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- Total confirmed cases: More than 75,200
- Total deaths: At least 2,007
Although the coronavirus had just taken hold when the Federal Reserve met in January, officials already expressed concern about its potential economic impacts. “The threat of the coronavirus, in addition to its human toll, had emerged as a new risk to the global growth outlook, which participants agreed warranted close watching,” minutes released Wednesday from the Federal Open Market Committee’s Jan. 28-29 meeting said. Central bank policymakers said, for instance, that if the virus spread it could hit what appeared to be an improving growth picture in China.Â âCox
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on Wednesday for American travelers to Hong Kong after the city reported its second death from the new coronavirus. Travelers to Hong Kong should avoid contact with sick people, the CDC said, and regularly wash their hands. It is the CDC’s lowest-level travel warning, but it is the first coronavirus-related travel notice issued by the U.S. government for a territory beyond mainland China.Â âFeuer
Tyson Foods’ CEO said at a conference that the company has seen Chinese ports backed up as a result of the virus, slowing down the import of its U.S. meat products. Shares of the world’s second-largest meat processor fell 1% in afternoon trading on the comments. “There’s a definite need within the country to fulfill customer demand, to feed the people and we are continuing to ship product,” Tyson CEO Noel White said. In the next few years, Tyson expects to see higher demand as a result of African swine fever, which has hit China’s pork supply and global pork prices. Beijing lifted a years-long ban on importing U.S. poultry meat in November.Â â Lucas
Hundreds of passengers trundled off a cruise ship in Japan after being held on board in quarantine for more than two weeks, as criticism mounted of Japan’s handling of the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside China. More than 620 passengers and crew became infected with the virus over the course of the quarantine, raising questions about whether it helped or hurt efforts to contain the outbreak. The Diamond Princess has been quarantined at a dock at Yokohama near Tokyo since Feb. 3, initially with 3,700 people aboard. Passengers who test negative and show no symptoms are free to leave. Around 500 were expected to disembark on Wednesday, with the rest of those eligible leaving over the next two days. Confirmed cases were to be sent to hospital, while those who shared cabins with infected passengers may still be kept on board. The United States flew more than 300 passengers to air bases in California and Texas this week. â Reuters