(Bloomberg) -- The Chinese doctor who issued an early warning about the coronavirus has died, said the hospital where he worked, ending hours of confusion about his status.
The city of Wuhan told residents to begin reporting their body temperature daily, and the large port city of Tianjin said it would restrict residents’ movement, part of steps across the country to stop the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. In Beijing, the Chinese government voiced anger as countries placed more restrictions on travelers.
Tesla temporarily closed its stores in the nation, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV warned that a China-related parts shortage could force it to idle a European plant, according to a report. Equities rose on China’s plans to cut tariffs on U.S. imports and optimism the global economy can withstand the impact of the virus.
Bloomberg is tracking the outbreak on the terminal and online.
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Chinese Doctor Has Died, Hospital Says (3 p.m. NY)
Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who was one of the first to warn about the coronavirus in Wuhan, has died, according to the hospital where he worked.
The doctor’s status had been subject to hours of confusion after earlier reports of his death on Chinese social media were deleted and replaced by messages saying he was being treated.
“Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at our hospital had unfortunately been infected when he worked on fighting against the coronavirus outbreak,” Wuhan Central Hospital said in a post on the Chinese social platform Weibo.
The hospital said he died at 2:58 a.m. in China “after all efforts to save him failed.”
Li was in his 30s, according to a report by the Chinese media outlet Caixin.
Social Media Posts About Doctor’s Death Are Deleted (2:14 p.m. NY)
Confusing reports emerged about the status of the Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang, who was earlier reported dead, after posts about his death by a Chinese state media-affiliated publication were removed from social media.
The doctor had been one of the first to warn about the coronavirus in Wuhan, but had been reprimanded by local authorities for doing so.
Posts by the Global Times, which is affiliated with the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, saying the doctor had died were deleted from the social media platform Weibo sometime before midnight in Beijing. Another post mourning the doctor by Hu Xijing, the Global Times’s editor-in-chief, was also deleted.
They were replaced later with suggestions the doctor was alive. Hu said in a Weibo post around 1 a.m. Beijing time that attempts were still being made to save Li. “We wish a miracle of life could happen,” Hu said.
Bloomberg earlier reported Li’s death, citing a person familiar with the matter and state-affiliated media. The doctor had been infected with coronavirus before his death.
Li’s reported passing quickly became a trending topic on the Chinese social-media platform Weibo around midnight local time, with the hashtags #DoctorLiPassedAway and #LiWenliangPassedAway attracting hundreds of millions of views. The World Health Organization, which had posted a tweet mourning Li, issued an update saying it had no information his status.
The Wuhan doctor became well-known after, in early December before the outbreak of coronavirus exploded, he posted a warning on a social media platform about a SARS-like illness. Days after his warning, he was reprimanded by police for rumor-mongering online, according to his social media account.
Canadian Evacuation From Wuhan Begins (2 p.m. NY)
Canada’s first evacuation of citizens from Wuhan is underway.
A plane with 194 people on board was stationed at a Wuhan airport and set to depart as soon as passengers go through the screening and boarding process. A separate U.S. plane will take a smaller number of Canadians; the two planes combined will account for two-thirds of the 347 Canadians who requested assistance evacuating.
Another Canadian plane will depart Feb. 10 with the remaining passengers, Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne said at a press briefing.
Canada has reported five cases of coronavirus infection; three in Ontario and two in British Columbia.
Report Claims Attempts to Save Chinese Doctor (1:01 p.m. NY)
Confusing reports emerged about the status of the Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang, who was earlier reported dead. The editor of the Chinese state media Global Times, which hours before said that Li had died, said in a social media post that efforts were being made to save him. Wuhan Central Hospital, where Li worked, also said that there were attempts being made to rescue him. Li’s status was not immediately clear.
American Airlines Extends Flight Cancelations (12:11 p.m. NY)
American Airlines Holdings Inc. extended the suspension of flights to Hong Kong from Los Angeles through March 27, citing reduced demand. Service previously had been scheduled to resume Feb. 21. Flights to Hong Kong from Dallas-Fort Worth remain scheduled to resume Feb. 21.
The airline is one of the major U.S. carriers serving China.
Chinese Doctor Who Warned of Virus Is Dead (10:30 a.m. NY)
A Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang, who was reprimanded by police after warning colleagues about a new respiratory disease emerging in Wuhan, has died after falling ill, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Li had been admitted to a hospital in early January and later confirmed to have the coronavirus, according to a post on his social media account. The exact cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
Li on Dec. 30 posted in a social media group about a SARS-like illness that within weeks would explode into the coronavirus epidemic that has infected more than 25,000 people. Days after his warning, he was reprimanded by police for rumor-mongering online, according to his social media account. The Chinese Supreme Court later said the police were wrong to have taken the actions they did.
The death was reported earlier by the Global Times, a Chinese state-run media organization, and other Chinese outlets. A person familiar with the situation confirmed Li’s death to Bloomberg.
