31.94 +0.09 (0.28%)
After hours: 7:57PM EST
|Bid||31.67 x 800|
|Ask||31.94 x 1400|
|Day's Range||30.19 - 33.70|
|52 Week Range||30.19 - 58.68|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.20|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||7.37|
|Earnings Date||Sep 24, 2019 - Sep 29, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||2.00 (6.04%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Feb 19, 2020|
|1y Target Est||51.55|
Port authorities in the Dominican Republic on Thursday turned away a cruise ship on a tour of the Caribbean and Central America over fears some passengers might have the coronavirus. Health Minister Rafael Sanchez Cardenas said a medical team approached the U.K.-based Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship and checked those who presented symptoms. "To avoid risks, it's better to take precautions," Victor Gomez, director of the port authority, said on local television.
Attendees are registered for a chance to win one of two Alaska cruises or one of five US$500 Holland America Line gift cards and can meet Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford , lumberjack Boone Sheer, throw an axe, pan for gold, meet an Alaskan husky and more. SEATTLE , Feb. 27, 2020 /CNW/ -- Holland America Line is bringing the Last Frontier to Vancouver, British Columbia , with an all-day Alaska Cruise & Travel Show Saturday, March 7, 2020 , at the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver. The free-to-attend, action-packed expo runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PST and invites locals who are dreaming about traveling north to come learn about and discover the iconic and authentic Alaska and how to experience this incredible region with Holland America Line.
Experts expect 30,000 fewer visitors to the region from China this year, a $42M hit to the local economy. But tourism isn’t the only industry that will suffer as the deadly coronavirus takes its toll.
Indonesia's health minister defended the country's screening process for coronavirus on Thursday and said the absence of confirmed cases in the world's fourth-most populous nation was a "blessing from the Almighty". Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said 134 test samples taken from people suspected of having the coronavirus had turned out negative.
The freshly refurbished Millenium will offer a handful of new and earlier-than-expected cruises from the Port of Seattle, including two five-day Pacific Northwest journeys.
Delta Air Lines is reducing flights to South Korea while Hawaiian Airlines will suspend them entirely, as airlines deal with growing concern about the spread of the new virus beyond China.
(Bloomberg) -- A ship operated by MSC Cruises is sailing for Cozumel, Mexico, Wednesday after authorities in two Caribbean ports effectively refused to let passengers disembark over coronavirus fears.The company said it has received “formal and final authorization” to call in Cozumel, despite an earlier report to the contrary, and expects to arrive Wednesday evening local time.On Tuesday, Jamaican authorities delayed a disembarkation decision on the MSC Meraviglia for “many hours,” according to a previous statement from the company. Overnight, Grand Cayman authorities denied the ship disembarkation in Georgetown. The decisions are the first virus-related denials at ports in the Americas.“In both instances, the ship was effectively turned away simply based on fears,” the company said.Geneva-based MSC Cruises is part of MSC Group, a closely held shipping and logistics company. But shares of industry peers Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. fell sharply Wednesday, with Carnival reaching its lowest level since October 2013.Coronavirus has already prompted the industry to dial back exposure in Asia, where companies had a relatively small but growing presence. But the Meraviglia incident -- coupled with mounting cases of coronavirus in Italy -- appeared to signal the potential for a broader disruption in bigger markets, exacerbating the hit to cruise stocks.“It would be devastating to the cruise business if disruption extends from Asia to core markets like the Caribbean,” C. Patrick Scholes, an analyst at SunTrust, said in an email Wednesday.Cozumel is the MSC Meraviglia’s next scheduled port of call.MSC Cruises, which says it doesn’t have any evidence of coronavirus on the ship, said it was in touch with local health authorities in Mexico to ensure that their decision on disembarkation is factually based.The company said its medical records show one case of seasonal flu in a crew member, who boarded the ship in Miami after traveling from Manila.Earlier in the day, it appeared unclear what would happen upon arrival. A report from Mexico’s Milenio on Wednesday said the ship’s arrival in Cozumel had already been canceled, citing a source in the port authority.But Health Secretary Alejandra Aguirre Crespo -- of Quintana Roo, the state where Cozumel is located -- seemed to echo MSC’s findings that the crew member in question had regular flu, not coronavirus.The episode is the latest example of a cruise ship seemingly trapped at sea over coronavirus concerns, as governments seek to keep cases away from their shores. The incidents have hit consumer sentiment during peak bookings season, battered cruise stocks and prompted companies to reduce profit estimates for the year.Until now, the showdowns over cruise ships have taken place in Asia and Europe. The Meraviglia debacle strikes much closer to home for the U.S. and Latin America, where Brazil just confirmed the first coronavirus case.Carnival fell 7.5% to $33.14, while Royal Caribbean fell 8.1% to $82.34 and Norwegian fell 7.9% to $36.21.