.67 points, or 1.5%, to 3,297.59.

4:47 a.m. The coronavirus outbreak is hitting China's retail sector hard, with brick-and-mortar stores seeing a plunge in customer traffic and online vendors struggling to fill a flood of orders from consumers scared to venture outside.

2:45 a.m. Person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus has been documented in 27 cases in nine countries outside of China so far, WHO officials said Tuesday.

1:21 a.m. China's foreign ministry offered appreciation on Tuesday for the outpouring of support from Japan amid the recent outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

Tuesday, February 4

10:50 p.m. A plane carrying 138 Thais evacuated from Wuhan arrived at U-Tapao airport in eastern Rayong Province late on Tuesday. All evacuees were healthy, according to the country's public health minister.

10:22 p.m. Russia is setting up a quarantine area in Siberia, where evacuees from Hubei Province will be held for observation for 14 days.

7:44 p.m. The U.K. told its citizens to leave China in a travel advisory update on Tuesday. Essential staff at the British Embassy will remain.

7:41 p.m. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways will cut services with mainland China by 90% during the next two months after an earlier decision to halve flights. The move represents a 30% reduction in the airline's business.

7:31 p.m. Singapore's ministry of health has confirmed six additional coronavirus cases in the city-state, bringing the total to 24. Four of these involve human-to-human transmission, the first such cases in Singapore.

6:14 p.m. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Thailand has risen to 25, up from 19 on Monday. Of the six new cases, four are Thais. Two of the Thais were drivers for Chinese passengers, and the other two are a husband and wife who had traveled to Japan recently.

6 p.m. Cathay Dragon, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, canceled flights to and from Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Sanya and Haikou in mainland China immediately through at least March 28. But the carrier said a Haikou flight scheduled for Feb. 8 will go ahead. Flights to and from Guangzhou and Chongqing also will be canceled from Wednesday until at least March 28. The company said it would help affected passengers with alternative arrangements.

5:47 p.m. Thailand's cabinet has approved measures to support the tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. These include soft loans offered by state-owned banks, extending the due date for income tax payments, and reducing the excise tax on jet fuel.

4:54 p.m. Hyundai Motor announced it is suspending production at plants in South Korea due to disruptions in the supply of parts resulting from the coronavirus outbreak in China. The duration of the suspensions will vary depending on each production line.

4:44 p.m. Ten Chinese exhibitors have withdrawn participation in next week's Singapore Airshow, according to the event organizer. This follows the city-state denying entry to travelers from China.

4:25 p.m. All Nippon Airways said it will suspend flights between Beijing and Narita Airport starting Feb. 10, in addition to all flights between Wuhan and Narita. The airline also will halve its weekly round trips between Beijing and Tokyo's Haneda Airport to seven. Both measures will remain in effect until March 29.

3:15 p.m. Taiwan on Friday began denying entry to all foreign nationals who arrive having spent time in China during the preceding 14 days, Taiwan's foreign ministry said. Hong Kong and Macao are excepted.

3:13 p.m. Nissan Motor announced it will delay the planned restart of production at its six plants in China with local partner Dongfeng Motor Group. The Japanese automaker plans to restart its four Chinese plants not in Hubei Province sometime after Feb. 10, and two plants in Hubei sometime after Feb. 14. The previous target date was sometime after Feb. 5.

2:22 p.m. Macao will shut down all casinos and suspend related entertainment activities for at least half a month. The measures were announced after a worker at a casino compound tested positive for coronavirus, the city's chief executive, Ho Iat-seng, said at a news conference.

11:30 a.m. A 39-year-old man who had been diagnosed with the virus became Hong Kong's first reported casualty.

8 a.m. Chinese authorities raised the death toll by 64, to 425, and said the number of confirmed infections was at 20,438.

7:28 a.m. Goldman Sachs said the epidemic will likely reduce first-quarter growth in Chinese gross domestic product by 1.6 percentage points in year-over-year terms. Oxford Economics cut its forecast by more than 2 points.

7:22 a.m. Hubei Province reported 64 new deaths from the outbreak on Monday, according to Chinese state media.

6:51 a.m. The head of the WHO criticized excessive restrictions on Chinese travel. There is no need for measures that "unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade," he said, while also praising Beijing for its containment efforts.

6:10 a.m. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told local media that he will visit Wuhan if China agrees, bucking the trend of travel curbs by other countries. In a similar move showing support for Beijing, Pakistan decided to resume flights to and from China, according to AFP.

4:10 a.m. Japan's big retailers reported a heavy hit to sales over the Lunar New Year holidays as the new coronavirus slows the flow of big-spending tourists from China.

3 a.m. The Chinese Communist Party has acknowledged "shortcomings" in its response to the coronavirus and has punished hundreds of local officials.

2:40 a.m. All Canadians evacuated from a flu-hit Chinese region will be placed in quarantine for 14 days once they arrive at a military base in the province of Ontario, according to the health minister.

