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CDC outlines pandemic planning, fears send stocks plunging

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  • Total confirmed cases: More than 80,200
  • Total deaths: At least 2,704

6:34 pm: New coronavirus cases in Germany

A 25-year-old man living in the southern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has tested positive for coronavirus after a trip to Milan, and another man further north is in a critical condition with the disease, authorities said. The Baden-Wuerttemberg health ministry said the man in the southern state, who had likely become infected during his visit to Italy, had contacted authorities after coming down with flu-like symptoms. He will be treated in isolation, it added. “People in close contact with the patient will be kept in home isolation and be asked about their state of health every day,” it said. “As soon as a contact person develops symptoms, they will also be isolated in hospital.” The new confirmed cases take to 18 the total number of coronavirus cases in Germany. —Reuters

5:18 San Francisco declares local emergency

San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared local emergency, even though there aren’t any confirmed cases in the city, NBC Bay Area reported. She called a press conference scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET that was more than an hour delayed, according to NBC Bay Area reporter Mark Matthews.

4:40 pm: Dow loses more than 800 points as stocks plunge for a second day

The stock rout continued as diving bond yields raised more concern that the global economy is slowing significantly because of the spreading coronavirus. The 10-year Treasury yield hit a record low as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added to Monday’s 1,000-point drop. Comments from health officials warning of a possible outbreak in the U.S. also spooked investors, causing a turnaround in stocks which had opened the day higher. The Dow dropped 879.44 points, or 3.1%, to 27,081.36 after being up more than 180 points at one point shortly after the open. The S&P 500 slid 3% to 3,128.21 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.8% to 8,965.61. Monday’s session was the market’s worst in two years. The S&P 500 posted back-to-back declines of at least 3% for the first time since November 2008 during the financial crisis, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

4:20 pm: Delta scraps cancellation fees for Italy flights because of outbreak

Delta Air Lines is waiving the cancellation and change fees for travelers hesitant to travel to several cities in Italy because of the recent spread of the coronavirus there. Travelers booked to or from Venice, Bologna or Milan’s two airports can rebook their travel for until March 31 or cancel altogether, the carrier said. The move comes after Delta, United and American said they would waive fees for flights to Seoul, South Korea because of the outbreak there. All U.S. airline stocks were trading sharply lower than the broader market. —Josephs

3:52 pm: US health officials say human trials on coronavirus vaccine to start in 6 weeks

Human trials testing a potential vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus are expected to begin in six weeks, U.S. health officials announced Tuesday. “We are on time at least and maybe even a little bit better,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters at a press conference. “Hopefully, no further glitches.” The White House reportedly asked Congress on Monday for $1.25 billion in additional funding to bolster its coronavirus response, including money to develop a vaccine and therapeutics to treat the virus. The National Institutes of Health has been working with biotech company Moderna to develop a vaccine using the current strain of the coronavirus. —Lovelace

3:49 pm: US health officials say coronavirus will likely cause a global pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak that’s shuttered commerce across China will likely become a global pandemic, a top U.S. health official said, adding that it’s just a matter of time before the outbreak starts spreading in the U.S. “Current global circumstances suggest it’s likely this virus will cause a pandemic,” Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters at a news briefing. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen any more, but rather more a question of when this will happen and how many people in this country will become infected and how many of those will develop severe or more complicated disease,” she added. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar added: “We can’t hermetically seal off the United States.” Azar confirmed four new cases of the virus from repatriated cruise ship passengers, bringing the total in the U.S. to 57.

3:46 pm: FDA says it’s monitoring the market for potential drug shortages, fraudulent treatment claims

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is monitoring for potential drug shortages and fraudulent treatment claims as the coronavirus outbreak places a pause on its product inspections in China. The FDA has identified about 20 drug products that either solely source their active ingredients or produce finished drug products in China and has contacted their manufacturers to see if they have experienced any supply issues, FDA spokesperson Stephanie Caccomo said in a statement. “None of these firms has reported any shortage to date,” Caccomo said. “We will continue to remain in contact with the manufacturers so that we can best help mitigate any potential issues in the future.” Since Jan. 24, the FDA has also reached out to over 180 manufacturers to remind them of their requirement to notify the FDA of any anticipated supply disruptions, Caccomo said. —Higgins-Dunn