(Updates with company comment in second paragraph)\--With assistance from Andrea Navarro.To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Levin in Miami at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at email@example.com, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Brazil confirmed the first coronavirus case in Latin America and said there are 20 more suspected cases.A 61-year-old Brazilian man who lives in Sao Paulo was infected during a recent trip to Northern Italy and tested positive upon returning to the country, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said Wednesday at a news conference in Brasilia. The patient, who traveled via France on the way back to Brazil, is doing well and is at home, a Sao Paulo state official said.“We’ll have to see how the virus reacts in a tropical country in the middle of summer,” Mandetta said. “We still can’t say how lethal this virus will be.”The news comes at the end of the long weekend for Carnival celebrations that are wildly popular and bring hundreds of thousands of people together at block parties across Brazil. The Ibovespa benchmark stock index, which was closed Monday and Tuesday, fell 5.9% as of 3:30 p.m. in Sao Paulo, mimicking losses seen around the globe earlier this week. The real was down about 1.1%.While tens of thousands of people have been infected outside Latin America, this marks the arrival of the virus in a new region. Vast swathes of the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy, stretching from Milan to Venice, remain in a virtual lockdown, and the worldwide death toll has climbed to more than 2,770 with over 81,200 confirmed cases.The first case arrived in Sao Paulo, which has the largest urban population in the Americas, with about 20 million people in the greater metropolitan area. The Brazilian megacity is also the home to the country’s financial industry and a business hub with the greatest concentration of multi-national companies and executives.Dozens of people have been tested from Mexico to Brazil with similar symptoms. There are 20 additional suspected cases in Brazil, including a dozen people who traveled to Italy and one person who was in China. The people, ranging from 20 to 68 years old, are spread out across the nation and are being monitored by health agencies in each state.(Updates to add suspected cases in the first and final paragraphs. Adds market reaction in the fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Matthew Malinowski.To contact the reporters on this story: Simone Iglesias in Brasília at firstname.lastname@example.org;Fabiola Moura in Sao Paulo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at firstname.lastname@example.org, Daniel CancelFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares of cruise operators continued to sell off, reversing earlier brief bounces into positive territory, amid growing fears over the global spread of COVID-19. Shares of Carnival Corp. , which had edged up as much 1.0% in early trading, dropped 2.2% toward the lowest close since October 2014, as the stock has tumbled 19.1% amid a 5-session losing streak. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s stock slumped 1.8%, after being up as much as 1.6% earlier, toward the lowest close since January 2017. It was headed for a ninth-straight loss, which would be the longest losing streak since the nine-day stretch ended Feb. 13, 2003, according to Dow Jones Market Data; the stock has plunged 25.0% during the current streak. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. shares reversed an earlier gain of as much as 0.7% to trade down 2.8% toward the lowest close since November 2016. The stock was suffering a 5-day losing streak in which it slid 26.5%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose 1.5%, putting it on track to snap a 4-day losing streak in which the index shed 7.6%.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- So much for sequins and ostrich feathers and three-story floats. The attention-grabbing accessories for this year’s Brazilian carnival were balaclavas, side arms and a backhoe gone wild.The premier parade ground was Ceara, a populous northeastern state where rebel police demanded budget-busting wage increases on pain of a walkout, even as tens of thousands of revelers hit the unguarded streets. Hometown lawmaker Senator Cid Gomes was having none of it and charged at the mutineers atop a backhoe, only to be shot twice by a masked protester. Gomes is in a hospital and reportedly in stable condition. Not so Brazil where, unlike the finite pre-Lenten merriment, the fiscal carnival is the fiesta that never ends.Spending beyond one’s means and passing on the bill to everyone else is as Brazilian as samba. Thankfully, not all such demands end in violence. Yet the Ceara cops and their brethren in other states are in the vanguard of a long