Health and Science

Hong Kong reports first coronavirus death as mainland China cases cross 20,000

Key Points
  • China says as of end of Monday there were a total of 425 deaths and 20,438 confirmed cases in the country.
  • Hong Kong's Hospital Authority told CNBC that a 39-year-old man had died in the city's first coronavirus-related death.
  • Singapore and Thailand each reported six new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday.
  • While many countries confirm their own cases, the vast majority are still located in China.
CNBC Special Report: Coronavirus
CNBC Special Report: Coronavirus

The coverage on this live blog has ended. For up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's U.S. team.

All times below are in Beijing time.

8:05pm: Chinese aviation officials urge airlines to continue flights to non-restricted countries

The Civil Aviation Administration of China told domestic airlines that when they cancel a portion of flights in consideration of market demand, they need to ensure they continue to operate to countries where flights are allowed (other than when the other country has placed restrictions). That's according to an online post from the administration's official news service midday Tuesday.

7:20 pm: Fatality rate 'should gradually decline' - Chinese health officials

"I'm confident that it won't require that long of a time period before the effects [of our efforts] will be evident, and Wuhan's case-fatality rate should gradually decline," Jiao Yahui, deputy director of the medical affairs and hospital administration of the National Health Commission, said Tuesday at a daily press conference in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation.

Jiao pointed out that 74% of coronavirus deaths, or 313, are in the city of Wuhan, where there is a case-fatality rate of 4.9%. That's primarily due to lack of hospital beds in the early days of the virus' spread, she said. At that time, she said there were only three designated hospitals with 110 beds for the critically ill.

As a result, the other critically ill patients were dispersed to more than 20 other medical institutions, Jiao said. Now, she said, the city has brought in more professional, national-level health care management, and are trying to improve rotation of medical staff to avoid fatigue.

The NHC also revealed Tuesday that of those who have died of the virus, males account for two-thirds and females one-third. Over 80% of the fatalities are over 60 years of age while more than 75% had at least one underlying illness. The fatality rate within China outside of Hubei province is 0.16%.

6:40 pm: Macao closes casinos for two weeks

The semi-autonomous Chinese territory of Macao, the world's biggest gambling hub, has asked all casino operators to suspend operations for two weeks in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

6:20 pm: Singapore confirms six more coronavirus cases, including first local transmission

Singapore's health ministry has confirmed six more coronavirus cases, including four Singaporean nationals with no recent travel history to China.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a briefing that there was no evidence yet of widespread transmission in Singapore, according to Reuters, but there have now been 24 confirmed cases.

5:50 pm: Cathay Pacific cuts global capacity by 30% due to outbreak

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific plans to cut 30% of its global capacity, including 90% to mainland China, owing to the sharp fall in demand caused by the virus outbreak.

In a statement on Tuesday, the airline announced that it had seen a "significant drop in market demand" for flights.

"These reductions are temporary for now and are driven by the commercial and operational realities at the current time, as well as projections in short-term demand," Cathay Pacific said in the announcement, adding that its current financial position "remains strong."

5:30 pm: Hubei province investigates three local Red Cross leaders

Hubei province's Commission for Discipline Inspection said Tuesday on its website that it removed party member Zhang Qin from the position of full-time deputy chair of the provincial Red Cross, according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese text.

The online statement also said Chen Bo, local Red Cross Party member, and Gao Qin, vice chair and party secretary of the local Red Cross, received warnings and penalties to a lesser degree.

The Red Cross did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment. The charity has come under strong criticism in China for widespread reports of mismanagement of donations.

5:15 pm: Thailand confirms six new cases, including four Thai nationals

Thailand's health ministry has confirmed six new cases of coronavirus, including four Thai nationals.

These included a couple who had visited Japan and two drivers who had picked up Chinese passengers in Thailand, the health ministry said.

The total confirmed cases in Thailand now sits at 25.

3:41 pm: Hyundai Motor to suspend production lines in South Korea

The automaker said in a statement it decided to suspend production assembly lines from operating at all of its plants in the country due to disruptions in the supply of parts from China, where many factories are shuttered due to the coronavirus outbreak. The suspensions will start from Feb. 7 but some productions lines are expected to resume Feb. 11 or Feb. 12, Reuters reported, citing a union official.

