Here are the highlights:
Xi Jinping signaled a more assertive response.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has signaled a more assertive strategy for dealing with the coronavirus epidemic after days of seeming to retreat from center stage.
His convening of a second special Communist Party meeting on Monday was only his second public appearance since the government in Wuhan, which is at the epicenter of the outbreak, took the extraordinary step of locking down the city on Jan. 23. That order was almost certainly approved at the highest levels in Beijing.
Mr. Xi sent Premier Li Keqiang to Wuhan more than a week ago, when the death toll stood at 106. By Tuesday, the toll in China was more than 420 deaths. The Chinese government has reported 20,438 confirmed cases.
Mr. Xi called the crisis “a major test of China’s system and capacity for governance,” according to the state-run news media. He warned officials not to resist orders or to let “bureaucratism” slow government efforts to bring the outbreak under control.
“Those who disobey the unified command or shirk off responsibilities will be punished,” Mr. Xi said, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Hyundai suspended production at South Korea car factories.
Hyundai, the world’s fifth-largest carmaker, said on Tuesday that it was suspending production lines at its car factories in South Korea, one of the first major manufacturers to face severe supply chain issues because of the coronavirus.
Hyundai, which relies on auto parts from China, said in a statement that it had “decided to suspend its production lines from operating at its plants in Korea. The decision is due to disruptions in the supply of parts resulting from the coronavirus outbreak in China.”
Many auto plants in China have shut down because of the virus, including factories run by Hyundai, Tesla, Ford and Nissan. Hyundai plants in South Korea would be the first to shut down lines outside China.
“The company is reviewing various measures to minimize the disruption of its operations, including seeking alternative suppliers in other regions,” a Hyundai spokesman said in an email.
Hyundai has a worldwide network of factories, including plants in Russia, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Montgomery, Ala., which can probably make up for lost production in Korea.
But the shutdown of some production at its Korean plants may signal further disruptions at manufacturers that depend on parts from China. The longer that Chinese factories remain shut down, the greater the risk of shortages of key components.
Britain and France urged citizens to evacuate.
Britain and France intensified warnings to their citizens in China on Tuesday, urging all who could do so to vacate the mainland to minimize the risk of infection.
“If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in an updated travel advisory.
The Foreign Office also advised “against all travel” to Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, and “against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China.” It made exceptions for Hong Kong and Macau.
“Where there are still British nationals in Hubei Province who wish to be evacuated, we will continue to work around the clock to facilitate this,” said Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab.
France’s Foreign Ministry issued a similar warning.
“As a precaution,” the warning said, “it is recommended that the French, in particular families, who have no essential reason to stay in China, move away temporarily from the country.”
Like several other countries including the United States, Britain and France have evacuated many of their citizens from Hubei. British and French airlines also have suspended flights to and from mainland China. Chinese carriers continue to operate.
‘The virus is the enemy, not the Chinese.’
China’s consul general in New York, Huang Ping, publicly thanked the Chinese-American community and other concerned Americans on Tuesday for their aid in battling the coronavirus outbreak.
But Mr. Huang, a veteran diplomat, also criticized what he described as an overreaction by the American government in severely restricting travel to and from China. He singled out in particular the decision to evacuate the American Consulate in Wuhan, the city of 11 million in Hubei where the outbreak was first detected.
“I personally don’t quite get it,” Mr. Huang said at a news conference at the Chinese Consulate in Manhattan. “It’s not the practice of Chinese diplomats. I myself did a few evacuations, and at a difficult time of something like that, the diplomats of China would be sent in, rather than pulling out, because you might get people there who need you.”
Mr. Huang, whose consular operations cover 10 states where 130,000 Chinese students are enrolled in universities, also said he had no clarity on how many of them were from Hubei or how recently they had been there, partly because of American privacy rules.
“We’ve been trying our best to find out this information,” he said. “But it’s not that easy.”
Mr. Huang spoke a day after visiting Boston, where a University of Massachusetts student tested positive for the coronavirus last week after returning from China. School officials said the student was recovering, and remained in isolation.
