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- Total confirmed cases: More than 75,200
- Total deaths: At least 2,007
2:19 pm: Tyson Foods sees business slow in China due to outbreak
Tyson Foods’ CEO said at a conference that the company has seen Chinese ports backed up as a result of the virus, slowing down the import of its U.S. meat products. Shares of the world’s second-largest meat processor fell 1% in afternoon trading on the comments. “There’s a definite need within the country to fulfill customer demand, to feed the people and we are continuing to ship product,” Tyson CEO Noel White said. In the next few years, Tyson expects to see higher demand as a result of African swine fever, which has hit China’s pork supply and global pork prices. Beijing lifted a years-long ban on importing U.S. poultry meat in November.
1:53 pm: The market continues to take outbreak in stride
1:12 pm: Diamond Princess cruise passengers disembark quarantined ship in Japan
Hundreds of passengers trundled off a cruise ship in Japan after being held on board in quarantine for more than two weeks, as criticism mounted of Japan’s handling of the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside China. More than 620 passengers and crew became infected with the virus over the course of the quarantine, raising questions about whether it helped or hurt efforts to contain the outbreak. The Diamond Princess has been quarantined at a dock at Yokohama near Tokyo since Feb. 3, initially with 3,700 people aboard. Passengers who test negative and show no symptoms are free to leave. Around 500 were expected to disembark on Wednesday, with the rest of those eligible leaving over the next two days. Confirmed cases were to be sent to hospital, while those who shared cabins with infected passengers may still be kept on board. The United States flew more than 300 passengers to air bases in California and Texas this week. — Reuters
A bus leaves the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship at a port Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. The U.S. says Americans aboard a quarantined ship will be flown back home on a chartered flight Sunday, but that they will face another two-week quarantine.
Jae C. Hong | AP Photo
12:49 pm: Fed’s Kashkari warns US could feel economic impact from persistent outbreak
Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari warned the U.S. would likely feel economic effects if the coronavirus continues to plague Asian commerce. Speaking at a symposium in Mankato, Minnesota, Kashkari explained the impact to Asia could bleed into the U.S. if the outbreak persists. “China’s economy is a big engine of the world economy. So that will affect all of us,” he said. “It’s unlikely that if this continues that we’re going to be completely immune from the economic effects of a slowdown in Asia.” — Franck
People wearing face masks move packs of vegetables at a wholesale market for agricultural products, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 19, 2020.
Tingshu Wang | Reuters
12:08 pm: China reportedly plans to take over HNA Group and sell its airline assets
China plans to take over HNA Group and sell off its airline assets, as the coronavirus outbreak hits the Chinese conglomerate’s ability to meet financial obligations, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The government of Hainan, the southern province where HNA is based, is in talks to take control of the conglomerate, the report said. HNA did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on the Bloomberg report. — Higgins-Dunn
11:05 am: Iran reports two deaths
Two Iranians have died in the
hospital after testing positive for the new coronavirus in the holy Shi’ite city of Qom, the head of the city’s University of Medical Sciences told Mehr news agency on Wednesday. “Two Iranians, who tested positive earlier today for new coronavirus, died of respiratory illness,” the official told Mehr. Iran’s health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur confirmed their death on Twitter. Iran confirmed earlier in the day its first two cases of the virus, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, shortly after reports that preliminary tests on the two had come back positive.The health ministry said earlier that the patients had been put in isolation. — Reuters
10:04 am: IMF chief calls outbreak the ‘most pressing uncertainty’ for global economy
International Monetary Fund head Kristalina Georgieva said the COVID-19 outbreak is the “most pressing uncertainty” for the global economy. The new coronavirus has already slowed China’s economic growth for the year — just how much depends on how well world leaders can contain the fast-spreading outbreak, she said in a blog post. “There are a number of scenarios, depending on how quickly the spread of the virus is contained,” she said. If it’s contained quickly, she said, China’s overall 2020 GDP growth will be hurt, but just slightly and cross-border spillover would remain minimal. “However, a long-lasting and more severe outbreak would result in a sharper and more protracted growth slowdown in China. Its global impact would be amplified through more substantial supply chain disruptions and a more persistent drop in investor confidence, especially if the epidemic spreads beyond China.” — Feuer