2:50 pm: CDC hopes the coronavirus outbreak is seasonal like the flu and subsides in the summer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is a hypothesis among mathematical modelers that the coronavirus outbreak “could potentially be seasonal” and relent in warmer conditions. “Other viral respiratory diseases are seasonal, including influenza and therefore in many viral respiratory diseases we do see a decrease in disease in spring and summer,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a conference call Tuesday. “And so we can certainly be optimistic that this disease will follow suit.” –Feuer

A woman waiting for an international traveler to arrive to LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal wears a medical mask for protection against the coronavirus outbreak on February 2, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

David McNew | Getty Images

2:25 pm: Kudlow tries to assuage coronavirus concerns and impact on US economy

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow tried to assuage concerns over the cornavirus and its impact on the U.S. economy, saying officials “have contained this.” The comments came hours after the CDC said the COVID-19 coronavirus is “likely” to continue to spread throughout the United States and the American public should “prepare for the expectation that this is going to be bad.” –Lovelace

1:55 pm: Toyota reopens fourth plant in China

Toyota Motor has reopened a fourth plant in China following a month-long extension of its holiday shutdown due to the coronavirus. Eric Booth, a company spokesman, said the plant in Chengdu, located hundreds of miles west from the disease’s epicenter in Wuhan, restarted production on Monday. With the reopening of the facility, all of the Japanese automaker’s assembly plants in the country are operating, he said. Booth declined to comment on when Toyota expects the plants to return to full production, saying the automaker “will resume normal operations as soon as it is deemed safe and appropriate.” He also confirmed that no Toyota plants outside of China have been impacted from supply disruptions. –Wayland

1:49 pm: Coronavirus outbreak could force cancellation of 2020 Tokyo Games, IOC member says

A senior member of the International Olympic Committee said that if it proves too dangerous to hold the Olympics in Tokyo this summer because of the coronavirus outbreak, organizers are more likely to cancel it altogether than to postpone or move it. Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been on the IOC since 1978, making him its longest-serving member, estimated there is a three-month window — perhaps a two-month one — to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, meaning a decision could be put off until late May. —Associated Press

1:24 pm: Eleventh death in coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy

A 76-year-old woman died in the northern Italian city of Treviso, the Veneto region said, the eleventh victim of the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe. Italy is struggling against the contagion with its epicenter in the wealthy regions of Lombardy and Veneto. The number of confirmed cases rose to 322 from 229 on Monday, the vast majority of them in the north of the country. —Reuters

1:09 pm: Economic fallout from coronavirus appears ‘much worse’ than SARS

The economic drag from the new coronavirus will turn out to be larger than SARS, according to Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. Seroka was working in Shanghai during the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. “At that time, we were all grounded,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday. “This appears to be much worse because of the number of folks who were infected and the lack of productivity.” While estimates vary, economists believe SARS cost the global economy about $40 billion. — Belvedere

12:54 pm: Romania confirms first case as Italy reports more deaths

Romania confirmed its first case — a man who returned three weeks ago from Italy, television station Realitatea Plus said, quoting medical sector sources. In Italy, three more people infected with the coronavirus have died, bringing the death toll there to 10, the chief of the Civil Protection agency said. The number of cases in Italy more than doubled in the last day, topping 322 as of Tuesday morning, according to Italian health officials. The contagion was particularly strong in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, the country’s industrial and financial heartland. Italy’s neighboring countries have committed not to close their borders, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said, as Rome’s government struggles to contain the biggest coronavirus outbreak in Europe. —Reuters with CNBC

A health worker screens the temperature of an airline passenger arriving from Italy at Debrecen International Airport in Debrecen, Hungary, on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.

