Coronavirus live updates: China goes back to work as cases exceed 40,000 – latest news

Coronavirus live updates: China goes back to work as cases exceed 40,000 – latest news thumbnail

Chinese state media is reporting that the government pumped $129bn into the financial system today. It says the money has gone in via “reverse repos”, which is a reverse repurchase agreement. This is the purchase of securities with the agreement to sell them at a higher price at a specific future date.

People’s Daily, China

China’s central bank pumped 900 billion yuan (about $129 billion) into the financial system via reverse repos on Monday.

February 10, 2020

A citizen journalist who had been reporting from the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak has gone missing, prompting claims that the Chinese authorities are silencing another whistleblower.

Chen Qiushi, a human rights advocate, has been missing since Thursday – the same day Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist who was punished by authorities for trying to warn colleagues and friends about a new Sars-like virus, was first reported to have died from the coronavirus.

You can see our full story here.

‘Sixty more cases’ on Japan cruise ship – reports

Sixty more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on the Diamond princess cruise ship, domestic broadcaster TBS TV said via Twitter. NHK Japan is also saying around 60 new cases have been identified, quoting the health ministry.

That brings total cases on the ship docked in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, to 130, according to TBS.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been stranded in Yokohama port since passengers were diagnosed with coronavirus.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been stranded in Yokohama port since passengers were diagnosed with coronavirus. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images


The Mobile World Congress – the largest exhibition for the mobile phone industry – being held in Barcelona this month, has announced travellers from Hubei province will not be admitted. In addition, organisers announced that:

  • All travellers from the Hubei province will not be permitted access to the event
  • All travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof they have been outside of China 14 days prior to the event (passport stamp, health certificate)
  • Temperature screening will be implemented
  • Attendees will need to self-certify they have not been in contact with anyone infected

Amazon has announced it will not attend the conference, because of coronavirus-related concerns.

Other companies believed to have pulled out include LG and Ericsson, according to Techcrunch.

China food prices spike 20.6% in January

China’s consumer prices rose at the highest rate in more than eight years, official data on Monday showed, with inflation more than expected on the back of lunar new year demand and a deadly virus outbreak.

The consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of retail inflation, came in at 5.4% last month on-year, up from 4.5% in December – with prices of pork and fresh vegetables pushing up costs. It’s the highest CPI rise since October 2011.

The report showed that food prices spiked 20.6%, including pork which rose 116% from a year ago, up from the 97% rise in December. The on-month rise for pork was 8.5%.

“People also tend to hoard food and other supplies in this kind of situation. The hoarding will most likely push up prices,” said Lu Ting of Nomura in a research note last Thursday.


The Economist’s Simon Rabinovitch in Shanghai, has been posting some pictures about the empty streets on the day people were supposed to go back to work.

Simon Rabinovitch

One final shot to leave you with: Huaihai Middle Road, a central artery, at midday. A few seconds after I took this, a number of cars came by. So it’s not totally dead. But it is still a long way away from normality. (9/9)

February 10, 2020

Simon Rabinovitch

Anyone using the subway must wear a face mask. This sign reminds people that it must be kept on for the entire journey. (8/)

February 10, 2020

Simon Rabinovitch

Many of the offices that are open now require employees to remove their outer footwear before entering. (7/)

February 10, 2020

Simon Rabinovitch

But the organized chaos of the delivery economy is in full swing. Boxes spill onto the pavement outside office towers and apartment blocks. Most everything always ends up where it’s supposed to go. (4/)

February 10, 2020

The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a report on the clinical characteristics of 138 coronavirus patients in Wuhan. It details symptoms and clinical characteristics of the virus and gives an insight into infections.

Of the 138 patients covered in the results, common symptoms included fever (99%), fatigue (70%), dry cough (60%).

Less common symptoms were headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

Most patients received antiviral therapy and many also received antibacterial therapy.

About a quarter of patients in the study were admitted to intensive care because of complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome. The median time from the first symptom to shortness of breath (dyspnea) was five days, and eight days to acute respiratory symptoms.

The median hospital stay was 10 days.

The study also found that of the 138 patients, 57 were presumed to have been infected in hospital, including 17 patients (12.3%) who were already hospitalised for other reasons and 40 health care workers (29%).

This may go some way to explaining the rapid building of coronavirus-specific hospitals in Wuhan.

The report says “to our knowledge, is the largest case series to date of hospitalised patients” and was published on 3 February.

For the medically minded, I have attached the report here.

Workers disinfect closed shop lots in the Jiang’an District of Wuhan.

