Coronavirus live updates: Japan is on cusp of outbreak, France warns of pandemic risk

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

All times below are in Eastern time.

Total confirmed cases: More than 72,400
Total deaths: At least 1,868

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the public should start focusing on COVID-19 cases outside of China when considering the global risk. He said Japan appears to be “on the cusp of an outbreak” with 59 confirmed cases and one death so far, he said on CNBC’S “Squawk Box.” “If you start to see this become an epidemic in other nations … that’s going to be extremely worrisome that we’re not going to control this globally,” Gottlieb said. – Bursztynsky

German investor confidence has sharply deteriorated amid intensifying fears that China’s coronavirus outbreak will significantly hamper world trade, according to a new survey. The ZEW Research Institute said Tuesday that its monthly survey showed economic sentiment fell to 8.7 in February, down from 26.7 in January. Analysts had anticipated a reading of 21.5 this month. “The feared negative effects of the Coronavirus epidemic in China on world trade have been causing a considerable decline of the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany,” ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement. “Expectations regarding the development of the export-intensive sectors of the economy have dropped particularly sharply.” — Meredith.

“The assets supervision commission will not change the production and operational targets, and reform goals set at the beginning of the year,” Ren Hongbin, deputy director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said Tuesday, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. However, those ambitions will be more difficult to achieve now that the coronavirus has disrupted economic activity nationwide. Ren noted that the virus has brought “unthinkable” challenges for the state-owned enterprises’ operations, and emphasized the immediate goal is to assist in virus control efforts, including production of medical supplies. The virus has also created difficulties for state-owned enterprises’ overseas projects that the commission needs to handle, alongside the resumption of work in mainland China, Peng Huagang, secretary-general and spokesperson said. — Cheng

Japan has reported another 88 people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise liner have tested positive for the coronavirus, taking the total number of on-board infections to 542. Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, citing the health ministry, said Tuesday that 65 of the 88 people found to have contracted COVID-19 had no symptoms. A total of 2,404 passengers and crew members have been tested for the virus, the health ministry reportedly said, with 542 infections. The cruise liner is currently quarantined in Japan’s port of Yokohama. — Meredith.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/18/coronavirus-latest-updates.html

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