Coronavirus Outbreak: Developments
DEATH TOLL TOPS 1,360
China reports 242 new deaths and 14,840 new infections in Hubei, the biggest one-day increases since the crisis began. It comes after authorities broadened their definition for infection to include people "clinically diagnosed" via lung imaging. China's new official toll stands at more than 1,360 deaths and nearly 60,000 infections.
PARTY CHIEFS SACKED
Authorities sack the top political leaders of Hubei province and Wuhan, the highest profile figures to be removed in a purge over the way the outbreak has been handled. A top Red Cross official in Wuhan has also been fired for dereliction of duty and health officials removed in other cities.
MASS QUARANTINE IN VIETNAM
Vietnam becomes the first country outside China to impose a mass quarantine, confining more than 10,000 people to six villages near Hanoi for 20 days. Checkpoints are set up around the villages that make up Son Loi after the health ministry reports six infections there.
JAPAN SHIP CASES RISE
Another 44 people on board a quarantined cruise ship off Japan's coast have tested positive, the health minister says, taking the number to 218. Thousands of people onboard the Diamond Princess are under quarantine until February 19, although Health Minister Katsunobu Kato says some elderly passengers will be allowed off if they test negative.
REJECTED US SHIP TO DOCK
The US cruise ship Westerdam is finally given permission to dock in Cambodia, having been turned away from several Asian ports over concerns that a passenger could be infected. This ship is to dock early Friday in Sihanoukville and passengers will be transferred directly to the airport to fly to Phnom Penh and onward.
MAJOR MOBILE FAIR SCRAPPED
The world's top mobile telephone trade fair, the annual World Mobile Congress, is cancelled after fears stemming from the coronavirus spark an exodus of industry heavyweights. The event had been planned to run in Barcelona from February 24 to 27. The organising GSMA mobile trade association says "the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible" for it to go ahead.
OIL MARKET HIT
The International Energy Agency warns that global oil demand will suffer its first quarterly drop in a decade as the COVID-19 virus lashes the economy in China and its impact ripples throughout the world. "Demand is now expected to fall by 435,000 barrels year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, the first quarterly contraction in more than 10 years" when it dropped during the global economic crisis, it says.