line of government paid grievants, whose demands roil the public peace and hold authorities to ransom. Brazilian security forces, including military police, the investigative civil police and prison guards, staged 715 strikes from 1997 to 2017. Police in at least 10 other states are pressuring for bigger paychecks.It’s no coincidence that the strikes flare up during the carnival break, when millions of merrymakers hit the streets and as many others flock to holiday getaways. The crowds are a magnet for crime and mayhem. Hence the opportunity cost for mayors and governors counting on toughing out a security strike and the temptation of caving to the rabble even if it means kiting a check.Cops are just part of the problem. No less than 60% of Brazil’s 5,570 municipalities rely on revenue transfers from the federal government. The National Confederation of Municipalities found in a survey that 69 townships in a sample of 733 declared financial calamity in 2019, essentially admitting to municipal bankruptcy. Another 229 municipalities — nearly a third of the total surveyed — say they could join the rolls of the penurious this year.State governments are equally bereft. About half (13) of Brazil’s 27 states earned a C rating on the Brazilian Treasury’s descending solvency scale from A to D, meaning they blew their legal spending limits. C-rated states and towns are ineligible for loans.Brazil has passed several measures over the past decades to curb such wanton accounting, including the heralded 2000 Fiscal Responsibility Law. Governors and mayors are bound to spend no more than 60% of their revenues on personnel. The subsequent fiscal recovery plan in 2017 accredited governments in the red for bailouts and debt restructuring, but only if they committed to contain spending, cut the pension bill through reform and privatized publicly owned companies. Nonetheless, most of those efforts fell short.Fueling the emergency is the ever burgeoning bureaucracy: The number of municipal civil servants rose nearly 53% between 2004 and 2018, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. Personnel absorb 61% of state and local government revenues, often forcing governors and mayors to shortchange investments. No wonder Brazil’s subnational governments spend well above the average of their wealthier counterparts in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.Bottomless political appetites are only partly to blame. A far more daunting challenge is Brazil’s profligate constitution, written by idealists who pledged to pay down the country’s woeful social debt by locking in budget commitments to health, welfare, pensions and generous salaries. The resulting budgetary straitjacket left administrators with Hobson’s choice: Slash payroll and risk violating the constitution or keep bloating personnel costs, which hoover up 61% of state and local government revenues, and shortchange public investments. Bad management has aggravated the problem.The biggest states are also some of the biggest offenders. Just six states with more than 40% of the national population and nearly two-thirds (62.8%) of gross domestic product owed R$630 billion (around $130 billion) by 2017, according to a recent study by the University of Toronto’s Global Economic Policy Lab. Because the federal government and state-owned banks held most of that debt, a default could rip through the economy, threatening national solvency.The nation’s two biggest regional economies, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, are among the country’s greatest credit risks, with total indebtedness topping 200% of net revenues.Pensions for security forces add disproportionately to the bill. At the national level, armed forces retirees represent 31% of federal employees, but nearly half of all federal government public sector pension spending. Subnational governments carry an even heavier burden, with 14 of 27 states spending more on retired police and firefighters than they do on those on active duty.One of the most onerous cases is Minas Gerais, where Governor Romeu Zema agreed to a 41.7% pay raise for security forces rather than risk a crime spike during carnival. Crowd-surfing state lawmakers quickly extended the indulgence to other public employees. Yet Minas Gerais, Brazil’s third largest state economy, is deeply in debt and so bound by the federal bailout pact to forego salary increases.Few politicians have worked to fatten Brazil’s thin blue line more than President Jair Bolsonaro. Before staking his presidential run on a promise of downsizing the bureaucracy alongside market-friendly economy minister Paulo Guedes, the former army captain and lawmaker had built his 28-year record in congress on lobbying for the men and women in uniform.His acolytes strongly encouraged a 2017 police strike in Espirito Santo state; the homicide rate exploded as beat police folded their arms. Bolsonaro also convinced Guedes to exempt the armed forces from last year’s pension reform, opening the door to a far more generous plan later in the year. Each state will have to thrash out its own pension plan for police and firefighters, who have shown their valor at the picket lines.The barracks rebellion in Espirito Santo led the Supreme Court to declare walkouts by security forces unconstitutional, so