Economic Impact Will Be Limited, Envoy Says (9:45 a.m. NY)
The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the Chinese economy will be limited and short-term, the country’s envoy to the European Union, Zhang Ming, said in an interview. Smart investors shouldn’t lose confidence on the country’s prospects, the ambassador told Bloomberg TV.
The priority of the Chinese government is to contain the virus and save lives, Zhang said. Asked about any fallout from the outbreak to the China-U.S trade deal, he reiterated that any impact will be limited, though he did acknowledge that the virus will affect both the Chinese and the global economy.
Port City of Tianjin to Restrict Residents’ Movement (9:08 a.m. NY)
Tianjin, a Chinese port city of some 15.6 million people, said it will restrict movement in residential compounds citywide in an effort to slow the coronavirus’s spread there.
The city borders Beijing and has only reported 78 cases and one death so far, but authorities across China have taken drastic measures to slow the virus’s spread outside the center of the outbreak in Wuhan. There are more than 25,000 cases across China, concentrated mainly in Hubei province.
Tianjin authorities said that residential areas will check and register people who come into communities, limit the access of deliveries and food orders, and restrict entrances and exits, according to the state media People’s Daily.
The notice also calls for keeping track of people with electronic registration systems and enhancing management of rentals.
Wuhan Tells Residents to Report Body Temperature (8:35 a.m. NY)
The city of Wuhan told residents check their body temperature on a daily basis and report it to local health authorities, part of new steps to contain the coronavirus in the city of 11 million that’s the center of the outbreak.
The city is conducting door-to-door inspections as well, and will send someone to check on people displaying a fever, according to a notice posted by the provincial government. People with symptoms will be sent to a community health center for evaluation.
Fiat Chrysler Warns Disruption Could Shut Europe Plant (8:33 a.m. NY)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV could be weeks away from needing to idle one of its plants in Europe because it’s running out of parts sourced from China, Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley told the Financial Times.
Manley said one critical maker of components is putting European production at risk. He didn’t name the company or specify what type of parts, or say which of Fiat’s European factories may have to close.
Hyundai Motor Co. said earlier this week it was halting production in South Korea because of the shortage of a wiring component sourced from China.
Estee Lauder Cuts Profit Outlook Again, Citing Coronavirus (7:03 a.m. NY)
Estee Lauder Cos. cut its earnings outlook for a second straight quarter, saying the coronavirus outbreak in China would crimp demand for luxury cosmetics. ArcelorMittal SA is also slowing steel production in the country after the Beijing extended national holidays due to the outbreak.
Chinese Government Calls for Return to Normal Production (6:36 a.m. NY)
A meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang said resources should be allocated rationally to avoid panic, according to CCTV. Coal, power, oil and gas supplies must be secured. Sixteen provinces will provide medical staff to Hubei.
OPEC+ Recommends Output Cut (6:46 p.m. HK)
The OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee recommended an output cut of 600,000 barrels a day to offset the demand impact of the coronavirus, a delegate said. The recommendation will still have to be discussed by OPEC+ ministers and the group hasn’t yet agreed on a date for an early meeting.
Melco Scraps Plans to Invest in Crown Resorts (6:45 p.m. HK)
Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited pulled out of a deal to invest in Australia’s Crown Resorts Limited, citing a “severe drop” in tourism to Asia and Macau’s decision to close casinos following the coronavirus outbreak.
Tesla Temporarily Closes China Stores, CNBC Says (6:22 p.m. HK)
Tesla has temporarily closed its stores in China as of Feb. 2, CNBC reported, citing a WeChat post from an unidentified company sales employee on that date. It wasn’t immediately clear if closures also applied to Hong Kong. The company had previously said it expects a delay in Model 3s built in Shanghai.
Tesla China didn’t respond to a Bloomberg request for comment and Tesla US declined to comment.
Separately, Nikkei Asian Review said Honda would extend Wuhan site closures until late February and that Toyota might prolong its production halt at Wuhan plants.
Hong Kong Banks Plan Temporary Relief Measures (6:03 p.m. HK)
Measures being considered include principal moratorium on residential and commercial mortgages, fee reductions on credit card borrowing and restructuring of repayment schedules for corporate loans.
Indonesia Eyes Empty Islands for Quarantine Hub (5:49 p.m. HK)
Indonesia plans to build a medical and rehabilitation center on an uninhabited island to isolate infectious disease victims. The country is yet to record a single case, but has quarantined 243 people on the island of Natuna after they were evacuated from China.
China Objects to Countries Imposing Travel Restrictions (5:39 p.m. HK)
Authorities in Beijing are growing increasingly angry and have registered “strong objections” with countries imposing harsh travel restrictions on visitors from China.
Nations are ignoring recommendations from the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, which have advised against canceling flight routes and limiting travel to affected nations, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
Coronavirus Cluster Linked to Singapore Business Event (5:35 p.m. HK)
A Malaysian woman whose brother caught the coronavirus in Singapore also has the virus, widening a multinational cluster of cases linked to a meeting in the city-state.
