Coronavirus updates: China reports 8 new cases, wife of Canadian PM tests positive

Key Points

  • Italy’s health ministry said as of 6 p.m. UTC on March 12, there were a total of 15,113 cases, including 1,258 people who have recovered and 1,016 who have died.
  • South Korea reported an additional 110 cases of COVID-19 as well as one new patient death.
  • China’s National Health Commission said there were 8 new confirmed cases on the mainland and seven additional deaths.
  • Disney said it will close its theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort, starting at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, through the end of the month. 
  • Global cases: At least 125,288, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization
  • Global deaths: At least 4,614, according to the latest figures from the WHO
  • US cases: At least 1,663, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

All times below are in Beijing time.

3:50 pm: Kenya confirms first case of the coronavirus

Kenya’s Minister of Health Mutahi Kagwe confirmed the country’s first case of the coronavirus Friday.

Speaking to a news conference, Kagwe told reporters the patient had traveled to Kenya from the U.S. and was diagnosed on March 12.

Several African countries have reported cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks. Egypt has the most coronavirus infections on the continent, with 67 confirmed cases and one death. — Sam Meredith

3:26 pm: Australia’s home affairs minister tests positive for COVID-19

Peter Dutton, Australia’s home affairs minister, said in a statement posted on his Twitter account that he has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

“This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat,” said Dutton, adding that he “immediately contacted” the Queensland Department of Health and got tested.

The minister said he feels “fine” and is admitted into hospital.

Earlier this week, Dutton posted on Twitter that he opened a new campus at the University of Sunshine Coast. He also tweeted that he was in Washington last week meeting officials from the U.S., U.K., Canada and New Zealand. — Yen Nee Lee

3:10 pm: Indonesia announces $8.1 billion stimulus 

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, announced a 120 trillion rupiah ($8.1 billion) stimulus package to counter economic disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, reported Reuters. 

The stimulus include income tax exemptions for some workers in the manufacturing sector, discounts on corporate taxes for some manufacturing companies, according to the report. 

Indonesia’s move follows similar steps taken by its neighbors, including Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia which earlier increased their respective government budgets to soften the economic hits from the virus. — Yen Nee Lee

2:55 pm: Shanghai subjects travelers from eight countries to mandatory 14-day quarantine 

The Shanghai municipal government announced late Thursday that beginning Friday, all travelers from South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, France, Spain, Germany and the U.S. must be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in the city.

The policy applies to both Chinese nationals and foreigners, according to a statement.

In a separate statement to CNBC, the German Consulate General in Shanghai confirmed the move. 

“Upon arrival at the airports passengers will be screened and assigned three different categories with green, yellow or red stickers on their passports,” the German embassy statement read.

“With a yellow sticker quarantine can be spent at home. With a red sticker and/or no permanent residence is established in Shanghai, the quarantine has to be spent at a hotel designated by the Shanghai municipal authorities. Transport from the airport to these designated hotels will be provided by the city. Special but similar rules apply to short term business travelers,” it added. — Evelyn Cheng

1:38 pm: Australia reportedly bans all non essential gatherings of 500 people

Australia will ban all non-essential public gatherings of 500 people or more from Monday as part of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. That is set to affect crowds at the Australian Football League, Rugby League and concerts, the paper said. 

As of March 13, 11 a.m. local time, Australia has at least 156 confirmed cases including three deaths, health ministry data showed.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

12:41 pm: Singapore bans new visitors who’ve been to Italy, France, Spain and Germany

Singapore’s health ministry said from March 15 at 11:59 p.m., all new visitors with recent travel history to Italy, France, Spain and Germany in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the city-state or transit through. For Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who visited those countries recently, they would be issued with stay-home notices where they will have to remain in their place of residence at all times for two weeks after returning. 

Residents and long-term pass holders returning from mainland China (outside Hubei province), Iran and South Korea will continue to be issued with stay-home notices upon their return to Singapore, the health ministry said. Singapore has at least 187 confirmed cases to-date and 96 of those patients have been discharged, government tally showed. There have not been any reported deaths from the disease.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

11:35 am: PGA Tour cancels events including The Players Championship golf tournament

The Players Championship golf tournament in Florida has been canceled along with all events through the Valero Texas Open, according to the PGA Tour

“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of The Players Championship,” PGA Tour said in a statement. “We have also decided to cancel all PGA Tour events – across all of our Tours – in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open.” The Valero Texas Open ends on Apr 5.