Bloomberg

12:34 pm: US health secretary Azar says more cases likely, seeks more funding

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said there will likely be more cases of coronavirus in the United States as he asked a Senate subcommittee to approve $2.5 billion in funding to fight the outbreak after proposing cuts to the department’s budget. Azar said the funding would help the U.S. expand surveillance systems for the fast-spreading virus, support state and local governments, help development of vaccines and therapies and expand stockpiles of protective equipment like surgical masks. He said the U.S. currently has a stockpile of 30 million surgical masks, but HHS estimates suggest the country needs 300 million masks. —Reuters

12:28 pm: Macy’s is planning for a coronavirus hit

Macy’s warned investors that the coronavirus outbreak, which has shuttered commerce across China and sent markets spiraling, could hit the department store chain, too. The virus could disrupt Macy’s operations in three ways, CEO and Chairman Jeff Gennette said on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, if it affects employees, international tourism and supply chain. “While still too early to estimate, we anticipate that there could be a small impact on first-quarter sales from international tourism,” he said. “With respect to the supply chain, we are working with our vendor partners to minimize any possible disruption.” —Feuer

12:22 pm: Goldman steps up staff travel restrictions as coronavirus spreads

Goldman Sachs has restricted all business travel to, from and within South Korea and the Northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto in the wake of the coronavirus spread, a staff memo seen by Reuters shows. The Wall Street lender has also advised staff to postpone all non-essential travel to, from and within the rest of Italy, as well as other parts of Asia, excluding Australia, New Zealand anazard India, the memo said. Staff who have visited South Korea or the impacted regions of Italy have been asked to ‘self-isolate’ and stay away from the office for a minimum of 14 days. —Reuters

12:01 pm: CDC outlines what closing schools, businesses would look like in US pandemic

The CDC outlined what schools and businesses will likely need to do if the COVID-19 virus becomes an epidemic outbreak in the U.S. Schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups or close and use “internet-based tele-schooling,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call. “For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options,” Messonnier said. She said local communities and cities may need to “modify, postpone or cancel mass gatherings.” Hospitals may need to triage patients differently, add more tele-health services and delay elective surgery, she said. “We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this is going to be bad,” she said. —Lovelace, Feuer

11:37 am: Bahrain reports 6 new cases of coronavirus coming from Iran

Bahrain has identified six more new cases of coronavirus all coming from Iran, taking the total number in the Gulf kingdom to 23, the state news agency BNA reported, citing the health ministry.In a precautionary measure to limit the spread of the virus, the education ministry said all public and private schools, including kindergartens, would be closed for two weeks from Wednesday, BNA added.

11:30 am: CDC confirms 53 US cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 53 cases in the U.S., a majority of which came from passengers repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan. The CDC updated its case count on its website late Monday. The data shows that 36 of the cases are attributed to the cruise ship, three patients were infected in Wuhan and later evacuated to the U.S. and the rest were largely infected while traveling overseas. Just two cases were contracted through person-to-person contact in the U.S., the CDC said. —Kopecki

11:23 am: Trump sows confusion in discussing vaccine

President Donald Trump told reporters that “we’re very close to a vaccine” while answering questions about the COVID-19 outbreak during a state visit to India, prompting outlets from the Jerusalem Post to the New York Post to write that Trump said the U.S. was close to finding a vaccine for the deadly new coronavirus. The White House later said Trump was referring to the Ebola vaccine— not the coronavirus. —Breuninger

10:17 am: Switzerland confirms first case of coronavirus as franc climbs

Switzerland has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, the Federal Office of Public Health said. Further details will be provided at 11 a.m. ET, the health department said. The Swiss franc, meanwhile, climbed to its highest level since July 2015 against a struggling euro on Monday as concerns about the spread of the coronavirus drove investors into safe-haven assets. The franc, traditionally sought in times of uncertainty, rose to 1.0604 versus the euro, a 4-1/2 year peak and a higher value than it reached after Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union in June 2016. — Reuters

9:53 am: WHO holds press conference on outbreak

World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference at 10 a.m. ET to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak. WHO officials declared the virus a global health emergency last month, while urging the public against over-reacting to the virus. In the past week, the virus has spread substantially beyond China. The localized outbreaks in places such as Italy and Iran are fueling concerns among infectious disease experts and scientists that the virus is spreading too quickly and may be past the point of containment. Health officials are warning the public to prepare for a potential global pandemic. Watch the live press conference here.