Asked about instances of anti-Chinese bigotry in the United States that have been tied to the coronavirus outbreak, Mr. Huang said that “I really don’t want to see this,” and that he had expressed his concern to Massachusetts officials that the Boston case not incite such behavior.
“I said, ‘The virus is the enemy, not the Chinese,’” Mr. Huang said.
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Looking for the basics? Start here.
What is a coronavirus, and how dangerous is it? Read up on the basics, including its symptoms and how it is transmitted.
Where has the virus spread? You can track its movement with this map.
How is the United States being affected? There were 11 confirmed cases as of Monday. American citizens and permanent residents who fly to the United States from China are now subject to a two-week quarantine.
How Bad Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Get? Here Are 6 Key Factors
Here’s what early research says about how the pathogen behaves and the factors that will determine whether it can be contained.
Hong Kong’s first death was reported amid calls for a border shutdown.
A 39-year-old man in Hong Kong died on Tuesday from the coronavirus, the city’s Hospital Authority said.
It was the first death from the outbreak was in Hong Kong, and the second outside mainland China. The other death, of a man from Wuhan, was in the Philippines.
The man who died in Hong Kong traveled by train to Wuhan on Jan. 21 and returned to the Chinese territory two days later, the government said. Health officials said he also had diabetes, which may have impaired his immune system.
The man’s mother, who did not travel to Wuhan, later contracted the virus. His wife and two children, as well as a domestic worker employed by the family are being quarantined.
Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak
The virus has sickened more than 20,600 people in China and 23 other countries.
Though Hong Kong shares a landmass with mainland China, the territory has not been hit nearly as hard by the outbreak, and has just 17 confirmed cases. A neighboring city just across the border, Shenzhen, has had hundreds of cases.
Hong Kong’s government has been under pressure to close its borders to mainland China. All but three border checkpoints out of 16 were shut on Monday, but the remaining entry points can still admit thousands of mainland Chinese visitors per day.
More than 2,500 medical workers went on strike Monday to demand a fully closed border.
China struggles to keep food available and prices affordable.
The coronavirus crisis is testing China’s ability to feed its 1.4 billion people, one of the Communist Party’s proudest achievements.
Cooped up at home and fearful that the epidemic could last weeks or even months, families across China are hoarding provisions, making it harder for shops and supermarkets to keep fresh food in stock. Many places have closed off roads to passing traffic, slowing truck shipments and raising freight costs.
Chinese officials have vowed to keep food flowing to Wuhan, the inland city of 11 million at the center of the outbreak. Shouguang, one of the country’s biggest hubs for growing, trading and shipping vegetables, has begun donating produce by the truckload to the locked-down city.
Grocery bills in China were already climbing in recent months as an epidemic of swine fever ravaged the nation’s hog population.
Now, retail prices for fresh food have crept up further in many places as the coronavirus spreads — coming at the same time as a “highly pathogenic” outbreak of bird flu at a chicken farm in Hunan Province led to the death of about 4,500 chickens and the culling of another 17,000.
Confusion for passengers traveling to, from and in Asia.
As the coronavirus spreads internationally and airlines cancel flights to and from China, some travelers are trying to get refunds, while others are unsure of whether to rebook their trips for later dates or cancel them altogether.
There is also confusion for those with itineraries via China to other destinations.
InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance comparison site, has experienced “at least a 30 percent increase in call volume,” said Julie Loffredi, the media relations manager. Most calls concern the coronavirus.
For some, it is unclear who is responsible for issuing refunds, and travel insurance does not always cover the cost of a canceled trip, since policies differ and refund eligibility may depend on when an insurance policy was bought.
The United States has advised Americans not to travel to China because of the public health threat officials. And Britain elevated its travel warning on Tuesday, telling its citizens that “if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so.”
Cathay Pacific, the flagship airline of Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese territory, said on Tuesday that it was temporarily cutting its flight capacity 30 percent, including suspending 90 percent of its flights into mainland China.
