Coronavirus live updates: WHO calls Iran and Italy cases ‘deeply concerning,’ Goldman cuts GDP forecast


A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks past a stock indicator displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on February 3, 2020.

BEHROUZ MEHRI | AFP via Getty Images

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

All times below are in Eastern time.

Total confirmed cases: More than 79,400
Total deaths: At least 2,621

9:40 am:  Dow drops more than 900 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by more than 900 points in morning trading as the number of cases outside China surged, stoking fears of a prolonged global economic slowdown from the virus spreading. ”I’ve now come to the view that equity markets, global equity markets, have to reprice to take into account or fully discount the dramatic economic impact that all of this is going to have,” Jonathan Pain, author of The Pain Report, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Monday morning in Asia. “I believe that repricing … has just started and I think it’s gonna be approximately 20% to 25% in the next month or so.”  Pain said there isn’t “a letter in the alphabet which adequately describes the profile of the economic shock that … we’re beginning to see.”  —Imbert, Huang

9:16 am: WHO holds press briefing

World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference at 9:30 a.m. ET to update the public on the outbreak. In the past week, the virus has spread substantially beyond China. It’s infected more than 220 people and killed five in Italy as of Monday morning. The majority of the cases are in the northern region of Lombardy and neighboring Veneto, where authorities have shut schools and banned public gatherings in an attempt to contain the virus. South Korea confirmed another 231 cases on Monday, bringing the total in the country to more than 830. The recent surge in cases prompted the South Korean government raise the COVID-19 alert to its highest level. Meanwhile, Iran health officials have confirmed 61 total cases in the country as of Monday, with 12 deaths nationwide. Most of the confirmed cases were found in the city of Qom. However, last week health ministry official Minou Mohrez warned about unconfirmed cases. Watch the live press conference here.

8:44 am: Fear spreads to Milan’s Fashion Week

Coronavirus fears spread to Milan, Italy’s financial hub, where the final two runway shows of Milan Fashion Week scheduled for Monday were canceled. While most fashion houses held shows as usual Sunday, Giorgio Armani and Laura Biagiotti presented their collections behind closed doors, streaming live for the fashion public. —Associated Press

8:07 am: Outbreak fears roil global markets 

U.S. stock futures pointed to sharp declines on Wall Street before markets opened as the number of coronavirus cases outside China surged, stoking fears of a prolonged global economic slowdown from the virus spreading. As of 7:47 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 774 points, indicating a drop of 767 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down by 2.5% and 2.8%, respectively. Futures pointed to the biggest one-day points drop for the Dow since August, when the 30-stock average slid 800 points. Stock markets around the world are selling off on Monday morning as spiking coronavirus cases in Italy, South Korea and the Middle East spark fears of further spread beyond China. South Korea’s Kospi index closed down 3.9% while Italy’s FTSE MIB plunged more than 900 points in early trading. The pan-European Stoxx 600 benchmark tumbled 3.5%, with Britain’s FTSE 100, France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX all falling sharply. —Imbert, Huang, Smith

8:01 am: Ireland cautions against travel to coronavirus-hit areas of Italy

Ireland said its citizens should not travel to parts of Italy affected by an outbreak of the new coronavirus. Italy’s government has moved to close off the worst-hit areas in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, and the death toll in the country from the disease rose to five on Monday. “There has been an increase in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Italy… Citizens are advised not to travel to affected areas,” the foreign ministry said on its website on travel advice updated on Monday. —Reuters

7:49 am: ‘Very significant percentage of business’ impacted by coronavirus, Warren Buffett says

As the ongoing coronavirus outbreak hits stocks, Buffett said “a very significant percentage of our businesses one way are affected.” He added, however, that the businesses are being affected by a lot of other things too, and said the real question is where those businesses are going to be in 5 to 10 years. “They’ll have ups and downs,” he said. Specifically, he pointed to Apple and Dairy Queen being hit, as well as carpet maker Shaw Industries. —Stevens

A medical professional is seen at a preliminary testing facility at the National Medical Center where patients suspected of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) are assessed on February 24, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.

Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images

7:37 am: Hong Kong warns against travel to South Korea as virus spreads

The Hong Kong government warned residents on Monday to avoid all non-essential travel to South Korea, as the government in Seoul reported 231 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the country’s total to more than 800. Fears of a coronavirus pandemic grew on Monday after sharp rises in new cases reported in Iran, Italy and South Korea but China relaxed restrictions on movements in several places, including Beijing, as its rates of new infections eased. —Reuters

6:50 am: Italy confirms five people have died in the country due to coronavirus

Italian authorities on Monday confirmed a fifth person infected with the coronavirus has died. The Civil Protection agency also said more than 200 cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed in the north of the country since Friday, Reuters reported. Italian stocks tumbled during European trading hours, as the euro zone’s third-largest economy continues to grapple with the largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia. —Meredith

Disinfection professionals wear protective gear spray anti-septic solution against the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a National Assembly on February 24, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.

Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images

6:30 am: Iraq reports its first case of coronavirus

Iran’s health ministry reported its first case of the coronavirus on Monday, Reuters reported, saying the flu-like virus had been contracted by an Iranian theology student in the city of Najaf. The patient was thought to have entered Iraq before the government closed border crossings and banned the entry of non-Iraqis coming from Iran. The patient has been quarantined and medical staff are observing international health standards, Iraq’s health ministry said in a statement, according to a Reuters report. Iran, which neighbors Iraq to the west, had confirmed 61 cases of the coronavirus earlier on Monday, with 12 deaths. —Meredith

Read CNBC’s coverage from the Asia-Pacific team overnight: Global stock markets tumble as death toll climbs past 2,500.

Reuters and CNBC’s Fred Imbert, Eustance Huang, Pippa Stevens and Sam Meredith contributed to this report. 

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