ending years of legal equivocation favoring rogue cops. Nonetheless, state and local governors facing crime spikes continue to look the other way when police strike or even indulge them by granting amnesties to sanctioned cops.Last week, Brasilia dispatched regular army troops to Ceara to keep the peace. Tellingly, however, no one in Bolsonaro’s inner circle condemned the police revolt, although Bolsonaro quipped that Gomes didn’t have a license to operate a backhoe. Justice minister Sergio Moro declared on Monday that despite the spike in homicides since the strike, he saw no evidence of “absolute disorder” in the streets.The joke may have been lost on the state of 9.1 million, as homicides surged during the police walkout. Government bean counters were also likely not amused. The National Treasury has no legal obligation to rescue profligate regional governments. Fiscal hawks also warn that bailing out slackers only encourages more slacking. The reality is more complicated. “Politically, it’s just not viable to allow a meltdown in states and municipalities, many of which are strapped with structural difficulties such as loss-making payrolls, pension obligations and social benefits, or calamities like the mine collapse in Minas Gerais” said Adriana Dupita, of Bloomberg Economics, referring to the 2019 dam breach which took more than 250 lives.“With national government’s finances already distressed and the world economy weakening as China slows down, Brazil is in a difficult place,” Monica de Bolle, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told me. “If deeply indebted states like Minas Gerais or others go bankrupt, that can actually provoke a domestic crisis. Brazil has seen that before. It’s still a ticking time bomb.”Policy overhauls now in the pipeline — rewriting the regressive tax code, privatization and remaking state pensions — could offer relief to states and towns skirting insolvency. Fortunately, the customarily reactive Brazilian legislature has shown some reformist mettle. Yet these initiatives will languish without backing at the top. With Bolsonaro apparently more committed to dishing out partisan zeal than parsimony, the prospects for salutary reforms look uncertain.In fairness, no one government laid this trap. The Brazilian left had its go last decade when creative accounting by the Workers Party helped trigger a record recession from which Latin America’s biggest economy is still reeling. Now comes a right-wing president who winks at fiscal folly when he doesn’t outright encourage it, from governor’s palaces to police headquarters. It may not be the sort of threat to democracy that’s kept Brazilians in a lather ever since Bolsonaro took charge in Brasilia. But it’s one the country can no longer afford to ignore.To contact the author of this story: Mac Margolis at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Gibney at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mac Margolis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Latin and South America. He was a reporter for Newsweek and is the author of “The Last New World: The Conquest of the Amazon Frontier.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- For Maurizio Cattaneo, the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy’s Lombardy region became alarmingly clear when several clients called to scrap contracts with his haulage company.“More than 50% of our work for this week has been canceled, and I’m scared that the situation will worsen,” the 48-year-old who runs a small company transporting heavy machinery in the regional city of Lecco said from his office 118 kilometers (73 miles) from the center of the outbreak south of Milan. “We have a real psychosis.”Whether it’s supply disruptions, production halts or clients steering clear of Lombardy, businesses like Cattaneo’s in Italy’s economic heartland are counting the rising cost of the spread of the virus in a country that was already teetering on the brink of recession.As the number of people infected by the virus in Italy rises above 300 -- mostly in the rich, industrial north -- restrictions imposed to stem its spread are threatening deeper economic woes. About a third of Italy’s output comes from Lombardy and Veneto, the two most-hit regions that are home to 1.1 million very small businesses with fewer than nine employees.After a sharp contraction at the end of 2019, Italy was already headed toward a recession before the virus started disrupting its economy. With finances strained and a divided coalition, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has few tools to stimulate an economy that could slow by as much as 0.4 of a percentage point if the crisis lasts more than a couple of months, according to the business lobby Confocommercio.Italy may seek to tap the European Union’s solidarity fund, depending on the extent of the economic damage, Deputy Finance Minister Antonio Misiani said an interview with newspaper La Stampa. Asked about the possibility of recession, he said “There will be an impact, but much depends on the duration of the emergency and the size of the zone directly affected.”Conte said the government will soon present a number of measures to aid businesses harmed by the outbreak, “from manufacturing to tourism,” Corriere della Sera