American Airlines said on Tuesday that it had suspended flights to Hong Kong from both Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles through Feb. 20 “due to demand.”
Japan Airlines said it was suspending several flights to mainland China, and the British authorities said that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic had suspended their mainland China flights.
‘Aggressive’ U.S. containment measures result in few quarantines so far.
Four military bases in Texas, California and Colorado were preparing to house American citizens for up to two weeks as part of a highly unusual federal effort aimed at slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus — though as of late Monday, expectations that a large number of Americans who had traveled to China might quickly be held under quarantine had not come to pass.
No new travelers from China have been brought to those military bases, federal officials said. The only people under federal quarantine are the fewer than 200 people who had been in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, and were flown to a base in Riverside, Calif., last week, the officials said.
About 250 other Americans who recently spent time in China and showed signs of symptoms were considered “patients under investigation” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and have been monitored, the federal authorities said.
“This is an unprecedented situation, and we’ve taken aggressive measures,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, which is part of the C.D.C.
The Trump administration ordered that as of Sunday afternoon, any American citizen who in the last two weeks had visited the Hubei Province, whose capital city is Wuhan, was subject to a quarantine of up to 14 days after arriving in the United States.
It is unclear how extensive the quarantine will ultimately become. The United States has 11 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and major American airlines have canceled flights to and from China.
GlaxoSmithKline seeks to develop a strong vaccine.
The drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has joined the global hunt for a vaccine for the new coronavirus, aiming to develop a type of treatment that increases the protection offered by a vaccine.
That technology, known as an adjuvant, helps create stronger and longer-lasting immunity against infections than a vaccine can provide on its own.
The use of this technology allows scientists to produce vaccines much faster and make them available to more people, said Dr. Richard Hatchett, the chief executive of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is partnering with GSK. GSK also used adjuvant technology to develop vaccines against pandemic influenza in 2009.
More than a dozen biotech companies and academic groups are working on coronavirus vaccines. So far, researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia are the only ones permitted to use GSK’s adjuvant, according to the new partnership.
Six companies and the United States National Institutes of Health have also begun programs to look for treatments that may help patients infected with the virus.
Do masks work? The debate flares up.
Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control said last week that healthy people did not need to wear surgical masks unless visiting a hospital. Hong Kong’s chief executive instructed officials on Tuesday to stop wearing masks to help save supplies for medical workers.
The answer to the simplest of questions — do they work? — is, unfortunately, not that simple. There isn’t much high-quality scientific evidence on whether masks are an effective safeguard outside health care settings, where experts generally agree that they reduce risks.
It appears that while they can slow the spread of disease when worn by sick people, the masks — of which there is now a global shortage — do little when worn by healthy people.
Still, in some Asian cities like Hong Kong, where long lines form each morning for limited mask supplies, most people on sidewalks and public transportation wear one, and people who don’t are sometimes questioned about it.
The masks can prevent large respiratory droplets from other people’s sneezes and coughs from entering your mouth and nose, but gaps around the mouth can let in unfiltered air. People also often misuse the masks or move them aside.
There’s no need for people in the United States to stock up, though some have begun hoarding them. A shortage of masks could raise the risk of the virus spreading if health care workers are unable to get the supplies they need.
Most experts agree: To prevent the spread of the coronavirus and keep yourself safe, it’s best to wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
Markets rising as China gives its economy another boost. . .
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak was first reported, investors have been trying to handicap its impact on the global economy.
Last week, the concern was that the travel shutdowns and shuttered factories would hurt growth both in China and elsewhere.
This week, the sentiment seems to be that maybe the big picture won’t be so bad after all.
Stocks shot higher on Tuesday, with the S & P 500 on track for its best day of the year, after China took further measures to bolster its economy amid the still-expanding outbreak.
The People’s Bank of China said that it pumped a further 500 billion yuan (roughly $71 billion) into the country’s financial system on Tuesday, following an injection of 1.2 trillion yuan (over $170 billion) into its financial markets the day before.