The 40-year-old woman’s older brother was the first Malaysian to be diagnosed with the pneumonia-causing illness. He was among more than 100 people who had attended a business event at Singapore’s Grand Hyatt hotel.
GM China Car JV to Produce Millions of Face Masks (4:24 p.m. HK)
SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, one of GM’s joint ventures in China, will start making face masks to help ease a shortage caused by the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
More Businesses Caution on Virus Impact (4:20 p.m. HK)
Volvo Car AB said two plants in China have not reopened and the shutdown would last a “few weeks,” Osram Licht AG also said some of its manufacturing facilities were temporarily shut, while Publicis Groupe SA said it was too soon to quantify the impact from the virus.
CNOOC Declares Force Majeure on LNG Contracts (3:10 p.m. HK)
China National Offshore Oil Corp. told some suppliers it won’t take delivery of liquefied natural gas cargoes, a rare step that shows how deeply the coronavirus is impacting global commodity flows.
It’s among the first reports of a so-called force majeure clause being invoked in the global commodity market after mounting speculation that Chinese buyers of everything from copper to LNG could be forced to take the step. Separately, the China Iron & Steel Association -- the nation’s most influential mills’ group -- said the situation this quarter that “does not look optimistic.”
Japan’s Abe Says Olympics Won’t Be Postponed (2:10 p.m. HK)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would not be canceled or postponed despite fears about the novel coronavirus. However, travel restrictions have already begun to affect some qualifying events.
China Car Sales May Fall Over 10%, LMC Says (12:48 p.m. HK)
China’s auto market, the world’s largest, may shrink 10% or more this year if the coronavirus outbreak persists through the third quarter, researcher LMC Automotive said.
That’s the worst of three scenarios outlined by the researcher and involves the virus undergoing further mutations and the epidemic not being contained until late in the year, LMC said in a note to clients. More likely would be for the outbreak to be under control by June, resulting in industry sales falling 3% to 5% in 2020, it said.
China Offers Incentives to Firms Helping Battle Virus (12:09 p.m. HK)
China is stepping up efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus with a series of relief measures for companies directly engaged in the fight against the disease.
The steps include reduction in value-added taxes and nudging banks to offer loans carrying interest rates of less than 1.6% for key enterprises that produce, sell or transport essential medical products and daily necessities, China’s State Council said on its website last night. Separately, the nation’s airlines will also be exempt from a civil aviation fund fee starting Jan. 1, it said.
Commodity Shippers Face ‘Crisis in Demand’ (11:27 a.m. HK)
The global commodity-shipping industry faces an extremely challenging quarter as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China adds to other headwinds including seasonally low demand and the impact of recent fuel-rule changes, according to IHS Markit.
The spreading health emergency in Asia’s top economy, the world’s largest importer of iron ore, has sent shock waves through raw material markets, and the companies that ferry goods across the world’s oceans. Freight rates have swooned amid gathering indications that demand for cargoes will slump.
There are signs of congestion building up at ports, and reports mills are cutting output, Rahul Kapoor, global head of commodity analytics and research for maritime and trade, told Bloomberg Television.
Want to Avoid Virus on a Plane? Wash Your Hands (9:37 a.m. HK)
Forget face masks and rubber gloves. The best way to avoid the coronavirus on a flight is frequent hand washing, according to a medical adviser to the world’s airlines.
The virus can’t survive long on seats or armrests, so physical contact with another person carries the greatest risk of infection on a flight, said David Powell, a physician and medical adviser to the International Air Transport Association. Masks and gloves do a better job of spreading bugs than stopping them, he said.
Read the full story here.
Vietnam Quarantines Ships From China Ports: VietnamPlus (9:24 a.m. HK)
Ships arriving at Vietnam’s northern Haiphong city port that have visited China in the last two weeks will be quarantined to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, news website VietnamPlus reported.
The regulation went into effect Feb. 4, the report said, citing a regulation of the port authority under the Vietnam Maritime Administration.
Japan Finds 10 More Cases on Cruise Ship (8:35 a.m. HK)
Japan’s Health Ministry said it found an additional 10 cases of the novel coronavirus on a quarantined cruise ship off Yokohama. That would bring the total number of cases on the vessel to 20.
The Diamond Princess was placed under quarantine this week before it reached Japan and checks were conducted after a passenger from Hong Kong who had been on the ship tested positive for the virus.
More than 7,000 passengers and crew are being held in quarantine in Hong Kong and Japan as their cruises turned into confinement. In Hong Kong, the cruise ship World Dream, owned by Genting HK’s Dream Cruises, was quarantined after three travelers who disembarked in China were diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The new infections bring to 45 the number of people in Japan confirmed to have the disease.
(Earlier versions of this article were corrected to remove and clarify a reference about an apology to Chinese doctor following reprimand by officials, and to correct the spelling of the city of Tianjin.)
--With assistance from Linly Lin, Kyunghee Park, Chunying Zhang, Isabel Reynolds, Angus Whitley, Krystal Chia, Haidi Lun, Takashi Hirokawa, Abbas Al Lawati, Belinda Cao and Shelly Hagan.
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