Earlier Thursday, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said that The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, Florida and all tournaments in the near future will go on as planned, but without spectators due to the spread of the coronavirus.” The commissioner said he spoke with President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis earlier Thursday and is in constant communication with local health officials. — Jessica Golden

11:20 am: Chinese banking sector extends more than $200 billion in loans

China’s banking and insurance regulator said Friday that so far the country’s banks and financial institutions have extended more than 1.4 trillion yuan ($200 billion) in loans for support in fighting the coronavirus outbreak. The number of new reported cases in China has gone down in recent weeks as the global spread of the infection picked up pace in places like Italy, Iran and South Korea. — Evelyn Cheng

11:17 am: All of Apple’s stores in China are set to open Friday

All of Apple’s stores in China are set to open on Friday after the virus outbreak forced a prolonged closure of its retail locations. The U.S. technology giant has 42 stores in China and while all have opened their doors, some are operating on limited hours.

In early February, Apple said it would temporarily shut down all its stores in mainland China through Feb. 9. After that, it took a while for stores to reopen. By Mar. 9, all but four of the mainland China retail locations were open. China is a critical market for Apple. The iPhone-maker warned that it would not meet the already wider-than-usual revenue guidance it gave for the March quarter of $63 billion to $67 billion.  Arjun Kharpal

11:10 am: Cryptocurrencies are getting hammered

It’s not just stocks that are getting hammered. The cryptocurrency market saw a huge sell-off in the past 24 hours. The total value of the entire cryptocurrency market plummeted around $93.5 billion in the space of 24 hours as of 10:07 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com. Bitcoin was down 48% while other digital coins like ethereum and XRP were down 49% an over 42% respectively.  Arjun Kharpal

10:59 am: China reports 8 new cases and 7 deaths

China’s National Health Commission said there were eight new confirmed cases on the mainland and seven additional deaths. Most of the fatalities occurred in Hubei province. To date, there have been 80,813 confirmed cases; among them, 64,111 have been cured and 3,176 people have died.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:54 am: China says SME work resumption rate outside Hubei province is around 60%

Small and medium-sized businesses in China outside of Hubei province have resumed work at a rate of about 60%, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Friday.

The resumption of work rate outside Hubei province for industrial enterprises larger than a certain scale has surpassed 95% on average, with employees returning to work at an average rate of 80%, the ministry said.  Evelyn Cheng

10:37 am: Microsoft’s annual conference to be held online

Microsoft said Thursday evening it would not be holding its three-day Build conference for developers in Seattle in May as originally planned. About 6,000 people had been expected to attend last year’s Build show. The event will be held online. — Jordan Novet

10:26 am: Trudeau’s wife tests positive for COVID-19

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire, has tested positive for COVID-19

“Following medical advice, she will remain in isolation for the time being. She is feeling well, is taking all the recommended precautions and her symptoms remain mild,” according to a statement tweeted by Cameron Ahmad, Justin Trudeau’s communications director. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:50 am: South Korea reports 110 new cases

South Korea reported an additional 110 cases of COVID-19 as well as one new patient death, according to data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest figures bring the total number of infected to 7,979 and fatalities related to the virus stand at 67. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:40 am: Disney announces more closures

Disney said it will close its theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort, starting at the close of business on Sunday through the end of the month. 

Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures starting Saturday through the end of the month. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:24 am: Major US theme parks to temporarily close

Universal Orlando Resort said it will temporarily close its theme parks, effective at the close of business on Sunday. “We anticipate remaining closed through the end of March — but will continue to evaluate the situation,” it said in a statement on Twitter. 

