Coronavirus live updates: Fed flags threat, WHO says new cases in China are slowing

FAN Editor

Mike Pence during a CNBC interview, February 7, 2020.

Source: CNBC

This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

Total cases: More than 31,000 as of Friday morning
Total deaths: At least 636 worldwide as of Friday morning

11:47 am: WHO says cases in China are slowing

The number of new coronavirus cases slowed in China for a second day, but it’s too early to celebrate, World Health Organization officials said at a news conference. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the fewer number of cases is “good news,” but cautioned the public not to read too much into the new data. “The numbers could go up again,” he told reporters. “As you know, epi curves can zig zag,” referring to a diagram that shows the distribution of cases over time. -Lovelace

11:34 am: The Fed flags coronavirus as potential threat to US growth

The Federal Reserve on Friday announced that it’s now monitoring the coronavirus as a potential threat to U.S. growth. The central bank wrote that “possible spillovers from the effects of the coronavirus in China have presented a new risk to the outlook. “Though recent reports have suggested steadier economic growth in Europe and China, the Fed warned the disease could “lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy.” — Franck

10:56 am: VP Pence praises China’s ‘unprecedented level of transparency’ in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak

Vice President Mike Pence said Beijing has demonstrated “an unprecedented level of transparency” with world health officials amid the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak. “It’s heartbreaking but we stand ready with China to provide them any and all support,” he told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost on “Squawk on the Street.” Pence referenced Thursday’s phone call between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, after which Trump tweeted that China will “be successful” in getting control over the deadly coronavirus. “Trump made it clear that the United States is ready, willing and able to deploy resources,” Pence added. — Bursztynsky

10:29 am: White House sees a minimal impact on US economic growth from outbreak

The White House’s economic adviser said that President Donald Trump’s administration does not expect the coronavirus in China will have a major effect on the U.S. economy. “There’s a lot of variables involved and things we don’t know. Internally we have looked at a drop in GDP of perhaps two-tenths of 1% that’s all we found so far. Again, based on the past and based on what we’re seeing ” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told reporters. —Reuters

10:16 am: CDC removes four from Royal Caribbean cruise for testing in New Jersey

The Centers for Disease Control said a family of four have been removed from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship at the Bayonne Port in New Jersey. “The family has a travel history to mainland China, but not a history of travel to Hubei Province,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said. New Jersey Department of Health will facilitate the specimen collection, and the samples will be sent to CDC for testing.” Health officials screened about two dozen for the virus, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis tweeted. —Feuer

10:14 am: WHO holds press conference on outbreak

World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference to update the public on the new coronavirus outbreak. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the group’s director-general, said the number of new cases is slowing. However, he expressed concern about supplies of items such as masks to protect against the virus, saying the prices of some of these items are skyrocketing. —Cheddar Berk

9:48 am: The number of cases on Carnival cruise ship near Japan jumps by 41

The Japanese Health Ministry confirmed 41 new cases of the virus on a quarantined cruise ship off the coast of Japan. The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is operated by Carnival’s Princess Cruises, is carrying about 3,700 passengers and crew at the port of Yokohama. The new cases bring the total to 61 cases out of 273 people who were suspected to be exposed to the virus and tested for it. Among the newly infected people, there is one from Argentina, five from Australia, five from Canada, 21 from Japan, one from the U.K. and eight from the U.S. —Feuer

9:20 am: Van’s parent says 60% of its stores in China are closed for now

Shares of VF Corp., the parent of Vans, were down slightly after the company revealed it has been forced to close about 60% of its owned and licensed stores in China due to the outbreak. Stores in mainland China had accounted for about 6% of its fiscal 2019 revenue. In addition, the company sources about 16% of its total cost of goods sold from China, and about 7% of that gets shipped to the U.S. market. VF said it’s “not possible” to gauge the impact of its supply chain at this time. —Cheddar Berk

8:39 am: Canada Goose says travel restrictions are hurting sales

8:15 am: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says outbreak is not hitting the business

7:49 am: Burberry closes a third of its China stores, revises guidance

Burberry warned of a hit to demand, withdrew its financial guidance for 2020 and said it had closed more than a third of its stores in mainland China. It said spending by Chinese tourists in Europe and elsewhere had not been hurt as much, but given widening travel restrictions, it forecast this would worsen in the coming weeks. — Reuters

7:20 am: Ericsson withdraws from major Barcelona conference over coronavirus concerns

Sweden’s Ericsson has announced it will not attend Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, later this month, saying it cannot ensure the safety of employees and customers amid concerns over the coronavirus. “The health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders are our highest priority. This is not a decision we have taken lightly,” CEO and President Borje Ekholm said in a statement. “We were looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations at MWC in Barcelona. It is very unfortunate, but we strongly believe the most responsible business decision is to withdraw our participation from this year’s event.” — Meredith

6:35 am: WHO director-general warns of a chronic shortage of personnel protective equipment

The director-general of the World Health Organization has warned about the risk of a chronic shortage of protective equipment as countries work to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. Speaking at an executive board meeting at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was concerned about a lack of masks, gloves and other protective equipment, Reuters reported. Tedros also said there had been fewer reported coronavirus infections in China over the last two days. However, “the numbers could go up again,” he cautioned. Late last month, health experts told CNBC that the panic buying of face masks to protect against the coronavirus was “completely understandable,” but ultimately unwarranted. They also warned a shortage of masks could pose a risk to health workers. — Meredith

5:55 am: Trump hails ‘great discipline’ in China to tackle coronavirus

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