Coronavirus latest: China’s Canton fair starts online

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 7,963,453, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 434,432.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Tuesday, June 16

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks erase intraday declines to close higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.6% and the S&P 500 advancing 0.8%.

4:58 a.m. Japan aims to have a new contact-tracing app co-developed by Microsoft available for download as early as this week.

3:57 a.m. German airline Lufthansa says 22,000 jobs — about 16% of its workforce — are at risk of termination owing to the slump in air travel.

2:19 a.m. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration revokes its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, the drug championed by President Donald Trump, reports Reuters.

1:40 a.m. Australia’s Qantas Airways says it is leaving its joint venture with Vietnam Airlines amid growing headwinds from the coronavirus outbreak.

12:45 a.m. The nearly 200-year-old London Zoo has reopened for the first time in almost three months, but will take in far fewer visitors than normal for the time being.

Monday, June 15

11:31 p.m. Japan’s health ministry says it has “mostly completed” distribution of reusable cloth masks to every household in the country, one of the early initiatives by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s to limit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

10:45 p.m. Singapore says it will proceed with plans to reopen most of its economy, allow stores to resume business Friday as the country further eases coronavirus restrictions.

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks tumble at the opening bell after spikes in coronavirus infections were reported in parts of the country, as well as in China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumps around 600 points, or about 2%.

7:38 p.m. China’s Canton Import and Export Fair will take place online, without visitors. Nearly 26,000 exhibitors will display goods such as electrical appliances and food on a dedicated website. More than 8,000 will participate via live-streaming video.

6:38 p.m. Malaysia reported 41 new coronavirus cases, brining its total to 8,494 infections. The Health Ministry reported no new deaths.

6:00 p.m. China is getting a propaganda boost from the “Black Lives Matter” protests and the pandemic woes in the U.S. Experts say the Chinese government is using nationalism to divert attention from its own economic problems.

5:52 p.m. Indonesia reports 1,017 new infections and 64 more deaths, taking its totals to 39,294 cases and 2,198 fatalities. A total of 592 more patients have recovered from the virus, bringing the overall number to 15,123.

5:39 p.m. Thailand is trying to jump-start its tourism sector by implementing “travel bubbles” and COVID-19 tracing measures, but troubled flagship carrier Thai Airways has clouded the industry’s prospects.

4:37 p.m. Asia’s equity markets take a tumble as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections spook investor confidence. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei Stock Average fell sharply, closing 3.4% lower at 21,530 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and Australia’s benchmark each dropped 2%. China’s Shanghai Composite was mostly flat while South Korea’s Kospi index slumped over 4%.

3:47 p.m. India’s total confirmed cases reach 332,424, with fatalities at 9,520, according to a morning report. The nation has recorded more than 11,000 new cases for three days in a row now.

3:16  p.m. Tokyo confirms 48 new infections on Monday, many of them tied to workers in nightlife districts, sources tell Nikkei, up from 47 cases a day earlier. A second straight day of nearly 50 infections has renewed concerns about a resurgence of the virus.

2:10 p.m. Thailand reports no new infections or deaths, maintaining its total of 3,135 confirmed cases and 58 fatalities. Monday was the second time in five days that no new cases were reported and marked 21 days without a local transmission.

2:05 p.m. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort says it will reopen on Thursday, almost five months after closing due to virus concerns. The theme park will operate at a reduced capacity with social distancing measures in place. Guests will be required to reserve their spots one week before visiting.

2:00 p.m. Uniqlo, owned by Fast Retailing, announces that it will start selling “AIRism” face masks in Japan on June 19. The company aims to cater to the growing demand for comfortable masks, as the protective coverings become daily-wear items amid the pandemic.

1:30 p.m. Just 165 people from overseas visited Japan in May — a decline of 99.9% from a year earlier — due to pandemic restrictions, government data shows. It was the second straight monthly 99.9% drop.

Beijing has adopted an aggressive citywide testing campaign to combat a new cluster that has led to the closure of a major food market.

  © Reuters

12:30 p.m. Beijing confirms 36 new cases, the same number as Sunday, when the count was the highest it had been since late March. In four days, 79 cases have surfaced amid an outbreak tied to a major wholesale food market, now closed. Tens of thousands of nearby residents are being tested.

12:25 p.m. The Japanese government is looking to relax restrictions on travel to Vietnam at the end of June, Nikkei has learned. The trial project will begin with a chartered flight for up to 250 business travelers. 

12:10 p.m. Asian shares stumble as fears of a second wave of infections in Beijing pushed investors to safe-havens, while underwhelming data from China also hurt sentiment. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3% with South Korean shares down the same. Japan’s Nikkei faltered 0.7%. and China’s blue-chip CSI300 index declined 0.1%.

