This is a white-hot blog. Please check back for updates.
All times below are in Beijing time.
1:17 pm: Malaysia’s health minister communicates virus spread in the country is ‘no cause for panic’
Malaysia has so far managed to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, with limited conveyance locally, Dzulkefly Ahmad, the country’s health minister, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Malaysia has reported 22 occurrences of COVID-19 as of Tuesday – the third-highest number in Southeast Asia behind Singapore and Thailand, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of those in the event thats, 13 have recovered and there haven’t been any reported deaths so far, the data showed.
“I think it’s very restrained right now and there’s … no cause for panic at all, but we cannot be complacent about this and we’ll continue to be on serious alert,” thought the minister. — Lee
1:05 pm: One case confirmed in California’s Napa County, second patient under investigation
A single case of the coronavirus had been established in Napa County. The patient was in isolation at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center, while a second patient with indications was under investigation.
Both patients had previously been under quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess cruise quit in Yokohama, Japan, before being flown into the Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, and subsequently arriving in Napa. They are both down federal quarantine in the U.S. and neither are Napa residents.
The first patient tested positive while in Japan but did not experience any indications. The second patient tested negative in Japan but displayed symptoms. — Roy Choudhury
12:46 pm: China’s after-school activities are moving online, business players under pressure to deliver
As local governments in China delay the re-opening of schools to limit the spread of the new virus, roots and institutions are turning to online education, putting pressure on industry players to deliver.
For one after-school operator in Beijing, it means inspirational all classes online, even though the courses come at a discount to offline sessions. But “it’s just a choice between zero and something,” jurisdiction headmaster Lü Fei, said, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.
Investors are also paying attention. Shares of after-school operative New Oriental’s Hong Kong-listed online education subsidiary Koolearn have surged about 75% for the year so far result of midday Wednesday. — Wendy Ye and Cheng
12:08 pm: Passengers to begin disembarkation from quarantined cruise ship in Japan
Riders and crew members on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship who are not taking government repatriation flights will start off the process of disembarking, ship operator Princess Cruises said, citing the Japanese health ministry. The disembarkation transfer happen over several consecutive days, the operator said, as people need certificates indicating they evaluated negative for the virus before they can leave. It said the testing process alone can take two to three days to absolute.
Kyodo News reported that the first batch of people to disembark would primarily include around 500 over the hill passengers who have tested negative. The ship had been quarantined since early February after a previous boarder tested positive six days after disembarking. Japan said there were a total of 542 cases substantiated aboard thus far. — Roy Choudhury
11:16 am: Xi holds calls with leaders of the UK and France
Chinese President Xi Jinping held phone claim b pick ups with leaders of the U.K. and France on Tuesday to express gratitude for their sympathies and support in China’s fight against the virus.
British Prime Parson Boris Johnson said “he loves China,” according to the English-language text of Chinese state-owned agency Xinhua. The U.K. control only said on its website that the prime minister “offered his sympathies” and resolved to strengthen the relationship between the two powers.
Separately, Xi thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for calling again to support China at this time, concerting to Xinhua. The article added that Macron expressed “appreciation for China’s timely and effective measures and its high station of openness and transparency.” The English-language version of the French government’s website did not have a statement as of Wednesday morning Beijing chance.
The two calls, in addition to Xi’s congratulatory message to Zoran Milanovic on assuming the presidency of Croatia (which also holds the presidency of the EU Caucus through June), made the front page of China’s Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily on Wednesday. — Cheng
10:51 am: Hong Kong reports gal Friday death
A second person, a 70-year-old man, has died in Hong Kong from the infection, a spokeswoman at the Princess Margaret Dispensary told CNBC. When asked for more information about the patient, the spokeswoman said further details last will and testament be shared at an afternoon press conference. This would mark the sixth fatality outside the Chinese mainland, where the termination toll has surpassed 2,000. — Roy Choudhury
10:13 am: China plans measures to cut costs for companies
The State Council decided on a series of measures to cut set someone backs for businesses, in the wake of the virus disruptions to economic activity. A Tuesday meeting, led by Premier Li Keqiang, announced that all compromise, small and micro-sized businesses will not need to make contributions to employees’ old-age pension, unemployment and workplace safe keeping insurance plans from February to June, according to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Larger houses will only need to pay half from February to April, the release said.
“In deciding on these policies, filled consideration has been given to the sustainability of the social security fund, the balance of which is sufficient to support the full and opportune payments of old-age pensions and other social security benefits nationwide,” the English-language text said.
