On Wednesday, the coronavirus outbreak reached a new milestone when the number of new cases confirmed in the world ex-China finally surpassed the number being confirmed on the mainland. Two days later, and we’re almost at the point where the number of Thursday new cases confirmed by Iran was roughly half the total coming out of Wuhan.
As of Friday morning, the number of confirmed cases worldwide had passed 83,000, while the number of deaths topped 2,800.
Since yesterday, we we first noted this chart, the number of cases outside China has soared, particularly in South Korea and across Europe, as the number of new cases in mainland China (but outside Wuhan) dropped into the single digits.
Of course, China still had nearly two months of lead time over the rest of the world, and it has been home to the bulk of cases so far.
Every Brooklyn hipster who’s been living in blissful ignorance of the pandemic unfolding all around them – dismissing every new warning as ‘racist right-wing alarmism’ – is about to start paying attention: The dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong has been found to carry a “low level” of the deadly virus, according to a statement from the region’s government.
According to the New York Post, researchers tested the dog’s nasal cavities and swabbed its mouth on Wednesday, and soon discovered that a test returned a “weak positive” for the samples.
“At present, the [Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department] does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people,” Hong Kong’s government said in a press release.
Don’t worry, dog lovers: The animal is being quarantined in a animal shelter holding no other animals. The pooch will remain under quarantine until it tests negative. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be showing symptoms.
South Korea has confirmed an additional 571 cases of the novel coronavirus so far on Friday, bringing its total to 2,337, making it the largest outbreak outside of mainland China.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with more than 200 million people, reported the first case in Sub-Saharan Africa late Thursday night (ET). On Friday, Nigerian Health Minister Osagie Ehanire told reporters in Lagos that his government has contacted the airline on which the country’s ‘patient zero’ traveled to try and trace people he came in contact with. Lagos Health Commissioner Akin Abayomi said the patient traveled to Nigeria on Turkish Airlines flight.
“We are not panicking,” Ehanire says. “We are not banning airlines. We have not seen the need. We are also not profiling and stigmatizing.”
Perhaps the most shocking development overnight was the surge of new cases in Germany, confirming the dire warnings of health officials. Europe’s largest economy has now quarantined about 1,000 people and affirmed “about 60” cases of coronavirus across the country.
Mexico’s streak of being the only country in North America to have rebuffed the coronavirus is about to end: The country just reported its first preliminary positive test on Friday morning, according to Bloomberg.
as the number of confirmed cases in Switzerland slowly grows, one of the most important events for the global auto industry, the Geneva International Motor Show, has been canceled now that Swiss authorities have banned major public events.
In Iran, authorities have nearly caught up to a lawmaker’s warning about 50 deaths in the city of Qom earlier this week: The Islamic Republic reported 143 new cases overnight, raising the countrywide total to 388. It also reported 8 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 34.
“Iran expects an upward trajectory in confirmed coronavirus cases in the next few days,” the health minister said.
Singapore has become the latest country to crack down on the South Korean Christian cult at the center of that country’s outbreak.
German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said on Friday that the central bank’s official forecasts for 2020 growth were probably a little too optimistic, given the supply-side shock rocking Europe’s export powerhouse. Authorities in Germany’s Heinsberg, which is situated near the Dutch border, asked people who came into contact with a married couple with the disease to stay at home.
An update on the hotel in Tenerife where an Italian doctor was diagnosed with the virus and hundreds of guests have been quarantined: The first 9 guests of about 700 who have been isolated since Tuesday have been allowed to leave.
In Italy, cases soared to 650 on Thursday from 400 a day earlier, bringing the European total to more than 700. France has confirmed another 20 cases, according to the Washington Post, while Charles de Gaulle airport is suspected as a source.
Offering a picture of political unity to millions of terrified South Koreans, President Moon Jae-in joined with the leaders of rival parties to speak about the necessity for “bold and swift extraordinary measures,” including some deficit-widening fiscal stimulus, to combat the outbreak and revitalize economy, Yonhap News reported, citing a joint statement from South Korea’s parties. Meanwhile, in Japan, the Northern Island of Hokkaido has declared a “State of Emergency” following an outbreak.
While PM Shinzo Abe tries to quell speculation about the possible cancellation of the Olympics, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi said Friday that President Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to Tokyo would go ahead as planned.
Heading into the weekend, stock futures in the US are in the red once again as virtually nobody seems to want to be caught holding risk moving into the weekend.