9:33 am: Oman identifies two more cases of new coronavirus

Oman has identified two more cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the total number to four, its ministry of health said in a tweet on Tuesday. The two new cases are “linked to travel to Iran”, the ministry said. —Reuters

8:47 am: US plans trial of Gilead drug remdesivir

The U.S. is planning a clinical trial of Gilead’s experimental drug for the novel coronavirus, according to a posting on a government clinical trials database. The trial, run by the University of Nebraska Medical Center along with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will be conducted at up to 50 sites globally and will test the medicine, called remdesivir, against placebo, according to the protocol, which was posted Friday. —Tirrell

8:18 am: Austria confirms first two cases

Austria has confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus, health officials in Tyrol province said. The patients are two Italians who live in Tyrol and were probably infected on a trip to Italy’s Lombardy region, Tyrol Gov. Guenther Platter was quoted as saying by local media. Tyrol and Carinthia are the two Austrian provinces that border northern Italy. TV station ORF said the two 24-year-olds had reported themselves to the authorities. They had a slight fever and were under isolation in an Innsbruck hospital. —Reuters

7:43 am: US airlines waive cancellation fees for South Korea flights after CDC issues travel warning

U.S. airlines said they would waive cancellation and change fees for travelers booked to South Korea as the coronavirus spreads beyond China, prompting a warning from government officials about travel there. Earlier on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned travelers to avoid nonessential travel to South Korea, where the disease has sickened close to 1,000 people. Delta Air Lines’ travelers who booked tickets to Seoul through April 30 can change flights until May 31 or cancel their trips without paying a fee, the airline said. American Airlines’ customers booked to Seoul through April 24 can change their flights without paying a date-change fee, or they can cancel the trip altogether. Those travelers can also change the origin or destination of their trips to Tokyo, and take another plane to or from South Korea. United Airlines issued a similar waiver for Seoul. —Josephs

6:45 am: Iran’s deputy health minister tests positive for coronavirus

Iran’s deputy health minister has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a report from the semi-official ILNA news agency. It comes shortly after a spokesperson for the Islamic Republic’s health ministry said 95 people had been infected with the coronavirus, with 16 deaths nationwide. Iran has recorded the highest number of deaths from the coronavirus outside of China. —Meredith

6:30 am: Chinese city announces 14-day quarantine in free hotels for travelers from Japan, South Korea

The eastern city of Weihai has announced that all travelers returning from Japan and South Korea will need to stay in hotels for a 14-day quarantine. Accommodations will be free. The move comes amid intensifying concerns on China’s social media platform Weibo over a growing number of coronavirus cases in South Korea. The measures, effective Tuesday, are meant “to minimize the chance of cross-infection,” according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese-language announcement. Weihai, in Shandong province, is about a two-hour flight from Seoul. —Wu

5:55 am: WHO says countries must be prepared for coronavirus ‘literally knocking at the door’

The World Health Organization warned countries around the world they must be ready for the fast-spreading coronavirus to be “literally knocking at the door.” Speaking in Geneva, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said that while many countries had “pandemic plans” on standby, the United Nations health agency does not plan to make a “big announcement.” It comes amid intensifying concern about the coronavirus outbreak, with the deadly virus spreading to more than two dozen countries in recent weeks. As of Tuesday, China’s National Health Commission reported 77,658 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 2,663 deaths nationwide.

5:35 am: Iran urges people to stay at home as coronavirus death toll climbs to 16

Iran’s health ministry reportedly urged citizens to stay at home on Tuesday, following a sharp uptick of confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide. Kianoush Jahanpour, a spokesperson for the Islamic Republic’s health ministry, said via state television that 95 people had been infected with the coronavirus, with 16 deaths nationwide. Iran has recorded the highest number of deaths from coronavirus outside China. Several countries have suspended flights to Iran in a bid to prevent the outbreak, while some neighboring countries have closed their borders. —Meredith

A man wears a protective mask while riding a bus in the Iranian capital Tehran on February 24, 2020.

ATTA KENARE | AFP via Getty Images

4:40 am: Canary Islands hotel reportedly under lockdown after tourist tests positive

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Covid-19 affects hearts of even those without any cardiac condition: Study

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Coronavirus can cause cardiac injury even in patients without underlying heart conditions, and have fatal consequences for people with cardiovascular disease, according to a review of studies.


Experts have known that viral illnesses such as Coronavirus (Covid-19) can cause respiratory infections that may lead to lung damage and even death in severe cases.