reported.Related Story: Italy Insight – Europe’s Weak Link Ill Prepared for Coronavirus“A large part of the production and commercial activities of our country are stopped with consequences that are certainly still very uncertain,” said Massimiliano Maxia, an analyst at Allianz Global Investors. “The fact that the regions that contribute the most to gross domestic product have been affected will obviously have an even more negative effect on this scenario.”Vast swathes of the Lombardy and Veneto regions, stretching from Milan to Venice, are in a virtual lockdown. Events and conferences are being canceled, including the last days of the Milan fashion week. Venice suspended its annual pre-Lenten Carnival, and Serie A soccer matches were postponed or will be played behind closed doors.Milan’s Salone del Mobile design event, which last year attracted almost 400,000 visitors, has been postponed to June from April due to the outbreak, Milan Mayor Giuseppa Sala said on the event’s Facebook page.The death toll rose to 11 on Wednesday, with the mayor of Treviso north of Venice saying a 75-year-old woman died in the hospital there. Cases totaled 322 as of Tuesday evening, according to Italian emergency chief Angelo Borrelli.Many large companies, including Unicredit SpA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, have asked employees to work from home and cut back on business travel. Software maker Zucchetti SpA, with 6,000 employees in Italy and headquarters in Lodi, just a few kilometers from the epicenter of the outbreak, has mandated employees from affected regions to work remotely.But laptops and phone conferences can only go so far. Giorgio Armani, who held his fashion show behind closed doors to avoid any contagion risk, has closed a textile factory near Trento. Design and engineering company Italdesign Giugiaro SpA shut two plants near Turin after one of its workers tested positive to the virus.Also with people staying home, a whole slew of ancillary businesses are taking a hit -- from restaurants, bars and cafes to car services. That in turn is hurting waiters, drivers, assistants and other temporary workers.Take the case of Ferdinando Dossan, 47, for example. Dossan has a private transport company, working mostly with businessmen and tourists arriving at Malpensa, Milan’s main airport.“Nothing is moving,” he said Tuesday. About 80% of his bookings have been canceled, not just for the coming weeks but even into May and June. Instead of the three seasonal drivers he usually hires to cope with the spring influx of holidaymakers on Lake Como, he has need for only one now, he said.The crisis could shave 3.9 billion euros ($4.2 billion) from consumer demand, according to the Confesercenti retailers’ group, and may lead to the closing of some 15,000 small companies. Restaurants, cafes and bars may see losses of about 2 billion euros in the first four months of 2020, according to industry lobby group FIPE.Granted, the outbreak has been an export opportunity for some Italian companies gaining from China’s partial lockdown.“We receive calls from France and Germany and just a few days ago an Italian client doubled the volume of an order,” Andrea Beri, CEO of steelmaker ITA SpA in Lecco, was quoted as saying by Il Sole 24 Ore. “These are companies that have trouble sourcing material from China.”But such opportunities are few and far between. For the most part, companies will be looking for help. The government has announced tax relief and other support measures for the most-hit areas, but the sum on the table for now is a mere 20 million euros.Opposition leader Matteo Salvini has called for a 10 billion-euro stimulus package, but this would most likely lead to Italy breaking its European Union budget commitments, even if more flexibility were to be granted to cope with the crisis.Meanwhile in Lecco, the big question for businessmen like Cattaneo who can’t cope with the uncertainty is: how long is this going to last?He has had a Florence-based client cancel a contract to supply a large crane because the pylons that needed to be moved hadn’t arrived. Then a Milan-based multinational company nixed a machine order because its employees had been idled.“My family, my workers all depend on this business,” the heavy machinery transport company owner said. “Coronavirus may not kill people, but it will surely kill small businesses and manufacturing.”\--With assistance from Marco Bertacche and John Follain.To contact the reporters on this story: Alessandro Speciale in Rome at email@example.com;Sonia Sirletti in Milan at firstname.lastname@example.org;Flavia Rotondi in Rome at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vidya Root, Ross LarsenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
European stocks drifted lower in volatile trading on Tuesday as markets failed to set a floor after the pounding they took over the spread of the coronavirus in Italy and South Korea
Carnival Corp. has yet to find a safe port (read support) on the charts. In the daily bar chart of CCL, below, we can see that prices have been in decline the past 12 months and in a more serious decline since the middle of January. The daily On-Balance-Volume (OBV) line has fallen to a new low for the move down indicating that sellers of CCL have been more aggressive.