9:15 am: Plugable Technologies warns the worst of its supply disruption won’t hit for months
The CEO and founder of Plugable Technologies, which sells USB, Bluetooth and power devices and partners with 15 factories in China, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” he is expecting the virus to disrupt his supply chain during March and April the most because securing any extra inventory will take at least two months to move through the supply chain. CEO Bernie Thompson said he has also had trouble with factories outside China since it only takes one part built in the country to disrupt the entire supply chain, especially in the electronics industry. —Higgins-Dunn
9:01 am: Virus hits small business owners who import products from China
As coronavirus spreads around the world, small business owners who import from China are on edge. CNBC spoke with Kyle Kirshner, who has been doing business in China for several years. He knew to stock up on supplies ahead of the Lunar New Year, but prolonged factory shutdowns threatened his business and that of others who import products from China. Kirshner owns Kyndley, which sells outdoor products via Amazon and imports 90% of its goods from China. He expects his supply will be impacted within a month if things don’t turn around. And if he doesn’t have product to list on Amazon, his rankings may drop and hurt sales. — Rogers
8 am: China expels three WSJ journalists
China has revoked the press credentials of three journalists from The Wall Street Journal after the newspaper declined to apologize for a column that called China the “real sick man of Asia,” China’s foreign ministry said. Spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily briefing that Beijing made several representations to the paper over the column, which China criticized as racist and denigrating its efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic, but that the paper had failed to apologize or investigate those responsible. Deputy Bureau Chief Josh Chin and reporter Chao Deng, both U.S. nationals, as well as reporter Philip Wen, an Australian national, have been ordered to leave the country within five days, the WSJ reported. — Feuer
7:30 am: Adidas reports 85% drop in China business activity
German sportswear maker Adidas said business in China dropped by about 85% year on year as the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in store closures and fewer customers visiting the remaining outlets. Adidas said it had seen lower traffic, mainly in Japan and South Korea, but added that it had not yet registered any major business impact beyond Greater China. “As the situation keeps evolving on a daily basis, the magnitude of the overall impact on our business for the full-year 2020 cannot be quantified reliably at this point in time,” it said. — Reuters
A masked man guards at the entrance to a village as a measure to contain the COVID-19 spread in Zhangye in northwest China’s Gansu province Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.
Barcroft Media | Getty Images
6:30 am: Iran says two people have tested positive for coronavirus
Iranian authorities reported two suspected cases of the coronavirus, according to the country’s semi-official ISNA news agency. A health ministry spokHesperson said both cases were in the city of Qom and the patients had been put into isolation. “The next stages of testing are underway and the final results of these tests will be released to the public once they have been determined,” Kiyanoush Jahanpour, a spokesperson at Iran’s health ministry, said in a statement, ISNA reported. Iran has not previously confirmed any cases of the coronavirus. — Meredith
5:40 am: Japan says 79 more people have tested positive for coronavirus on Diamond Princess cruise ship
Japan confirmed 79 new cases aboard the Diamond Princess cruise liner, taking the total number of on-board infections to 621. Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, citing the health ministry, said 68 of the 79 people with COVID-19 didn’t have any symptoms. Earlier, passengers and crew members on board the quarantined cruise ship, who were not taking government repatriation flights, started the process of disembarking. There may be more positive test results as people need certificates indicating they tested negative for the virus before they can leave. — Meredith
Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Iran says two test positive for virus, death toll tops 2,000.
— Reuters and CNBC’s Thomas Franck, Noah Higgins-Dunn, Kate Rogers, Sam Meredith contributed to this report.