Coronavirus live updates: WHO says 15% of patients get pneumonia, Burger King closes half its China locations


Hospital staff in protective garments walk at a checkpoint to the Hubei province exclusion zone at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 1, 2020. The banner reads: ‘Committed to the fight to prevent and control the epidemic’.

Thomas Peter | Reuters

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

All times below are in Eastern time.

Total confirmed cases: More than 40,000
Total deaths: At least 910

11:20 am: Sony pulls out of major trade event

Sony announced that it is the latest company pulling out of Mobile World Conference, following other tech companies including Amazon. The conference is scheduled for Feb. 24 to Feb. 27 in Barcelona, Spain. On Sunday, French health authorities confirmed Spain’s second case of the new coronavirus. Instead of appearing at the event, Sony said it will hold a video call to announce product news on Feb. 24.

10:42 am: Goldman says buy value stocks if coronavirus fears prove to be overblown

For investors who believe the impact of the coronavirus outbreak will be contained, Goldman Sachs said buy the dip in value stocks. Stocks rebounded last week despite lingering fears about the deadly virus with the S&P 500 pulling off its biggest weekly gain since June. If the concerns about the epidemic turn out to be overblown, stocks with solid dividend growth should outperform, according to David Kostin, Goldman’s head U.S. equity strategy. ”Investors who believe the economic consequences of the coronavirus will be limited should increase exposure to cyclicals and value stocks,” Kostin said in a research note.

10:34 am: WHO officials say 15% of all patients get pneumonia

The WHO’s Dr. Sylvia Briand told reporters the disease produces mild cold symptoms in about 80% of the cases they’ve seen so far. About 15% of the people who’ve contracted the virus have ended up with pneumonia with 3% to 5% of all patients needing intensive care.  

10:20 am: WHO officials concerned about human transmission in new cases

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said health officials were concerned about new cases confirmed in France on Sunday and the UK on Monday that were transmitted without any travel history to China. “The detection of this small number of cases could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire, but for now it’s only a spark,” he said during a press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva. “Our objective remains containment. We call on all countries to use the window of opportunity we have to prevent a bigger fire.” — Lovelace

10:05 am: What it’s like on coronavirus-quarantined cruise ship

A California passenger aboard the Diamond Princess told CNBC it “can be a little bit depressing” when thinking about how much longer he and his wife must remain on the quarantined cruise ship: likely nine more days. Matthew Smith said he is “maintaining his confidence” that he and his wife, Katherine, will not test positive for the new coronavirus and be able to go home after the two-week mandatory quarantine on the cruise ship ends. — Lovelace

10 am: WHO officials hold press conference

World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference Monday to update the public on the outbreak, which has killed more people than SARS as of this weekend. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, warned Sunday that while the virus has yet to spread widely outside of China, that could accelerate. “The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries,” he said in a tweet, “in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.” Watch the press conference here. — Kopecki

9:42 am: Hundreds of Chinese firms seek billions in loans

More than 300 Chinese companies including smartphone-maker Xiaomi and China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing are seeking bank loans totaling at least $8.2 billion to soften the impact of the coronavirus, two banking sources told Reuters. The firms were either involved in the control of the epidemic or had been hardest hit, the sources said. Xiaomi, the world’s fourth-biggest smartphone maker, is seeking $716.24 million in loans to produce and sell medical equipment including masks and thermometers, according to documents sent to banks in Beijing by the city government’s finance bureau that the sources have reviewed. — Feuer

9 am: Inflation in China runs rampant because of the outbreak

Inflation in China hit its highest level in more than eight years last month as the outbreak drove up demand for some consumer goods and shuttered business activity in parts of the country. China’s consumer price index rose 5.4% in January, after rising 4.5% in December, according to CEIC. The rise in consumer prices continues a recent acceleration for inflation in China, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. Inflation hit 3% in September and then broke above 4% in November. The bureau said in a statement that the increased inflation in January was due to the Lunar New Year holiday, the coronavirus outbreak and a lower price base from last year, according to Reuters. — Pound

8:15 am: WeWork temporarily closes 100 buildings in China

A guest attends the opening ceremony of WeWork Hong Kong flagship location in Hong Kong, China February 23, 2017.

Bobby Yip | Reuters

Office-sharing startup WeWork has temporarily closed 100 buildings in China due to the outbreak, WeWork Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin on “Squawk Box” on Monday. Claure said no members and employees are infected. “That’s a great win,” he said. “We’re monitoring and working with the Chinese government to make sure we’re following the proper guidelines.” He also said that “it’s an issue” having 100 buildings close with members not having access to them and “just working with emergency personnel.” — Feuer, Bursztynsky

6:15 am: China’s Xi says the country will definitely win fight against coronavirus

Chinese President Xi Jinping insisted the country will win the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, saying he will adopt more decisive measures to contain the spread. Speaking on state television Monday, Xi said the country would speed up the development of drugs that have relatively good clinical effects against the deadly pneumonia-like virus. Xi’s comments come shortly after China’s National Health Commission said it had confirmed more than 3,000 new cases and almost 100 deaths as of Sunday night. The world’s second-largest economy now has a total of 40,141 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country, with 908 deaths.

5:45 am: Mongolia suspends coal exports to China until March 2 amid coronavirus outbreak

Mongolia has suspended deliveries of coal across its southern border into China until March 2, Reuters reported Monday, citing the country’s National Emergency Commission. The move is designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, with the commission also recommending the country suspend its Tsagaan Sar Lunar New Year celebrations later this month. Mongolia has not yet reported any cases of the coronavirus.

5 am: UK confirms four new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total to eight

The UK has confirmed four new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number in the country to eight.The new cases are all known contacts of a previously confirmed UK case, with the virus passed on in France, the Department of Health and Social Care said Monday. “The patients have been transferred to specialist NHS centres in London, and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent further spread of the virus,” Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said in a statement via Twitter. Earlier in the day, the U.K. declared the coronavirus a serious and imminent threat to public health.

Read CNBC’s coverage from the Asia-Pacific overnight: Xi insists China will definitely win fight against outbreak; death toll at 908

— Reuters and CNBC’s Jesse Pound, Jessica Burszytnsky, Saheli Roy Choudhury and Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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