However, less is known about the effects on the cardiovascular system, the researchers said.


“It is likely that even in the absence of previous heart disease, the heart muscle can be affected by coronavirus disease,” said Mohammad Madjid, an assistant professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in the US.


“Overall, injury to heart muscle can happen in any patient with or without heart disease, but the risk is higher in those who already have heart disease,” said Madjid, lead author of the study published in the journal JAMA Cardiology.


The team explained that research from previous coronavirus and influenza epidemics suggests that viral infections can cause acute coronary syndromes, arrhythmias, and the development of, or exacerbation of, heart failure.


In a clinical bulletin issued by the American College of Cardiology, it was revealed that the case fatality rate of COVID-19 for patients with cardiovascular disease was 10.5 per cent, the researchers said.


Data also points to a greater likelihood that individuals over the age of 65 with coronary heart disease or hypertension can contract the illness, as well experience more severe symptoms that will require critical care, they said.


According to the study, critical cases are those that reported respiratory failure, septic shock, and multiple organ dysfunction or failure that resulted in death.


“It is reasonable to expect that significant cardiovascular complications linked to COVID-19 will occur in severe symptomatic patients because of the high inflammatory response associated with this illness,” said Madjid.



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F1 pitches in with ventilator production – Formula One Group (NASDAQ:FWONA)

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Britain has ordered more than 10,000 ventilators from a consortium that includes Formula One (NASDAQ:FWONA), Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY), BAE Systems (OTCPK:BAESY) and Ford (NYSE:F), as well as existing ventilator producers, Smiths Group (OTCPK:SMGZY) and Penlon.

Vacuum cleaner maker Dyson said last week it had received an order of a newly-made ventilator which will need to be approved by the health regulator.

The U.K., which says it needs 30,000 ventilators, currently has about 8,000 machines with another 8,000 on order from international manufacturers that are due in coming weeks.



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India says no plan to extend coronavirus lockdown as poor struggle By Reuters

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© Reuters. Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi

By Sanjeev Miglani and Devjyot Ghoshal

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU (Reuters) – India has no plans to extend a 21-day lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government said on Monday, as it struggled to keep essential supplies flowing and prevent tens of thousands of out-of-work people fleeing to the countryside.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country’s 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15 saying that was the only hope to stop the epidemic. But the order has left millions of impoverished Indians jobless and hungry.

Defying the lockdown, hundreds of thousands of workers who live on daily wages left big cities like Delhi and Mumbai on foot for their homes in the countryside, many with families. They said they had no food or money.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba told Reuters partner, ANI, that there was no plan to extend the shutdown beyond the three weeks, rejecting reports that a prolonged closure was likely.

India has 1,071 cases of the coronavirus of whom 29 have died, the health ministry said on Monday. The numbers are small compared with the United States, Italy and China, but health officials say India is weeks away from a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system.

Neighboring Nepal, however, announced it would extend its shutdown for another week beginning on Tuesday. The landlocked country has had only five cases of the virus and no deaths, but it is concerned the virus will spread as people start traveling.

“If the lockdown is not extended then the movement of people increases raising the risk of more virus cases,” said Surya Thapa, an aide to Prime Minister K.P.Sharma Oli.

UNDERMINING THE LOCKDOWN

A major concern in India is that the hundreds of thousands of workers going homes will spread the virus deep into the hinterland, said a top health official.

“It’s an evolving situation with daily new challenges coming up like having migratory populations moving from one place to another. Like non-affected states, adjoining affected states,” said Dr S.K. Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control, which investigates and recommends control measures for outbreaks.

The government on Sunday ordered authorities in states to stop the migrant workers from moving and to set up shelters on highways where stranded people can get access to food and water until the lockdown is lifted.

Following is data on the spread of the coronavirus in South Asia’s eight countries, according to government figures:

– Pakistan has registered 1,526 cases, including 13 deaths.

– India has registered 1071 cases, including 29 deaths.

– Sri Lanka has registered 120 cases, including one death.

– Afghanistan has registered 128 cases, including 3 deaths.

– Bangladesh has registered 48 cases, including 5 deaths.

– Maldives has registered 28 cases and no deaths.

– Nepal has registered 5 cases and no deaths.

– Bhutan has registered 4 cases and no deaths.



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