The State Assembly also said companies can defer payments to a housing fund, and emphasized employment as the priority, according to the release. In combining, the statement said Chinese leaders had made plans for boosting agricultural production with the onset of spring, comprising enhancement of pest prevention. — Cheng
9:44 am: South Korea reports 15 new cases
South Korea’s Centers for Affliction Control and Prevention said that 15 new patients were confirmed to have been infected. That brings the out-and-out number of cases in the country to 46. Most of the new cases were identified in the city of Daegu and the Gyengbuk province, and 11 of them were keep busy b used to an earlier patient, according to the KCDC’s statement. — Roy Choudhury
9:02 am: Confirmed cases in Singapore surpass 80
A total of 81 people beget been confirmed to be infected as of Tuesday noon, Singapore’s health ministry said adding that among them, 29 deliver been discharged. Outside mainland China, the city-state has one of the highest number of cases, with a few of them occurring into done with human-to-human transmission. Singapore has announced plans to set aside $4 billion to help businesses and households weather the outbreak. — Roy Choudhury
8:37 am: Indian start-up Oyo rows to keep hotels in China open
Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” that his company is worrisome to keep as many of its hotels in China open as possible, at reduced prices in provinces most affected by the virus to aid doctors and people stranded by travel restrictions. Like its peers in the hospitality industry, the Indian budget hotel shackle start-up has seen a drop in occupancy. China is one of its biggest markets and Oyo works with about 9,000 hotels there. — Mody
8:09 am: China orders total fatalities top 2,000
China’s National Health Commission said there were 1,749 confirmed new cases on the mainland and 136 additional annihilations as of Feb. 18. Most of them occurred in the Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. (see 7:03 a.m. update). Health authorities related a total of 74,185 confirmed cases and 2,004 cumulative deaths so far. — Roy Choudhury
7:03 am: Hubei province reports an additional 132 eradications
Hubei province in China reported an additional 132 deaths and 1,693 newly confirmed cases related to the pneumonia-like coronavirus as of the end of Tuesday. Uncountable of the fatalities occurred in the city of Wuhan, where the disease was first detected in late December.
That brings the sum total death toll in China to at least 2,000. China’s National Health Commission is due to report nation-wide numbers later today.
According to the Hubei Rustic Health Committee, 1,921 people have died in the region from the infection and there have been a full of 61,682 confirmed cases so far. Around 9,128 people have also been discharged from hospitals. — Roy Choudhury
A man (C) enervate a facemask as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, offers prosperous as he reacts after being refused purchase of a box of face masks, after he claimed to have lost his sales registration ticket while queueing up to buy them, in Hong Kong on February 5, 2020.
Anthony Wallace | AFP | Getty Similes
All times below are in Eastern time.
5:48 pm: CDC places travel restrictions on Princess Cruise passengers
The CDC said it is prohibiting any commuters or crew from the Princess Cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan from returning to the U.S. for at least 14 ages. There are still more than 100 of the original 3,700 people still aboard the Diamond Princess send or in hospitals in Japan.
They will need to wait 14 days after disembarking from the ship — without symbolizing symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19 — before they will be allowed to fly back to the U.S., the CDC said.
“While the quarantine potentially awarded a significant public health benefit in slowing transmission, CDC’s assessment is that it may not have been sufficient to prevent movement among individuals on the ship,” the agency said. “CDC believes the rate of new infections on board, especially among those without specific ti, represents an ongoing risk.” — Kopecki
5:26 pm: Too early to tell whether the outbreak is slowing in China
China may be reporting fewer new circumstances of coronavirus and fewer COVID-19 deaths, but it does not mean the country’s outbreak is slowing, immunologist Anthony Fauci heralded CNBC on Tuesday.
“I think we need to give it a few more days to determine if that’s real or if that’s the variability that you in a general way see,” Fauci, a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, said on “Closing Bell.” Fauci, who is the the man of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, was referencing reports Tuesday that the number of new daily cases in China cut below 2,000 for the first time since Jan. 30.
Chinese officials also reported 98 deaths, the first experience the daily toll was below 100 since Feb. 11. — Stankiewicz
Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: Stocks allied with after Apple’s virus warning, analyst says ‘worst is yet to come’ for markets
— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng, Yen Nee Lee, Seema Mody, Emerge Kopecki and Kevin Stankiewicz contributed to this report.