Coronavirus - The Great Escape

While quarantine efforts in Hubei province seem to be gaining the upper hand, the virus might have already formed a new beachhead. Iran has reported 16 new cases today, with 4 deaths over 2 days. Iran’s Minster for Health said: “It’s possible that it exists in all cities in Iran.” Iran will struggle to respond with the same speed and strength of China. If cases here begin to rise, the WHO and governments will need to reconsider their approach to containment, and moreover whether it is even still possible.

Cases: 976
Deaths: 121

Cases: 76,731
Deaths: 2,247

Company news
• Daimler says the coronavirus might affect unit sales and lead to significant adverse effects on production procurement and supply chain.

• Data Pulse Technology (internet-based monitoring and reporting) expects to report a net loss at both the half- and full-year due to impact from the outbreak.

• Geely (Chinese automotive) said that car production in February is around one-third of its usual monthly output, but around 90% of workers will return to work by the end of this month.

• Holland America Line cancelled Westerdam’s four March and April 2020 Asia cruises.

• Honda said it now expects to suspend production at its three plants in Wuhan until 10 March.

• Huawei’s president of its 5G product line has said there is no impact at all on the supply of equipment to its customers.

• ITT (manufacturing) has estimated the potential Q1 impact of the virus could see 2020 revenue down 1-3% vs expectations.

• Nissan will delay the re-start of two of its Chinese plants near the epicentre beyond 24 February, in compliance with a local government directive. It did not provide a new date for re-opening. As many plants in China remain closed due to the spreading virus, Nissan has reduced output at some of its plants in Japan due to issues with procuring components. It said that there has been no impact on its other global plants. It has restarted its plant in Dalian.

• Nomura has banned employees from travelling to all areas where the World Health Organization has confirmed infections.

• Pearson (publishing): “With schools, universities, testing centres closed through until the end of March that will have some short-term commercial impact.” China represents 3% of revenues.

• Toyota says its Chengdu plant will resume production on 24 February on a single shift and that three other plants in China that resumed operations this week will continue to operate on single shifts.

• Scicom (global outsourcer) has said the second half of its financial year will face headwinds for both revenue and profits due to the virus.

• North Korea has cancelled the Pyongyang Marathon, which was due in April.

• Osaka has cancelled the Nippombashi Street Festa, which was due on 15 Marchone of Japan’s biggest anime cosplay.

• Boao Forum for Asia, “dubbed the Davos of the East”, due to be held on 24-27 March has been postponed.

• Vietnam Tourism Association said that it expects a 60% drop in foreign tourists for February and March, with domestic tourists expected to decrease by 80%.

• Zheng Wen, a director-general at the China Ministry of Commerce, said in a media briefing on Friday that the rate of mall re-openings is “relatively low”. “Even if they’re open, the operating hours are significantly shortened and a majority of counters and stores are still shut.” Stores selling necessities are opening at a significantly higher rate, Zheng said. More than 95% of supermarkets are operating, as are 80% of convenience stores.

• Forecourt sales of passenger vehicles in China plunged by 92% in the first 16 days of February, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

• Bank of Japan governor Kuroda says the virus will likely affect the global economy and the effects could become larger than currently forecast.

• US testing – 15 cases reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the US is testing only those who recently arrived from China or have been in close contact with confirmed patients.

• Vietnam manufacturing sectors are suffering supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Trade Ministry has said.

• Protesters in a Ukrainian town have attacked buses carrying evacuees from coronavirus-hit China.

• Austrian National Bank says the impact of the coronavirus, if the situation does not improve, is expected to reduce current forecasts for growth by 0.1%.

• Korea Times headline: “Korea overwhelmed by soaring number of new coronavirus cases.”

• Coronavirus has overtaken the 2003 SARS epidemic in both confirmed cases and deaths. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak lasted around eight months and killed 774 people out of around 8,100 confirmed cases.

• Kuwait Port Authority suspends transporting individuals to and from Iran amid fears from the recent outbreak in the country.

• Kuwait Airlines has also suspended flights to Iran citing the same reasons.

• Iraqi border crossing points banned entry of Iranian nationals after three more new cases in the country following two deaths earlier in the week.

• An Iranian Health Ministry official says it is possible the virus is in all Iranian cities and has called for the suspension of all religious gatherings in Qom.

• Kyrgyzstan halts issuance on new visas to Chinese nationals.

• Sanrio (Hello Kitty) says it will temporarily close its Puroland and Harmonyland theme parks in Japan from 22 February to 12 March.

Country-by-country cases
Source: WHO
Japan* 731 ↑ 3
Canada 9 ↑ 1
Sweden 1 ↑ 1
Republic of Korea 156 ↑ 45
Iran 5 ↑ 3
Egypt 1 ↑ 3
Singapore 84
India 3
Thailand 35
Italy 3
Malaysia 22
Philippines 3
Germany 16
Russia 2
Vietnam 16
Spain 2
USA 16 ↑ 1
Belgium 1
Australia 15
Cambodia 1
France 12
Finland 1
UK 9
Nepal 1
Sri Lanka 1
*includes international conveyance