It wasn’t just Wall Street that rallied on the news. In Asia, stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong were also sharply higher. Major European markets in France, Germany and Italy rose more than 1 percent.
Other recent updates on corporate earnings and the economy have also given investors a lift.
On Monday, a closely watched gauge of manufacturing showed that factory activity expanded in the United States in January, after five straight months of contraction in the industrial sector. The report suggested that the manufacturing turndown — a reflection of a global factory slowdown widely linked to the trade war — that had hampered the American economy might have been easing, at least before the outbreak in China hit.
The recent round of fourth-quarter corporate earning reports have also been better than expected.
Of course, investors can change their minds quickly, and the mood in stock markets may well sour if traders are confronted with evidence of the coronavirus impact that they had not anticipated.
But for now, even those companies that are certain to be affected by the shutdowns are rebounding. For example, after officials in the city of Macau asked its 41 casinos to close for half a month — a move that will shut down the world’s gambling capital — shares of the big casinos operators Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands rose.
. . .But the oil industry is already in the doldrums.
At a time when they are already cutting jobs and weighed down by debt, American oil producers are bracing for the latest shock to hit world energy markets: the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak on China and beyond.
Oil and natural gas producers have been suffering from low commodity prices for the past year and now expect a sharp drop in global prices for their products. As a result, they are preparing to slash investments in exploration and production.
The price of West Texas intermediate crude, a key benchmark, fell below $50 on Monday, a 20 percent decline in less than a month. After recovering slightly Tuesday morning, the price fell further.
Just a few weeks after the outbreak of the virus, daily Chinese oil demand is already down 20 percent because of dwindling air travel, road transportation and manufacturing. Since China consumes 13 of every 100 barrels of oil the world produces, every oil company is being hit to some extent.
China buys only about 200,000 barrels a day of oil and refined transportation fuels from the United States, out of 8.5 million barrels of total daily American exports. But oil is a global commodity, and benchmark prices are set on world markets, not domestically. Lower prices mean lower profits.
“It’s a blow,” said Steven Pruett, chief executive of Elevation Resources.,
Japan quarantines a ship with 3,700 aboard after finding the coronavirus.
Japan has quarantined around 3,700 people aboard a cruise ship off the port city of Yokohama after one of the passengers tested positive for the new coronavirus, the authorities said on Tuesday.
The passenger, an 80-year-old resident of Hong Kong, boarded the ship in Yokohama on Jan. 20, the national broadcaster NHK reported. He arrived five days later in Hong Kong, where he disembarked and was diagnosed, according to the cruise line, Princess Cruises.
The ship traveled to Vietnam, Taiwan and the Japanese island of Okinawa before returning to Yokohama, where it is currently anchored.
Passengers are being held on the ship as they wait for officials from Japan’s Health Ministry to test them for the coronavirus, the chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said during a regular news briefing on Tuesday.
“The quarantine office will make an appropriate judgment about whether we will approve the ship to dock and passengers to disembark,” he said, adding that the quarantine office would make the decision based on guidelines from the World Health Organization.
They are from Wuhan, and they are China’s new pariahs.
One person was turned away by hotel after hotel after showing his ID card. Another was expelled by fearful villagers. A third found his most sensitive personal information leaked online after registering with the authorities.
These outcasts are from Wuhan, the Hubei Province capital that is the epicenter of the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak. They are pariahs in China, among the millions unable to go home and feared as potential carriers.
Across China, despite a vast surveillance network with facial recognition systems and high-end cameras that is increasingly used to track the country’s 1.4 billion people, the government has turned to familiar authoritarian techniques — like setting up dragnets and asking neighbors to inform on one another — as it tries to contain the outbreak.
It took the authorities about five days to contact Harmo Tang, a college student in Wuhan, after he returned to his hometown in eastern Zhejiang Province.
Mr. Tang says he was already under self-imposed isolation when local officials asked for his personal information, including name, address, phone number, identity card number and the date he returned from Wuhan.
