Coronavirus live updates: Iran confirms two deaths, IMF chief issues warning on global growth

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All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Total confirmed cases: More than 75,200
  • Total deaths: At least 2,000

Two Iranians have died in hospital after testing positive for the new coronavirus in the holy Shi’ite city of Qom, the head of the city’s University of Medical Sciences told Mehr news agency on Wednesday. “Two Iranians, who tested positive earlier today for new coronavirus, died of respiratory illness,” the official told Mehr. — Reuters

International Monetary Fund head Kristalina Georgieva said the COVID-19 outbreak is the “most pressing uncertainty” for the global economy. The new coronavirus is going to slow China’s economic growth for the year — just how much depends on how well world leaders can contain the fast-spreading outbreak, she said in a blog post. “There are a number of scenarios, depending on how quickly the spread of the virus is contained,” she said. If it’s contained quickly, she said, China’s overall 2020 GDP growth will be hurt, but just slightly and cross-border spillover would remain minimal. “However, a long-lasting and more severe outbreak would result in a sharper and more protracted growth slowdown in China. Its global impact would be amplified through more substantial supply chain disruptions and a more persistent drop in investor confidence, especially if the epidemic spreads beyond China.” — Feuer

The CEO and founder of Plugable Technologies, which sells USB, Bluetooth and power devices and partners with 15 factories in China, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” he is expecting the virus to disrupt his supply chain during March and April the most because securing any extra inventory will take at least two months to move through the supply chain. CEO Bernie Thompson said he has also had trouble with factories outside China since it only takes one part built in the country to disrupt the entire supply chain, especially in the electronics industry. —Higgins-Dunn

As coronavirus spreads around the world, small business owners who import from China are on edge. CNBC spoke with Kyle Kirshner, who has been doing business in China for several years. He knew to stock up on supplies ahead of the Lunar New Year, but prolonged factory shutdowns threatened his business and that of others who import products from China. Kirshner owns Kyndley, which sells outdoor products via Amazon and imports 90% of its goods from China. He expects his supply will be impacted within a month if things don’t turn around. And if he doesn’t have product to list on Amazon, his rankings may drop and hurt sales. — Rogers

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/19/coronavirus-latest-updates.html

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