Luxury cruise line Cunard proudly celebrates its 180th Anniversary in 2020 with a special sale on voyages between July 2020 and May 2022 on all three ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. Cunard is a luxury heritage brand that inaugurated scheduled mail service from North America to Europe in 1840 and continues to be a leader in innovative ocean travel today.
Travel warnings and cruise cancellations are starting to take a toll on cruise operators. In fact, the outbreak has persuaded major cruise operators to trim 2020 guidance.
(Bloomberg) -- Behind the coronavirus upsurge that has turned Italy into Europe’s worst-hit nation is a combination of bad luck and safety protocols that fell short. Health authorities say the country’s meticulous search for new cases is inflating the tally.The government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is battling to cope as the caseload escalates to 283, with seven deaths. Vast swathes of rich northern Italy’s Lombardy and Veneto regions, stretching from Milan to Venice, are in a virtual lockdown.Just why Italy is suffering more than its neighbors is a question bedeviling the government and health authorities. The virus’s rapid spread there contrasts with more modest clusters elsewhere in Europe, including at a German auto parts supplier and in a French ski resort, where authorities quickly identified an original carrier and kept the illness from spreading.The Italian outbreak has been traced to a 38-year-old man who sought treatment at a hospital in Codogno, near Milan, on Feb. 18, where he infected dozens of patients and medical staff. He had not been to China recently and how he became infected remains a mystery.“At the root of all this is sheer misfortune,” said Fabrizio Pregliasco, a virologist at Milan University. “Who would have imagined that a person with symptoms similar to pneumonia, in Codogno in an agricultural province of Lombardy, could have the coronavirus?”Containment MeasuresPreviously Italy had registered only three cases, all of them in Rome, including a married Chinese couple in the capital for a holiday.Fifty-four new cases were reported in Tuesday, Italian emergency chief Angelo Borrelli said to reporters in Rome, with 40 of those in Lombardy. Three cases have been identified in the province of Milan. Italian measures to identify the virus have been robust, and could account for the increased number of detected cases, World Health Organization executive board member Walter Ricciardi said.Conte blamed the surge on a hospital he did not name, saying that from there the disease had spread because safety protocols were not respected. Conte told Rai television in an interview late Monday that the government may limit the powers of local health authorities if they fail to coordinate.Lawmaker Riccardo Molinari of Matteo Salvini’s anti-migrant League party retorted that too much stress had led Conte to say “something inconceivable, almost fascist.”After the outbreak near Milan, the government ramped up containment measures and testing. Police are manning roadblocks to stop anyone from leaving or entering an area of some 50,000 people in Codogno and other towns south of Milan, where most cases have been identified.Across Lombardy and Veneto, schools and universities closed and public events were canceled as stocks and bonds tumbled on concern the spread would prompt a recession. Venice suspended its annual pre-Lenten Carnival, and Serie A soccer matches were postponed.Lower-than-expected growth due to the virus may lead Italy’s deficit to GDP ratio to exceed the 2.2% target for 2020 agreed with the European Commission, newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported. That may lead Rome to request budget flexibility of 2 billion to 4 billion euros, the newspaper said.The health authorities’ mobilization to seek out new cases goes beyond the efforts of other European countries, Conte said, noting that Italy had carried out 4,000 tests for the virus in hospitals.