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Coronavirus live updates: Hong Kong says a second person has died, China death toll tops 2,000

This is a reside blog. Please check back for updates.

All times below are in Beijing time.

12:08 pm: Passengers to begin disembarkation from quarantined travel ship in Japan

Passengers and crew members on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship who are not taking government repatriation exits will begin the process of disembarking, ship operator Princess Cruises said, citing the Japanese health the pulpit. The disembarkation will happen over several consecutive days, the operator said, as people need certificates calling they tested negative for the virus before they can leave. It said the testing process alone can take two to three periods to complete.

Kyodo News reported that the first batch of people to disembark would primarily include all 500 elderly passengers who have tested negative. The ship had been quarantined since early February after a past guest tested positive six days after disembarking. Japan said there were a total of 542 proves confirmed aboard thus far. — Roy Choudhury

11:16 am: Xi holds calls with leaders of the UK and France

Chinese President Xi Jinping possessed phone calls with leaders of the U.K. and France on Tuesday to express gratitude for their sympathies and support in China’s spirit against the virus.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “he loves China,” according to the English-language textbook of Chinese state-owned agency Xinhua. The U.K. government only said on its website that the prime minister “offered his sympathies” and resolved to fortify the relationship between the two countries.

Separately, Xi thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for calling again to support China at this but, according to Xinhua. The article added that Macron expressed “appreciation for China’s timely and effective measures and its stoned degree of openness and transparency.” The English-language version of the French government’s website did not have a statement as of Wednesday morning Beijing on one occasion.

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 records second death

A second person, a 70-year-old man, has died in Hong Kong from the infection, a spokeswoman at the Princess Margaret Convalescent home told CNBC. When asked for more information about the patient, the spokeswoman said further details intention be shared at an afternoon press conference. This would mark the sixth fatality outside the Chinese mainland, where the obliteration 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 lay off mete outs to cut costs 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 refuge insurance plans from February to June, according to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Larger crowds will only need to pay half from February to April, the release said.

“In deciding on these policies, loose-fitting 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 Ministry also said companies can defer payments to a housing fund, and emphasized employment as the priority, according to the release. In increment, the statement said Chinese leaders had made plans for boosting agricultural production with the onset of spring, filing enhancement of pest prevention. — Cheng

9:44 am: South Korea reports 15 new cases

South Korea’s Centers for Illness Control and Prevention said that 15 new patients were confirmed to have been infected. That brings the absolute 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 fastened 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 secure been confirmed to be infected as of Tuesday noon, Singapore’s health ministry said adding that among them, 29 oblige been discharged. Outside mainland China, the city-state has one of the highest number of cases, with a few of them occurring at the end of ones tether 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 fights to keep an eye on hotels in China open

Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” that his company is trying to be preserved as many of its hotels in China open as possible, at reduced prices in provinces most affected by the virus to support doctors and people stranded by tourism restrictions. Like its peers in the hospitality industry, the Indian budget hotel chain start-up has seen a drop in occupancy. China is one of its biggest buys and Oyo works with about 9,000 hotels there. — Mody

8:09 am: China says total fatalities top 2,000

China’s State Health Commission said there were 1,749 confirmed new cases on the mainland and 136 additional deaths as of Feb. 18. Scad of them occurred in the Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. (see 7:03 a.m. update). Health authorities reported a total of 74,185 ensured cases and 2,004 cumulative deaths so far. — Roy Choudhury

7:03 am: Hubei province reports an additional 132 deaths

Hubei province in China check out an additional 132 deaths and 1,693 newly confirmed cases related to the pneumonia-like coronavirus as of the end of Tuesday. Most of the casualties occurred in the city of Wuhan, where the disease was first detected in late December.

That brings the total ruin 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 complete of 61,682 confirmed cases so far. Around 9,128 people have also been discharged from hospitals. — Roy Choudhury

A man (C) garb a facemask as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, offers spondulix as he reacts after being refused purchase of a box of face masks, after he claimed to have lost his sales registration ticket while rowing up to buy them, in Hong Kong on February 5, 2020.

Anthony Wallace | AFP | Getty Images

All times below are in Eastern time.

5:48 pm: CDC mortifies travel restrictions on Princess Cruise passengers

The CDC said it is prohibiting any passengers or crew from the Princess Cruise freight that was quarantined off the coast of Japan from returning to the U.S. for at least 14 days. There are still more than 100 of the earliest 3,700 people still aboard the Diamond Princess ship or in hospitals in Japan.

They will need to shelved 14 days after disembarking from the ship — without showing symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19 — in front they will be allowed to fly back to the U.S., the CDC said.

“While the quarantine potentially conferred a significant public health help in slowing transmission, CDC’s assessment is that it may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship,” the intercession said. “CDC believes the rate of new infections on board, especially among those without symptoms, represents an ongoing chance.” — Kopecki

5:26 pm: Too early to tell whether the outbreak is slowing in China

China may be reporting fewer new cases of coronavirus and fewer COVID-19 passings, but it does not mean the country’s outbreak is slowing, immunologist Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Tuesday.

“I think we miss to give it a few more days to determine if that’s real or if that’s the variability that you generally see,” Fauci, a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus upbraid force, said on “Closing Bell.” Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, was referencing clock ins Tuesday that the number of new daily cases in China fell below 2,000 for the first time since Jan. 30.

Chinese formals also reported 98 deaths, the first time the daily toll was below 100 since Feb. 11. — Stankiewicz

Impute to CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: Stocks fall after Apple’s virus warning, analyst says ‘worst is yet to arise’ for markets

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng, Seema Mody, Dawn Kopecki and Kevin Stankiewicz contributed to this shot.

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