Local officials returned a few days later to fasten police tape to his door and hang a sign that warned neighbors that a Wuhan returnee lived there. The sign included a hotline to call if anyone saw him or his family leave the apartment.
Mr. Tang said he received about four calls a day from local government departments.
“In reality there’s not much empathy,” he said. “It’s not a caring tone they’re using. It’s a warning tone. I don’t feel very comfortable about it.”
New York’s China-reliant businesses are also hit.
As cities across start to experience the fallout from the precipitous drop in Chinese visitors because of travel restrictions, tour operators and travel agents in the New York area are bracing for the economic pain that will come with empty rooms in hotels and empty seats on tour buses.
The effects could be widespread in New York City, where Chinese tourists represent the second-largest group of foreign travelers.
A company that arranges Chinese-language bus tours of the sights in Manhattan is dealing with as many as 300 cancellations from Chinese tourists who cannot come this week. And the owner of a Queens travel agency who had booked trips for 200 Chinese tourists in the next two weeks worries that he may have to lay off two of his five employees.
New York health officials have identified three possible cases of the coronavirus among residents, all of whom are now hospitalized. They have also cautioned people not to panic.
But owners of restaurants and stores in New York’s three main Chinatowns say the coronavirus and the fears it has stoked are hurting business. In restaurants in the Manhattan Chinatown, workers and owners said business had dropped 50 to 70 percent in the last 10 days.
Don Chan, the manager at a company that schedules Chinese-language tours, said that February and March were typically slower for business, and that he was looking ahead to the “hot season,” beginning in April.
“If this continues into April,” he said, “then we would have a problem.”
A warning of anti-Asian sentiment in Germany.
A recent attack on an Asian woman in Germany that the police classified as xenophobic — and that prompted concern that it was linked to fears over the new coronavirus — has led the Korean Embassy in Berlin to warn its citizens to be vigilant in the country.
“As the new coronavirus situation worsens, there is heightened alertness and aversion to Chinese and Asian,” said the embassy’s warning, which described the attack victim as Chinese. “Our people should always keep in mind that similar events may occur and pay attention to personal safety.”
Anti-Chinese sentiment has spread internationally since the coronavirus emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December. And President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines urged people this week to “stop this xenophobia thing,” saying that “China has been kind to us — we can also show the same favor to them.”
It initially appeared to be less pronounced in Germany, which has 12 confirmed cases of the virus. But the hashtag #IchbinkeinVirus (I am not a virus) was trending on Twitter on Monday as Asians in the country spoke of being targeted amid the outbreak.
Germany’s news media has also been criticized for its coverage of the virus.
When Der Spiegel, one of the country’s most important newsmagazines, published a cover story about the coronavirus and globalization, its title page showed a man with Asian features wearing protective gear and holding an iPhone. The words “Made in China” were prominently displayed as part of the headline.
Other victims of the Wuhan lockdown: pets left alone in homes.
With Wuhan in lockdown, volunteers are trying to reach thousands of pets trapped alone in homes and at risk of starvation. Many pet owners who traveled out of the city during the Lunar New Year holiday period left only a few days’ supply of food and water, and they have taken to social media to plead for help in checking on their animals.
Hundreds of people, worried about their cats, dogs, pigs and snakes, have joined chat groups connecting them with volunteers. On Saturday, the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association, which is providing food and water to pets in isolation, said it had helped more than 600 pets in the last week.
One Wuhan resident who asked to be identified as Lao Mao, or Old Cat, told Reuters that his team of volunteers had rescued more than 1,000 pets since Jan. 25, and estimated that as many as 50,000 pets remained unattended in the city.
But gaining entry to locked apartments and buildings, even with owners’ permission, has been a challenge.
In one instance, Lao Mao said, he climbed up rusty pipes to feed two cats in a third-floor apartment that had been left alone for 10 days. He found the cats barely alive under a sofa. When he video-called the owners, who could not return to Wuhan because of roadblocks, they cried.
“My phone never stops ringing these days,” he said. “I barely sleep.”
The World Health Organization says that there is no evidence that companion animals like dogs and cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.
