A Chinese man wears a protective mask as he walks by a propaganda banner on February 20, 2020 in Beijing, China.
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All times below are in Beijing time.
4:55 pm: Italian stocks plunge 4% as coronavirus shuts down towns, schools and soccer matches
Italian stocks plunged in early trade Monday morning, as the euro zone’s third-largest economy grappled with the largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia.
European markets screeched lower in early deals with the FTSE MIB index trading 990 points down at 23,808, or 4% lower. Shares of Italian banks fell sharply while the stock of Juventus soccer club was briefly halted after falling 11%.
There are widespread concerns over the spread of the virus in northern Italy; the country now has 152 confirmed cases and four deaths due to the virus as of Monday morning, with a sharp spike in cases over the weekend. — Holly Ellyatt
4:45 pm: South Korea confirms 70 further cases of coronavirus, total exceeds 830
South Korea has confirmed an additional 70 cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 833.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that most of the new cases came from the southeastern city of Daegu.
An earlier briefing reported a further 161 people had contracted the deadly flu-like virus. (See 9:24 a.m. update).
It means the country has reportedly registered a record daily spike of the coronavirus, with 231 additional cases confirmed on Monday. — Meredith
4:05 pm: North Korea reportedly quarantines 380 foreigners in bid to prevent coronavirus outbreak
North Korea has reportedly quarantined 380 foreigners as part of efforts to prevent the coronavirus outbreak.
The majority of those quarantined are thought to be diplomats stationed in the capital city of Pyongyang, Yonhap news agency reported Monday, citing state media in North Korea.
It was not immediately clear how long the quarantine period would last, while the nationalities of those in isolation have not yet been revealed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously said it has had no indication of COVID-19 having spread to North Korea. — Meredith
In this photo taken on February 6, 2020, a worker of the Songyo Knitwear Factory in Pyongyang produces masks for protection against the new coronavirus.
KIM WON-JIN | AFP via Getty Images
3:27 pm: China’s largest industrial businesses resume work gradually
Work is picking up in China’s top three exporting provinces, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
For industrial enterprises greater than a certain scale, the resumption of work has topped 90% in Zhejiang province, and more than 70% in Guangdong and Jiangsu, officials said. That refers to enterprises with annual revenue of at least 20 million yuan ($2.86 million) from their primary business operations. Nationwide, coal mine production is around 76%, food processing at 70%, and railcar load has recovered to about 95% to pre-Lunar New Year holiday levels, the commission said. Iron and steel production is about 67% and that of nonferrous metals has resumed at a rate of around 86%.
Some companies, especially medium and small businesses, have encountered great difficulties in their production and operations due to the impact of the virus, according to NDRC Party Secretary Cong Liang. He maintained that the virus’ effect on China’s economy is short-term. Due to these pressures on growth, Human Resources and Social Security Assistant Minister You Jun said the impact on employment is “not small,” and that agriculture workers and college graduates will face greater difficulties. — Cheng
1:25 pm: Six Chinese provinces lower coronavirus emergency response level
China’s largest province by exports, Guangdong, and the coal-producing province of Shanxi have lowered their emergency response level to two, while Gansu, Yunnan, Guizhou and Liaoning each lowered theirs to level three.
The downgrade allows local authorities to respond to region-specific needs, and follows a decrease in newly confirmed cases outside Hubei province, the epicenter of the disease. Out of 398 such cases reported for Sunday, 11 came from provinces other than Hubei, according to China’s National Health Commission.
The lowered response level follows greater emphasis from the central government on maintaining economic growth. Chinese President Xi Jinping said Sunday that the virus is “the most difficult to contain in the country since the founding of the People’s Republic of China” and “will inevitably deal a relatively big blow” to the country’s economy. He also said each region should adopt measures to resume work and production based on the local level of health risks, according to an English-language report from state news agency Xinhua. — Wu
12:36 pm: South Korean airlines sell off
Shares of Korean Air and Asiana Airlines fell more than 5% each following a spike in the number of confirmed cases in South Korea. As the total number of reported infections in the country jumped to more than 700, both airlines took steps to cancel flights to the city of Daegu, where many of the new cases have been detected.