Hyundai said schedules for suspension will vary by production line and that it is reviewing ways to minimize the disruption to its operations, including seeking alternative suppliers in the region.

3:30 pm: Chinese shares closed higher

Chinese stocks held onto Tuesday's partial recovery at the open and finished the trading day in positive territory, following Monday's sell-off. The Shanghai composite rose 1.34% to around 2,783.29 while the Shenzhen component gained 3.17% to 10,089.67.

Other major Asia Pacific markets also rose while European markets were predicted to open higher.

2:58 pm: Beijing city delays school reopening

In its bid to control the virus outbreak, the Beijing Municipal Government said in an online statement Tuesday that rather than reopening on Feb. 17, as planned, middle and elementary schools in the city will delay the start of the spring semester. Teachers have recorded classes for students to learn from online, the statement said. The announcement also noted that the education ministry would like to make it clear that postponing the opening of schools is an extension of the holiday, and schools are not to organize new classes, or any kind of in-person activities.

2:49 pm: Taiwan to implement entry restrictions and visa control measures starting Feb. 7

Taiwan's foreign affairs ministry said starting Feb. 7, foreign nationals who have travel history in mainland China in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Taiwan. The restriction also applies to those who are eligible for visa-free treatment as well as those carrying valid visas.

On Monday, China told the World Health Organization that channels of communication with Taiwan had been "unblocked," with Beijing sharing full information on the coronavirus with authorities across the Strait.

Taiwan said it has 10 confirmed cases, which are all in stable condition.

China considers self-governing Taiwan a wayward province to be brought under its control.

1:11 pm: Singapore Airshow says event will proceed as planned

Organizers of the biennial Singapore Airshow said the event will proceed as planned from Feb. 11 to Feb. 16, but a related summit involving 300 aviation leaders, including government officials, airline executives, and civil aviation authorities, will not take place.

More precautionary measures such as additional temperature screening at the venues will be implemented to safeguard the well-being of attendees, the organizers said.

Singapore's recent travel restrictions and company policies on employee travel bans are expected to reduce the number of exhibitors and visitors — ten exhibitors from China have confirmed they will not participate in the Singapore Airshow, according to the organizers.

12:18 pm: Japan screens quarantined cruise ship passengers for coronavirus

Japan began screening 3,700 quarantined passengers and crew on board a Carnival Corp's Princess Cruises ship for the new coronavirus, local media reported. The ship was held after a previous guest, who didn't have any symptoms while onboard, tested positive for the deadly virus on Saturday, six days after disembarking. Japan said it would step up the scope and criteria for testing people after initial screenings for some failed to initially detect the infection, Reuters reported.

Correction: The post has been updated to reflect the correct timing of the entry.

11:30 am: Hong Kong confirms 39-year-old man died

Hong Kong's Hospital Authority told CNBC that a 39-year-old man died Tuesday morning in the city's first death related to the coronavirus outbreak. Details of the case are set to be announced at a briefing held by the Department of Health and Hospital Authority at 4:30 p.m. local time.

This would be the second known death outside of mainland China. On Sunday, officials said a man from Wuhan died in a hospital in Manila, Philippines.

10:59 am: Walmart is cutting rents and fees for its stores in China

Walmart said it is cutting rents and management fees in half for business tenants in community stores and Sam's Club, a membership-based line of stores selling goods in bulk at wholesale prices, from Jan. 25 to Feb. 8.

The company, which has more than 400 retail locations throughout the country, said last week it donated 1 million yuan to provide medical supplies and increased support to Hubei province.

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb gives update on coronavirus
Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb gives update on coronavirus

10:48 am: Former US FDA commissioner says coronavirus will likely become a pandemic

The outbreak has already been declared an epidemic in China. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, told CNBC it "likely will" become a pandemic at this point. The World Health Organization describes a pandemic as the worldwide spread of a new disease.