11:30 a.m. China’s industrial output expanded 4.4% in May from a year earlier but the gain was less than expected, official data shows, suggesting the economy is struggling to get back on track after the coronavirus crisis.

11:00 a.m. South Korea confirms 37 new cases, up from 34 a day ago. Total infections reach 12,121 with 277 deaths.

7:00 a.m. Brazil confirms 17,110 new infections for Sunday, bringing its total cases to 867,624. The country also adds 612 new deaths, raising its cumulative COVID-19 tally to 43,332.

4:00 a.m. New coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in record numbers swept through more U.S. states, including Florida and Texas, as most push ahead with reopening.

0:32 a.m. Beijing orders all companies to supervise 14-day home quarantine for employees who have visited the Xinfadi market or been in contact with anyone who has.

Sunday, June 14

8:17 p.m. Beijing confirms eight new coronavirus cases recorded in the first seven hours of the day. Health officials from the city say all eight cases are linked to the Xinfadi market, a major food wholesale market in the city’s southwestern Fengtai district. All 43 cases reported in Beijing during the previous three days also have been linked to the market.

6:11 p.m. Malaysia reports eight new cases, taking the total to 8,453. The health ministry also reports one death, raising the total number of fatalities from the outbreak to 121.

5:50 p.m. Indonesia reports 857 new infections and 43 more deaths, taking its totals to 38,277 cases and 2,134 fatalities. A health ministry official says 755 more patients have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 14,531.

5:45 p.m. The Philippines reports 539 more infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 25,930. The Department of Health also has recorded 14 additional fatalities related to the virus, taking the death toll to 1,088.

3:45 p.m. The Tokyo metro government announces 47 new coronavirus infections, 18 of which are traceable to nightlife establishments. Tokyo has recorded new cases in the double digits every day this month.

1:54 p.m. Australia’s two largest states, New South Wales and Victoria, will further ease public coronavirus restrictions at libraries, community centers and nightclubs, officials say, despite new infections being on the increase.

12:31 p.m. China Southern Airlines’ service between Dhaka and Guangzhou will be suspended for four weeks beginning June 22 due to COVID-19 concerns, China’s aviation regulator says. Seventeen passengers on a June 11 flight from the Bangladeshi capital to the southern Chinese city tested positive for the virus.

10:24 a.m. China reports 57 new confirmed cases for Saturday, the highest count since April 13, according to data released by the national health authority. Thirty-six of the new cases were in Beijing.

9:14 a.m. Mexico’s health ministry reports 3,494 new confirmed infections along with 424 additional fatalities for Saturday, bringing the countries totals to 142,690 cases and 16,872 deaths.

6:51 a.m. Brazil registers 21,704 new cases and 892 deaths over the past 24 hours for cumulative totals of 850,514 infections and 42,720 fatalities.

Saturday, June 13

8:03 p.m. Russia reports 8,706 new cases, raising its cumulative tally above 520,000. Also, data shows more than 2,700 people infected with the virus died in April.

5:45 p.m. Indonesia reports 1,014 new infections and 43 more deaths, taking its totals to 37,420 cases and 2,091 fatalities.

3:25 p.m. India reports its biggest single-day jump in cases, adding 11,458 confirmed infections for a total count of more than 300,000, according to data from the federal health ministry. India is the fourth-worst affected country, having surpassed the U.K. on Friday, with cases steadily increasing despite a nationwide lockdown that began in late March that has since been loosened.

10:14 a.m. China reports 11 new COVID-19 cases and seven asymptomatic cases on June 12, the national health authority says. The total number of COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 83,075, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634. China does not count asymptomatic patients as confirmed cases.

9:14 a.m. Mexico’s health ministry reports a record 5,222 new confirmed infections along with 504 additional fatalities for Friday, bringing the totals in the country to 139,196 cases and 16,448 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the official count.

8:06 a.m. Brazil’s death toll overtakes Britain’s to become the second highest with 41,828 dead, but the World Health Organization says the nation’s health system is standing up to the pressure, reports Reuters.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks end higher on buying by bargain hunters following sharp declines the previous day. The Dow closed 1.9% higher while the S&P 500 rose 1.3%. But these indexes had the worst week since March.

2:15 a.m. Canada will phase in mandatory temperature checks for airline passengers and bar anyone with a fever from flying, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.

1:36 a.m. Vaccines for COVID-19 should be treated as global public goods, the World Health Organization says.

“Many leaders…have promoted the idea of making any vaccine a global public good, but that should continue to be promoted,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells a news conference.

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week’s latest updates.

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