2:30 a.m. China is encouraging manufacturers of masks and similar products to purchase additional equipment to resolve a supply shortage, promising to buy back the extra equipment later.

2:20 a.m. The U.S. confirmed the second person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 11.

2:15 a.m. An international team of experts led by the WHO could go to China as early as this week to investigate the coronavirus outbreak, as agreed between the WHO chief and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a WHO spokesman said. Reuters quoted a U.S. health official as saying talks are under way for American medical experts to take part in the team.

00:30 a.m. Japan quarantined a cruise ship that arrived at a port in Yokohama after an elderly male passenger on the vessel was found infected with a new coronavirus when he disembarked in Hong Kong late last month, the health ministry said.

Monday, February 3

11:45 p.m. Saudi Arabia is planning a major, short-term oil production cut to cope with the fallout of China's coronavirus outbreak, The Wall Street Journal reported.

11:30 p.m. Austrian Airlines said it will halt all flights to China until the end of February. Germany's Lufthansa said flights to Beijing and Shanghai will be suspended until Feb. 28, while those to Nanjing, Shenyang and Qingdao will be suspended until March 28. The United Arab Emirates said it will cease all flights with China starting Wednesday, excluding those to Beijing.

10:40 p.m. Vietnam said it will quarantine citizens and others arriving from China's Hubei Province at government facilities. Those who have been in other parts of China during the past 14 days will be isolated and placed under supervision at home or at designated facilities.

8 p.m. Turkey said it will halt all flights to China through the end of February.

A shopping mall in Taipei on Jan. 31: Taiwan has arranged to fly about 200 people out of China's Hubei Province.   © AP

7:01 p.m. Taiwan's education ministry said all universities and colleges on the island will begin a new semester after Feb. 25. The ministry also said on Sunday that all primary and high schools will have an extended winter break until Feb. 25, from Feb. 11.

5:50 p.m. A new 1,000-bed hospital built in Wuhan in just 10 days opened to receive patients suffering from coronavirus, according to state media. A second such facility, with 1,500 beds, is to open in the city later in the week.

5:10 p.m. The Vietnamese government has told schools to extend their holidays by another week, to Feb. 10, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

5 p.m. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the country refused entry over the weekend to eight foreigners who had recently been in China's Hubei Province.

4:31 p.m. China's gross domestic product growth will slow to 5.4% this year due to the virus, research specialist Oxford Economics predicts, trimming its previous forecast for a 6% expansion. It expects most of the impact to be felt in the first quarter, with activity rebounding later.

3:30 p.m. Huawei Technologies said it has resumed normal production of consumer devices, carrier equipment and other products. Most of this production was in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.

3:07 p.m. Some 200 Taiwanese currently in Hubei Province will return to Taiwan aboard a charter flight operated by China Eastern that is to take off at 7:50 p.m. and land a little more than two hours later at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 40 km west of Taipei, according to state-owned Central News Agency, citing Wuhan Taiwanese Business Association Chairman.

10:38 a.m. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 8.72%, or 259.8303 points, to 2,716.6978.

9:07 a.m. China's National Health Commission reported the death toll in China had reached 361, surpassing the number of mainland deaths from SARS in 2002-2003, as of the end of Sunday, up by 57 from the previous day. There were 2,829 new confirmed infections, bringing the cumulative total to 17,205.

9:06 a.m. Tokyo stocks fell sharply at the opening, with the Nikkei stock index down 1.83%, or 424.46 points, to 22,780.72.

7:27 a.m. Hubei Province reported 56 new deaths from the outbreak on Sunday, according to the local health commission.

6:56 a.m. Australia is evacuating 270 nationals on a chartered Qantas flight Monday morning from Wuhan. Some 600 Australians were registered in the Hubei region as of last week.

5:35 a.m. The Group of Seven industrialized economies will seek a unified approach in tackling the fast-spreading virus, Germany's health minister said on Sunday. Germany reported that it had 10 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

5:19 a.m. Hospital workers in Hong Kong have decided to go on strike starting Monday to pressure the city into sealing the border with mainland China as a step against the new coronavirus.

4:30 a.m. Russian Railways said it is suspending passenger trains to China as of midnight Monday until further notice, citing the coronavirus epidemic.

4 a.m. Chinese equities markets are poised for their weakest Lunar New Year start in at least two decades when they return Monday from a break extended to contain the new coronavirus.

3:32 a.m. The widening coronavirus outbreak is expected to dampen world economic growth at least briefly, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned.

2:08 a.m. China has not yet accepted a U.S. offer to help contain the epidemic, the White House national security adviser told an American news program Sunday. "We want to help our Chinese colleagues if we can, and ... we've made the offer and we'll ... see if they accept the offer," Robert O'Brien said in a CBS interview on "Face the Nation."