Asiana Airlines suspended flights between Daegu and Jeju until Mar. 9 (see 10:45 am update). Reuters reported that Korean Air also halted all flights to the city until Mar. 28. Low-cost carrier Air Busan sold off 3.89%. — Roy Choudhury
10:58 am: China reports 150 additional deaths
China’s National Health Commission reported an additional 150 deaths and 409 new confirmed cases as of Feb. 23. Of the 409 new cases, 398 came from Hubei province, whereas only 11 were reported in the rest of mainland China. That brought the nationwide tally of total infections to 77,150 confirmed cases and 2,592 deaths.
The Hubei Provincial Health Committee reported 149 additional deaths in the province, including 131 in Wuhan, where the pneumonia-like virus was first detected. As of Feb. 23, Hubei province has reported a total of 64,287 confirmed cases, 2,495 deaths. The commission said 16,738 people have been discharged from the hospital. — Roy Choudhury
10:45 am: Asiana Airlines suspends flights between Daegu and Jeju
South Korea’s second-largest carrier, Asiana Airlines, said it was suspending domestic flights between Daegu and Jeju from Feb. 25 until Mar. 9. Many of the new cases reported in the country came from the city of Daegu. (see 9:24 am and 7 am updates) — Roy Choudhury
9:24 am: South Korea cases surpass 760, fatalities rise to seven
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional 161 cases on Monday morning, bringing the total to 763 nationwide. Most of the new confirmed cases were reported in the city of Daegu.
An additional two people were said to have died, which brought the death toll to seven. — Roy Choudhury
8:47 am: South Korea stocks fall more than 2%
8:15 am: President Xi says epidemic is a crisis and ‘big test’ for China
The coronavirus outbreak is a major public health emergency that has spread rapidly and become difficult to contain, President Xi Jinping said at a meeting in Beijing on Sunday, state media Xinhua reported.
“This is both a crisis and a big test for us,” Xi said, per Xinhua’s translations of his remarks, adding that efforts are being made to cure people of the infection, reduce fatality rates, safeguard social stability, and strengthen China’s emergency medical supplies and daily necessities.
The epidemic’s impact on China’s economic and social development is temporary and generally manageable, but it will deal a relatively big blow in the short term, Xi said, according to Xinhua. The president also stressed the importance of an orderly resumption of work and production. — Roy Choudhury
7:18 am: IMF chief says virus outbreak could put economic recovery at risk
The coronavirus outbreak that began in China and has since spread to more than 25 countries could put global economic recovery at risk, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement following a G-20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Saudi Arabia.
“This is a human tragedy, but it also has negative economic impact,” Georgieva said. “I reported to the G20 that even in the case of rapid containment of the virus, growth in China and the rest of the world would be impacted. Of course, we all hope for a V-shaped, rapid recovery — but given the uncertainty, it would be prudent to prepare for more adverse scenarios.” — Roy Choudhury
7 am: South Korea on high alert, total cases top 600
South Korea’s government raised the COVID-19 alert to its highest level after a recent implosion of confirmed infection cases, which took the country’s tally from 31 as of Feb. 18 to 602 on Sunday. Many of the new cases were from the city of Daegu and were related to a homegrown religious group, Yonhap reported. At least five people have died from the virus, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
By comparison, the Diamond Princess cruise that had been quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, since early February had at least 634 confirmed cases, according to the Japanese health ministry and the World Health Organization. Many countries have started evacuating their citizens from the ship and some people have tested positive after leaving the ship. — Roy Choudhury
A nurse working in the isolation ward communicates with a co-worker on the talkie-walkie in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.
Feature China | Barcroft Media via Getty Images
All times below are in Eastern time.
4:18 pm: Israel may quarantine 200 South Korean visitors
Israel may quarantine some 200 visitors from South Korea at a military base in a Jewish settlement on the occupied West Bank over coronavirus fears, according to Israel’s Ynet news site. Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said separately he had ordered South Korea and Japan to be added to a list of Asian countries to which travel to and from Israel was being barred. — Lovelace Jr.
3:48 pm: Austria halts train traffic with Italy
Austria has halted train traffic with its southern neighbor amid concern that two passengers on an in-bound train from Italy were infected with the coronavirus. Italy is grappling with the largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia, with more than 130 reported cases and three deaths. — Lovelace Jr.
1:08 pm: Four passengers test positive for coronavirus in England
Four passengers tested positive for the virus in England after being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, according to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
“Four further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to thirteen,” the statement from the chief medical officer for England said. — Lovelace Jr.
Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: Austria halts train traffic with Italy, Turkey closes Iran border