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Coronavirus latest: US raises China travel advisory after 81 deaths

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

The Chinese government has reported 81 deaths on the mainland, and about 2,900 cases have been confirmed globally — most in China

Cases have been confirmed in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the U.S., France, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Nepal, Malaysia, Australia, Canada and Cambodia.

For more on the spread of the virus and measures being taken to prevent further infections, please see our detailed explainer.

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

07:00 a.m. The World Health Organization has corrected what it called an error in its situation report on the coronavirus outbreak. Risk at the global level was restated as “high,” up from an earlier statement of “moderate.”

05:15 a.m. The U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory for China to its second-highest level of 3 (“reconsider travel“) from level 2 (“exercise increased caution”), citing the coronavirus outbreak. The advisory for the epicenter of Hubei Province was raised to the highest level of 4 (“do not travel“) on Jan. 23.

01:10 a.m. Beijing reported its first death from the virus, according to the Municipal Health Commission.

A tourist wearing a mask visits Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Jan. 22. China‘s capital has reported its first death caused by the new coronavirus.


00:20 a.m. New York stocks plunged as markets opened Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by as much as 549 points. Fears that the Wuhan coronavirus will have a negative impact on global business prompted investors to flee risk assets. China-related stocks, such as Caterpillar and Dow, sold off, as did travel and leisure s American Airlines and Booking Holdings, the operator of online travel site Booking.com.

Jan. 28, 00:00 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that his administration is “in very close communication with China concerning the virus.”

“We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary,” Trump said.

Separately, Ontario’s health minister confirmed the Canadian province’s second coronavirus case — the wife of the first patient.

10:50 p.m. Cambodia reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus. Health Minister Mam Bunheng told a news conference that the patient is a 60-year-old Chinese man who arrived from Wuhan last Thursday, according to wire reports.

8:50 p.m. China will ensure there are ample supplies in Wuhan’s markets and that prices remain stable, Premier Li Keqiang said during a visit to Wuhan, according to state television channel CCTV. Li is in Wuhan to inspect and direct efforts in the prevention and control of coronavirus.

Premier Li Keqiang, wearing a green medical mask, meets workers building Huoshenshan Hospital, an emergency site to deal with coronavirus.


6:30 p.m. Malaysia imposed a temporary ban on Chinese nationals arriving from the city of Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a statement issued by the prime minister’s office.

6:11 p.m. Cambodia’s Minister of Health Mam Bunheng said there had been no cases of the coronavirus reported in the country so far. Three patients suspected to have contracted the respiratory virus had been cleared by tests, according to reports. Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Facebook that authorities have stepped up screening at airports and border crossings. 

4:22 p.m. Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, told reporters in Tokyo he was concerned the coronavirus “could affect” Chinese President Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to Japan in the spring.

4:17 p.m. China‘s finance ministry and National Health Commission have earmarked 60.33 billion yuan ($8.70 billion) to contain the spreading virus, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

3:16 p.m. Mongolia closed its border with China, shutting down crossings for vehicle and pedestrian traffic, according to the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party.

2:55 p.m. China‘s Hainan Province on Monday said that an 80-year-old woman died from the coronavirus, marking the first fatality there, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

2:53 p.m. Singapore’s health ministry on Monday invoked the city-state’s ‘fake news’ law for the first time in relation to the coronavirus, issuing a corrective directive to a website that falsely reported a 66-year-old man died in the city.

2:12 p.m. Stocks across Asia fell on fears over the rising impact of the coronavirus, with the Nikkei 225 down nearly 2% on the day and the Shanghai Composite dropping about 2.75%. China‘s ban on outbound tours prompted big falls in tourism-related s such as Airports of Thailand.

12:59 p.m. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the country’s No. 2 official, visited Wuhan on Monday, the government said in a statement. He spoke with patients and medical staff there.

12:18 p.m. The Philippines is investigating 11 suspected cases of the new coronavirus, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

12:01 p.m. New Delhi’s embassy in Beijing is in close contact with Indian citizens in Wuhan and elsewhere in Hubei Province, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

11:46 a.m. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government is considering measures to curb the impact of the coronavirus on Japan’s domestic tourism sector.

10:40 a.m. Japanese retailer Aeon said it will bring most of its 12 Japanese employees stationed in Wuhan home. Tokyo Electron will also evacuate 30 staffers in Wuhan on a government charter flight.

10:36 a.m. The mayor of Wuhan told reporters late Sunday that the number of cases in the city could increase by about 1,000.

10:36 a.m. The Chinese government has extended the Spring Festival holiday until Feb. 2, while Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings has asked staff to work from home until Feb. 7.

06:14 a.m. The outbreak is hurting Japan’s tourism. Hotels have been hit by a flurry of cancellations by Chinese visitors, and more travelers are likely to scrap trips now that Beijing has banned group tours overseas.

05:17 a.m. Residents of Hubei Province, where the coronavirus was first reported, will be banned from entering Hong Kong. Taiwan earlier said that it would block the entry of Chinese visitors from the province, and that it is planning to bring back about 300 Taiwanese in Wuhan by charter flight.

03:17 a.m. Concerned residents in Wuhan are snapping up food in supermarkets, while people seeking medical attention are being turned away at hospitals. The central government in Beijing has said it will build a 1,000-bed hospital in the city in 10 days.