Sunday, February 2

11:50 p.m. A plane repatriating 250 Europeans from Wuhan landed at a military base in southern France on Sunday. In addition to about 65 French nationals, the plane carried passengers from several dozen countries, including the Czech Republic, Sweden and the U.K.

10:43 p.m. Russia will evacuate its citizens from China using five military airplanes, according to the Defense Ministry. Around 130 Russians were prepared to leave Hubei Province, the Tass news agency reported.

7:02 p.m. Doctors in Thailand say a coronavirus patient has markedly improved after being treated with HIV and flu antivirals.

6:18 p.m. China's central bank said it will inject 1.2 trillion yuan ($173.8 billion) of liquidity into the markets via reverse repo operations Monday, as the country prepares to reopen its stock markets amid the outbreak.

6:10 p.m. Indonesia's foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, said the country will temporarily halt flights to and from mainland China starting Wednesday and bar visitors who have been in China for 14 days from entering or transiting in Indonesia.

3:50 p.m. South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said that the country will bar entry by foreigners who have visited Hubei Province, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

Medical officers spray Indonesian nationals with antiseptic as they arrive from Wuhan, China, at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Indonesia, on Feb. 2.    © Antara Foto/Reuters

2:30 p.m. Italy has suspended flights to and from mainland China and Taiwan. Some direct flights have already been canceled. China Airlines, Taiwan's biggest carrier, said it is having to cancel its thrice-weekly Taipei-Rome direct flight through April 28. Meanwhile, Taipei is asking its diplomats to talk to governments where Taiwanese airlines fly to ensure more flights are not cut off due to the island's precarious international position.

1:18 p.m. India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the second positive case has been reported in the southern state of Kerala. The patient has a history of travel to China, according to the ministry.

12:53 p.m. New Zealand announced it would bar the entry of all foreign nationals arriving from mainland China, starting Monday.

12:07 p.m. The Philippines' Health Department said Sunday that the country's second confirmed patient died the day before. This marked the first known death outside China, according to the World Health Organization.

10:24 a.m. The death toll in China had reached 304 as of the end of Saturday, up by 45 from the previous day, according to state broadcaster CCTV, citing the National Health Commission. There were 2,590 new confirmed infections, bringing the cumulative total to 14,380.

10:15 a.m. The United Arab Emirates' state-run WAM news agency reported Saturday night that the virus has been detected in a man arriving from Wuhan. Total cases in the country rose to five.

5:27 a.m. Russia said it was suspending visa-free travel for tourists to and from China from Sunday over the coronavirus, Reuters reported. Russia will also temporarily stop accepting and issuing documents for work visas to Chinese nationals.

1:07 a.m. The Japanese Embassy in Beijing confirmed that Japan is to send its fourth evacuation plane to China later this week, for around 140 Japanese and Chinese spouses in Hubei Province hoping to return to Japan.

12:17 a.m. Japan confirmed an additional three cases among evacuees from Wuhan, including one who initially tested negative, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Saturday, bringing the country's total cases to 20.

A worker in a protective suit serves customers at a pharmacy in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 1.   © Reuters

Saturday, February 1

10:47 p.m. The Hubei provincial government has extended the Lunar New Year holiday break to Feb. 13, according to a local newspaper.

8:12 p.m. Vietnam declared a public health emergency over the epidemic and said it would stop all flights to and from China. The government said it would also stop issuing visas for foreign visitors who had been in China in the past two weeks.

5:27 p.m. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has asked the European Union to facilitate urgent procurement of medical supplies, Reuters reported.

7:29 p.m. Uzbekistan said it has instructed the state airline to suspend regular flights to and from China.

4:21 p.m. Apple said it has decided to shut down all its official stores in mainland China until Feb. 9.

4:13 p.m. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country will deny entry to all foreign nationals traveling from mainland China from Saturday.

3:05 p.m. The U.K. government announced the withdrawal of some embassy and consulate staffers in China over the coronavirus.

12:51 p.m. Australia's Qantas Airways said it was suspending direct flights to mainland China from Feb. 9.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar takes questions from reporters at the White House after declaring a public health emergency over the new coronavirus Jan. 31.   © Reuters

9:48 a.m. China's deaths from the outbreak had totaled 259 by the end of Friday, an increase of 46, according to the National Health Commission.

7:30 a.m. Spain confirmed its first case of the coronavirus late Friday, with the Health Ministry identifying a man diagnosed on a remote island in the Canaries.

5:40 a.m. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declares the outbreak a public health emergency in the country and says Washington will deny entry to foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the past 14 days. Immediate family members of U.S. citizens will be exempt.

2:50 a.m. Russia reported its first two cases Friday. It will halt all direct flights to China from 9 p.m. GMT, except for those operated by national airline Aeroflot, according to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova.

For more updates in the previous week, see also the previous week's latest updates.

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