Macau to close all casinos for two weeks.
Macau’s top official said on Tuesday that the government would shut down the city’s lucrative casinos for half a month to combat the coronavirus outbreak, a drastic move that will further weaken the Chinese territory’s ailing economy.
The semiautonomous enclave, which neighbors Hong Kong and is the world’s largest gambling hub, has reported 10 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with a worker in the gambling industry among those infected. The shutdown was announced on Tuesday by Ho Iat Seng, the chief executive.
“Of course this was a difficult decision, but we must do it for the health of Macau’s residents,” Mr. Ho said.
Macau’s casinos have struggled as the coronavirus outbreak led to growing travel restrictions for visitors from the mainland. Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, derives a significant portion of its revenue from gamblers from the mainland.
Mr. Ho also said the city’s basic public services — except for emergency ones — would be suspended, and he urged Macau residents to “not go outside” except to get food.
Australia evacuated more than 200 citizens from Wuhan, and then quarantined them.
A planeload of Australians evacuated from China’s Wuhan city arrived in the Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island, where they are to be quarantined, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The Qantas Airways 747 carrying 243 passengers, 14 crew members, four pilots and officials from the Department of Health landed at a military air base about 700 miles north of Perth. The passengers were then transferred to two smaller planes bound for Christmas Island, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The first of the chartered flights landed on the island at 9 p.m. Monday. Officials were not immediately available to confirm the arrival of the second charter flight.
Another evacuation flight from Wuhan chartered by Air New Zealand, with 70 New Zealanders and an unspecified number of Australians on board, was expected to arrive in Auckland on Tuesday, The New Zealand Herald reported.
There were 600 Australians registered in the Hubei region of China as of last week, and the Australian government has said it will consider further evacuations if needed.
Australia on Saturday followed the United States in barring entry to all foreign citizens traveling from mainland China and raised its travel warning for China to the highest level, advising people against visiting the country.
No cases in Mexico, but Uber accounts are suspended over the virus.
Even in countries still seemingly untouched by the outbreak, precautions are being ramped up. That was the situation in Mexico over the weekend.
There are no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the country, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But on Friday and Saturday, Uber temporarily suspended the accounts of 240 users in Mexico City to guard against the spread of the virus, the ride-hailing company said.
Uber made the decision after learning that a person with the virus traveled from Los Angeles to Mexico City last month and rode with two Uber drivers there, a company spokesman said.
The Mexico City Health Department alerted Uber, and Uber suspended the drivers, as well as other passengers they had picked up.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we temporarily suspended the accounts of two drivers who had transported the individual, as well as approximately 240 other users who had been in contact with those drivers,” the spokesman, Andrew Hasbun, said in a statement.
A steady climb in infections in China, but some encouraging news, too.
The death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But the number of people who have recovered nationwide has also risen in recent days, suggesting that the new virus’s fatality rate is relatively low.
China’s Health Commission reported on Tuesday that there were 632 recoveries and more than 420 deaths nationwide. During the SARS outbreak, 349 people died in mainland China.
Health experts say they are encouraged by the steady rise in the number of recoveries. They take it as evidence that the treatments meted out have been effective and that the virus does not appear to be as deadly as SARS.
SARS had a mortality rate of 9.6 percent, and about 2 percent of those reported to have been infected with the new coronavirus have died.
China first announced an outbreak in the city of Wuhan on Dec. 31. The authorities later began to place the city and much of the surrounding Hubei Province — home to tens of millions of people — under lockdown.
Reporting was contributed by Daniel Victor, Elaine Yu, Tiffany May, Steven Lee Myers, Raymond Zhong, Geneva Abdul, Li Yuan, Tess Felder, Knvul Sheikh, Damien Cave, Paul Mozur, Ben Dooley, Hisako Ueno, Kate Conger, Isabella Kwai, Tariro Mzezewa, Alexandra Stevenson, Christopher F. Schuetze, Julie Bosman, Denise Grady, Mitch Smith, James Barron and Rick Gladstone.