Earlier, Southern California theme parks announced temporary closures after Gov. Gavin Newsom advised residents to cancel or postpone events involving more than 250 people. Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure plan to close starting Saturday. Universal Studios expects to reopen on March 28. Disney will continue to pay cast members while the park is closed. It anticipates keeping the parks closed until April. — Saheli Roy Choudhury, Sarah Whitten

8:53 am: China’s Didi Chuxing sets aside $10 million-fund for drivers and couriers

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said it is setting aside a $10 million special relief fund for its drivers and couriers in markets outside China, in Asia and Latin America. The fund would be used to provide financial assistance to those diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the company, which said it had announced similar measures in China in January after the initial virus outbreak. 

“The health of partners and passengers is our top priority and we hope this fund will help support our partners and protect the safety of this platform. We will continue to work with health authorities to see how we can best prepare our communities as the situation develops,” Jean Liu, president of DiDi, said in a statement. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:16 am: Major Asia-Pacific markets sink more than 6% each in morning trade

Investors in Asia-Pacific markets remained worried about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on global growth prospects, taking cues from the overnight performance on Wall Street where stocks plummeted.  Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 fell 7%, the Nikkei 225 in Japan was down 6.98% and South Korea’s Kospi index declined 6.15%.

“Many global bourses are now at their lowest levels in four or five years,” David Plank from ANZ Research wrote in a note. “Growth expectations and earnings expectations are being revised down sharply and uncertainty over the duration of the slump is extending.” — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:48 am: Google employee in India tests positive, office park shuts down

A Google employee based in its Bangalore, India, office tested positive for COVID-19 and is in quarantine, according to internal documents viewed by CNBC. It’s the second known case of a Google employee contracting the disease and potentially being in contact with other workers. Employees have been asked to work from home at the Bangalore office on March 13 while the company conducts “further sanitisation.” Bangalore is one of several offices Google has in India, which mainly manages Search, services and product support. — Jennifer Elias

7:30 am: Italy cases top 15,000, death toll above 1,000

Italy’s health ministry said as of 6 p.m. local time on March 12, there were a total of 15,113 cases, including 1,258 people who have recovered and 1,016 who have died. The country tightened its nationwide lockdown further by ordering all non-essential shops and services to close. Citizens’ movements and activities have already been restricted and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the world was watching to see how Italy, now the country worst hit by the virus outside China, responds. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:19 am: Australian Grand Prix is canceled

Formula One’s Australian Grand Prix race has been canceled. 

“Last night a member of the McLaren Racing team tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. A further seven individuals returned negative results, confirming that they do not have the COVID-19 virus,” the race organizers tweeted, adding a ninth individual has been assessed and tested for the disease, with results pending. “The individual is not associated with any Formula 1 team, the FIA or associated suppliers.” 

Many sporting events and seasons been canceled or postponed due to fears over the global pandemic. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:10 am: Canadian PM self-isolating while his wife waits on test results

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is self-isolating at home while his wife, Sophie Gregoire, awaits the results of a test for COVID-19, a spokesperson said Thursday. “The doctor’s advice to the Prime Minister is to continue daily activities while self-monitoring, given he is exhibiting no symptoms himself,” Cameron Ahmad, Trudeau’s communications director, said in a statement. — Tucker Higgins

All times below are in Eastern time.

6 pm: Stock futures point to more losses Friday following market’s worst day since ‘Black Monday’

Stock futures pointed to more pain ahead on Friday as they fell in overnight trading following major averages losing the most since the “Black Monday” market crash in 1987.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost about 250 points shortly after the open of overnight trading Thursday. — Yun Li

5:37 pm: Amazon tells all employees to stay home amid coronavirus fears

Amazon is telling all of its employees globally to stay home through the month of March, as the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads.

“We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. “As a result, we are now recommending that all of our employees globally who are able to work from home do so through the end of March.” — Annie Palmer

4:11 pm: New York City declares state of emergency

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, just hours after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new restrictions for large events and businesses. De Blasio said he expected that large venues like Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and Radio City Music Hall will not operate “for a number of months.” — Sara Salinas

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: France shutters schools, New York bans gatherings over 500

— CNBC’s Jordan Novet, Sarah Whitten, Jennifer Elias, Tucker Higgins, Sara Salinas, Yun Li, and Annie Palmer contributed to this report.

This article was first published on CNBC https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/13/coronavirus-latest-updates-covid19.html and is republished with its permission.

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