Workers disinfect closed shop lots in the Jiang’an District of Wuhan. Photograph: Cheng Min/AP


You can find our latest wrap on the coronavirus below, including the WHO’s warning that confirmed cases of coronavirus being transmitted by people who have never travelled to China could be the “tip of the iceberg”.

As people in Beijing return to work for the first time after lunar new year, state media is reporting a 50% drop in train passengers. “Those not wearing a face mask will be advised to leave the station,” CGTN says.


Today marks the first day of work after the extended Chinese New Year holiday in many Chinese cities.

Beijing subway has reported about a 50% drop in passenger flow compared to a normal work day; those not wearing a face mask will be advised to leave the station.

February 10, 2020

Normal restrictions in Beijing to limit the number of private cars on the road have been lifted temporarily, to help people avoid public transport.


The state run tabloid Global Times has published footage of Wuhan’s twice-daily disinfections, that began on Sunday.

Global Times

#Wuhan has started centralized disinfection twice daily since Feb 9 to minimize risk of novel #coronavirus pneumonia contamination. Disinfection is carried out at 10 am & 4 pm everyday in hospital vicinities, centralized isolation points, community areas, etc. #NCP

February 10, 2020


WHO says we may only be seeing ‘tip of the iceberg’

The head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says “we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg” with regards to the spread of the coronavirus. He says the detection of a small number of cases (globally) may indicate more widespread transmission in countries outside China, adding that there have been “some concerning instances” of the virus’s spread from people with no travel history to China.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

There’ve been some concerning instances of onward #2019nCoV spread from people with no travel history to 🇨🇳. The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.

February 9, 2020

He has reiterated a point he made on Sunday – that “all countries must use the window of opportunity created by the containment strategy to prepare for the virus’s possible arrival”.

Ghebreyesus has called on all countries to share what they know “in real time with @WHO”.

Members of a WHO-led “international expert mission” flew to China on Monday to help coordinate a response to the virus outbreak.


A little bit more on the Kia announcement. It blames a shortage of parts for the suspension of production at its factories at Gwangju and Sohari on MOnday and Tuesday. It said it would monitor the availability of auto parts in order to determine whether to resume production after that.

A man wears a face mask at the Kia standat the India Auto Expo 2020 in Greater Noida last week.

A man wears a face mask at the Kia stand at the India Auto Expo 2020 in Greater Noida last week. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/EPA

Kia’s Hwaseong factory halted output on Monday but is expected to resume production on Tuesday.


The continued closure of Wuhan means many shops remain closed, making it harder for elderly people to shop, as this tweet from the New York Times Beijing reporter, Chris Buckley, points out.

Chris Buckley 储百亮

Food is available in Wuhan, but the closure of many shops makes it much harder for elderly people who don’t have care nearby. And of course many are afraid to step outside.

February 10, 2020

South Korean carmaker Kia is suspending production at three factories in the country, according to Reuters. It follows Hyundai’s decision last week to suspend work at its giant plant at Ulsan, citing a shortage of parts from China.


Kia Motors: To Suspend Production At All Of Its Three Car Manufacturing Sites In South Korea – RTRS

February 10, 2020

In other markets news, the Australian dollar has risen 0.38% on signs that businesses are starting to reopen in China. The Aussie, as the currency is known, is standing at US67.01c after dipping to US66.62. The currency is seen as a proxy for the Chinese economy because of Australia’s close economic ties with China.

Looking at those figures for deaths and infections in China that we reported, I wanted to quickly look at where the suspected infections were. Of the 4,008 new cases of suspected infections, 2,272 are in Hubei province. This is 56% of suspected cases. It compares with last week as per below:

  • Sunday: 3,916 suspected new cases; 2,067 in or 53% Hubei
  • Saturday: 4,214 suspected new cases; 2,073 or 49% in Hubei
  • Friday: 4,833 suspected new cases; 2,622 or 54% in Hubei
  • Thursday: 5,328 suspected new cases; 3,230 or 60% in Hubei

  • Wednesday: 3,971 suspected new cases; 1957 or 49% in Hubei

  • Tuesday: 5,072 suspected new cases; 3,182 or 63% in Hubei

  • Monday: 5,173 suspected new cases; 3,260 or 70% in Hubei

  • Sunday: 4,562 suspected new cases; 2,606 or 57% in Hubei

Of the 97 new deaths, the overwhelming majority are in Hubei province (91), with 2 in Anhui province, 1 in Heilongjiang province, 1 in Jiangxi province, 1 in Hainan province, and 1 in Gansu province


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