10 am: Chinese stocks turn positive after Monday's hammering

After plunging more than 7% on Monday, Chinese shares turned positive in the first half-hour of trade on Tuesday. The Shanghai composite index rose around 0.65% and the Shenzhen component jumped 1.82% — investor sentiment across the region appeared to have improved somewhat as other major indexes also posted gains.

Ratings agency Moody's said the coronavirus outbreak would hurt China by lowering discretionary consumer spending on transport, retail, tourism, and entertainment. But, the government has the financial means to absorb the economic shock, according to the firm.

9:39 am: New Wuhan hospital begins accepting patients

Wuhan's new Huoshenshan hospital began accepting patients as of 9 a.m. on Tuesday, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Construction began for two new emergency hospitals aimed at combating the coronavirus outbreak in the city just over a week ago, with crews working around the clock to complete the facilities. The Huoshenshan hospital is said to have 1,000 beds, while the second facility would have 1,500 beds, the Associated Press reported.

9:11 am: Uber, Lyft riders of Asian descent reporting discrimination in the US

Riders told CNBC their drivers are refusing rides from people with Asian sounding names. A Facebook group with more than 12,000 Lyft and Uber drivers had many of its members say they did not want to pick up riders of Asian descent and that it was unsafe to do so.

A CNBC search found dozens of tweets involving both riders and divers reluctant to share a car with a person of Asian appearance.

8:59 am: China says it hopes US will provide assistance to battle the outbreak

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in a statement urged the U.S. to refrain from overreacting to the epidemic and to cooperate with Beijing and the international community's efforts in containing the outbreak. Hua said China hoped the U.S. would provide relevant assistance soon.

Though the U.S. last week moved to deny entry to any foreign nationals with recent travel history in China, President Donald Trump previously tweeted Washington has "offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary."

Trump Tweet: We are in very close communication with China concerning the virus. Very few cases reported in USA, but strongly on watch. We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary. Our experts are extraordinary!

7:55 am: China confirms 64 additional deaths and 3,235 new cases

China's National Health Commission said there were an additional 64 deaths and 3,235 new confirmed cases. It said all of the additional deaths were in Hubei, where Wuhan is located. That brings the country's total to 425 deaths and 20,438 confirmed cases, the government said.

6:43 am: China's Hubei province confirms additional 64 deaths and 2,345 cases

The Hubei Provincial Health Committee confirmed an additional 64 deaths and 2,345 cases through the end of Monday. It confirmed that total cases have risen to 13,522 as the death toll in the province hits 414.

The province's capital, Wuhan, is considered the epicenter of the outbreak. Although other countries have reported their own cases, the vast majority are still located in China.

All times below are in Eastern time.

5 pm: Washington State patient has been treated and discharged

The coronavirus patient in Washington State has been treated and discharged from Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, a spokeswoman from the Snohomish County Health District said. The patient is recovering in isolation at home, the spokeswoman said. "I am at home and continuing to get better," the patient, whose identity remains unknown, said in a statement. "I appreciate all of the concern expressed by members of the public, and I look forward to returning to my normal life."

4:43 pm: Goldman Sachs cancels annual partners meeting

Goldman Sachs canceled its annual partners meeting scheduled for this week because travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus outbreak prevented some Asia-based employees from making it to the bank's New York headquarters, according to two people familiar with the plans. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon will instead host a townhall meeting for about 250 of the partners able to attend in New York, one of the people said.

4:38 pm: Prepping quarantine facilities for travelers from Hubei

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now working with state and local health authorities to prepare facilities for quarantine. The Trump administration announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine on Friday for any American who has traveled to Hubei province in the two weeks prior to the announcement.

"The discussions about where those patients will go is a conversation the CDC has been having actively with the state and local health departments," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Monday. "We are working through an operational plan that might be slightly different at each of those locations depending on how much preparation they've done."

There are currently 195 Americans in mandatory quarantine, according to health officials. But that number could grow.

For more coverage on the coronavirus, read the overnight blog from CNBC's U.S. team.

— CNBC's Chery Kang, Vivian Kam, Berkeley Lovelace Jr. and William Feuer contributed to this report.