‘Very Meticulous’“The Italian approach is very meticulous,” said Massimo Andreoni, a professor of infectious diseases at Rome’s Tor Vergata University. “We’re looking for all the contacts that a given person has had. We’re testing thousands of people. The more we seek, the more we find. But we still don’t have a cast-iron explanation for the numbers of cases.”Health officials’ sleuthing also has yet to turn up an initial spreader -- dubbed “patient zero” by Italian newspapers -- from whom the man in Codogno caught the illness. In line with World Health Organization safety protocols, he was not tested initially for the virus as he said he had not had contact with anyone who had been to China recently.Later, his wife said he had met with a businessman who returned from the country. That man, however, tested negative.One theory floated by health experts is that the location of the outbreak could be due to the Lombardy and Veneto regions having close business ties with China.Conte, who has expressed his surprise at the surge, has drawn criticism for making Italy the first European Union country to ban flights to and from China. The WHO’s Ricciardi said this had stopped authorities from tracing arrivals as travelers could use stopovers to reach the country.Andreoni defended the measure. “The ban improved the situation because fewer Chinese people decided to come to Italy,” he said. “In any case, you can’t start testing for the virus everyone who steps off from a plane, whether it’s from China or anywhere else.”No SymptomsAs in other countries, efforts to contain the virus are complicated by the discovery that some people infected with it have few or no symptoms, and others are easily confused with victims of annual seasonal influenza.For Conte’s government, isolating affected areas is now the priority rather than seeking the patient behind the recent outbreak. The premier has resisted calls to suspend the Schengen agreement, which allows free movement across the borders of EU members.“The Codogno outbreak is the tip of the iceberg, and now the priority is to go underwater and find out how big the iceberg is with more tests,” said Milan University’s Pregliasco. “We should be able to establish in two weeks’ time, the duration of the incubation period, whether the containment efforts are effective or not.”(Updates with new cases from second paragraph.)\--With assistance from Flavia Rotondi, Alberto Brambilla, Ross Larsen and Marco Bertacche.To contact the reporter on this story: John Follain in Rome at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jerrold Colten, Karl MaierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Chinese bank failures, loan defaults and supply-chain disruptions would put a dent in global GDP, writes Brian Frank.
While some investors are already well versed in financial metrics (hat tip), this article is for those who would like...
A fourth passenger from the cruise ship "Diamond Princess" moored in Japan has died from the coronavirus, NHK public television said on Tuesday. The passenger was in their 80s, NHK said. Japan has come under fire for its handling of the situation on the cruise ship, which is operated by Carnival Corp and where hundreds became infected.
Stocks ended sharply lower Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 giving up their gains for the year as investors dumped global equities and other assets perceived as risky amid worries over the spread of COVID-19 outside of China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended around 1,031 points lower, a drop of 3.6%,near 27,961, according to preliminary figures, leaving the blue-chip gauge down 2% for the year to date. The S&P 500 fell around 112 points or 3.4%, to end near 3,226, leaving it 0.2% lower for the year. The Nasdaq Composite dropped around 355 points, or 3.7%, to finish near 9,221; it remains up 2.8% for the year to date. Energy was the hardest hit sector in the S&P 500, dropping 4.7% as crude-oil futures fell sharply on worries the economic impact of the viral outbreak would dent demand for crude. Transportation-related shares also suffered, with cruise-ship operators Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Carnival Corp. among the biggest decliners on the S&P 500, with each falling more than 9%.
The travel industry is at risk as cases of coronavirus are spiking. President and CEO of World Travel and Tourism Council Gloria Guevara joins Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the tourism industry.