Via Zerohedge

Update (0727ET): Some new headlines are hitting out of Greece, noting that 14 new cases have been confirmed, bringing the total confirmed to 45.


Singapore has confirmed 13 new cases, its largest daily increase yet.


According to Channel News Asia, an English-language, Singapore-based media org, this brings the total number of cases in the city-state to 130 since its first case was confirmed on Jan. 23. Out of the new cases, nine are linked to the cluster involving a private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong on Feb 15. One patient is a SingTel employee, another is a Singapore Airlines cabin crew member, which the government is counting as an ‘imported’ case.

Another patient is a permanent resident who recently traveled to Germany and is believed to have contracted it there. The last case was in the same ward as an earlier patient.

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Update (0710ET): CNBC’s Eunice Yoon reports that Chinese officials have announced that they will have a vaccine ready by April.

Yoon also highlighted a story in China’s state media calling out local governments for “faking” data like electricity usage to make it seem like China’s economy is more active than it is, something that we’ve also dawn attention to.

As we said at the time: Why must the owner of the empty factory pretend the factory is operating? Because “Higher ups are watching the electricity numbers.” And why are higher ups watching the electricity numbers? Because they know that not only the rest of the world is also watching these numbers, but so is China’s population. 

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It only took three months. In that time, the novel coronavirus has spread from a wet market (or, possibly, a specialized laboratory) in Wuhan, China to every continent except Antarctica. Thanks in large part to the EU’s unwillingness to restrict free movement within the Schengen Area, the virus has infected practically every state in Europe. Now that Serbia has confirmed its first case, as of Friday morning New York Time, Slovakia is the only remaining state in Europe that is virus-free. Even Vatican City, Andorra, San Marino and Luxembourg have reported at least one case.

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Courtesy of WaPo

At this point, the only continents that haven’t reported a pervasive spread of the virus are South America and Africa. But we suspect that will change in the coming days and weeks, once the virus has been given time to incubate. Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases is on the cusp of topping 100,000. At last count, we were at 98,704 cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Back in the US, health officials in Washington State, Oregon and California have all identified cases involving individuals who haven’t recently traveled, as we reported yesterday. These cases are a sign of “community spread” to a degree that officials have yet to truly ascertain. So far, the Trump administration has imposed travel restrictions directed at countries with the worst outbreaks, including China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. The CDC has also warned travelers against visiting Japan right now.

Officials announced the country’s 13th virus-linked death late Thursday and several states announced their first “presumptive” positives, including Maryland, which joined California, Florida and Washington in declaring states of emergency, or official public health emergencies (as in Fla.).

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday pledged federal aid to Washington State as all but one death has so far been recorded in the state (the other is the dead patient in California linked to the ‘Grand Princess’). 11 of the deaths have been recorded at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, near a nursing home where more than 10 patients and employees have already been confirmed infected.

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In addition to the two new deaths announced late Thursday, five new cases were confirmed in the state, four of them among nursing home residents. The fifth case was reported in Snohomish County, the neighboring county that is also a part of suburban Seattle, and has recorded a handful of cases.

Washington’s death toll from the coronavirus reached 13 on Thursday, driven by an outbreak at a nursing home in the Seattle suburbs, and the state’s overall number of infections rose to 75, according to CNN.

Courtesy of WaPo

As the virus spreads across a Jewish community in New York’s Westchester County, Rabbi Reuven Fink, the rabbi at the Young Israel synagogue and allegedly the rabbi of Lawrence Garbuz, the New Rochelle lawyer who has become the ‘patient zero’ of Westchester County, has also been infected.

According to the city department of health, 2,773 people – most of whom have recently returned from 1 of five countries – are under voluntary quarantine in the city, per the NYT.

But the virus’s potential reach was underscored by a much larger number: The City Department of Health is keeping tabs on 2,773 New Yorkers currently in home isolation, most of them in self-quarantine, city officials said on Thursday.

Most of those under self-quarantine have recently returned from the five countries where the outbreak has been most severe: China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan, the New York City health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, said.

The two new patients confirmed in NYC are hospitalized and said to be ‘critically ill’.

In South Korea, the site of the worst outbreak outside China, officials confirmed another 827 in two separate batches cases so far on Friday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 6,593. The Foreign Ministry publicly rebuked Japan for imposing a two-week mandatory quarantine for visitors from South Korea, and in apparent retaliation, the office has halted visa waivers for the Japanese in what the NYT described as “tit for tat” retaliation over the 14-day quarantine and other restrictions on travelers imposed by Japan.

Offer a classic example of poetic justice, ten leaders of the cult cited as the ground-zero for the outbreak in South Korea – and who may soon face murder investigations for failing to take steps to contain the virus – have tested positive for the virus.

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Late Thursday, mainland China reported 143 new cases of coronavirus and 30 deaths for Thursday. On Wednesday, they reported 149 additional cases and 31 additional deaths on March 4, to bring the total cases in China to 80,552 and death toll to 3,042.

As schools remain shut across Japan, Chiba Prefecture has reported two more cases, both men, according to Kyodo.

Though the Pope has reportedly been tested for the coronavirus and confirmed negative, Vatican City, which has an official population of only 1,000 people, has reported its 1st case. Spokesman Matteo Bruni said the discovery was made on Thursday and that outpatient services in Vatican clinics had been suspended to sanitize the areas.

More grim news: Officials in the Netherlands have confirmed their first coronavirus-linked death.

Microsoft, Adidas and Lockheed Martin have joined Amazon, Facebook, Samsung, BMW and dozens of companies around the world that have reported cases among employees. In South Korea, Samsung has suspended operations at its smartphone factory in the small southeastern city of Gumi once again on Friday after another worker tested positive for coronavirus, a spokeswoman said. So far, six workers at the factory complex, where the company makes its top-of-the-line G20 smartphones and the Z Flip foldable phone, have been infected by the virus, prompting several temporary shutdowns.

For the second week in a row, the virus has disrupted Friday prayers across the Middle East. Iran remains the epicenter of the largest outbreak in the region. Some 60,000 mosques were closed on Friday. Iran reported another 1,234 cases on Friday, bringing its total to 4,747, along with 107 deaths according to the official death toll (with ‘unofficial’ reports claiming more than 1,000 deaths).

In India, the number of confirmed cases rose to 31 on Friday as schools were ordered closed across the capital of Delhi after the first case in the city was confirmed on Tuesday. The virus is forcing many Indians to miss out on Holi, one of India’s most important holidays.

Interestingly enough, even as the Communist Party pushed remarks by a professional epidemiologist on Friday who said the number of new cases reported in Wuhan would soon fall to zero, western media shared a viral video of residents of the city shouting complaints at visiting government officials below.

“Everything is fake!” shouted one resident, in a video clip that was shared on social media by People’s Daily, a state-run newspaper, which covered the government’s response to the heckling.