(Reuters) - The coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in Chinese prisons, authorities said on Friday, contributing to a jump in reported cases beyond the epicenter in Hubei province, including 100 more in South Korea and a worsening outbreak in Italy.
- China has reported a total of 75,567 cases of the virus known as COVID-19, including 2,239 deaths.
- China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, on Friday revised the number of new cases it reported on Feb. 19 to 775, from 349 previously.
- The window of opportunity to contain wider international spread of the epidemic of the new coronavirus disease is closing, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Friday, after cases were reported in Iran and Lebanon.
- An outbreak of coronavirus in northern Italy worsened on Friday, with officials announcing 14 confirmed cases in the wealthy region of Lombardy and two in the adjacent region of Veneto.
- The epidemic is set to be discussed at a meeting of finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies on the weekend in Riyadh. China will not send any officials to the meeting.
- China’s Gansu province has lowered its emergency response measures, its health commission said on Friday, the first in the country to do so.
- The streets of South Korea’s fourth-largest city, Daegu, were abandoned on Thursday, after dozens of people caught the coronavirus in what authorities described as a “super-spreading event” at a church. On Friday K-League postponed next week’s opening home matches for Daegu FC and Pohang Steelers due to the surge.
- In Hong Kong, citizens have set up a surgical face mask factory to ease supplies and deter price gouging.
- Japan and Singapore are on the brink of recession and South Korea said on Friday its exports to China slumped in the first 20 days of February.
- Japan’s factory activity suffered its steepest contraction in seven years in February, reinforcing the risk of a recession in the world’s third-largest economy.
- Japanese automakers on Friday delayed the restart of plants near the outbreak’s epicenter in China, raising the risk of further supply disruptions.
- Two elderly passengers from aboard a cruise ship moored near Tokyo died, as hundreds more disembarked after two weeks in quarantine.
- Two Australians evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan have tested positive after returning to their home country, whose prime minister plans to extend a ban on arrivals from mainland China into a fourth week.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a low-level travel advisory for Japan.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government said it would either cancel or postpone major indoor events it has sponsored for the next three weeks.
- Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Friday it was inappropriate for London’s mayoral candidates to propose their city as an alternative site for the 2020 Olympic Games.
- China’s banking sector may face a surge of non-performing loans in 2020 if the virus doesn’t peak until April.
- Hubei has established a 50 billion yuan ($7.1 billion) special financing vehicle to help the local economy.
- Beijing’s containment measures look set to delay the rollout of 5G as tenders for six big projects have been postponed since Jan.31.
- The unprecedented lockdown on people and goods has disrupted the poultry lifecycle, threatening meat production.
- This year’s record 8.7 million Chinese university graduating class sees many students stuck at home as the corporate recruitment season begins.
- Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said the epidemic is disrupting manufacturing sector supply chains, which may lead to delays in phone production.
- Asian shares were under water on Friday as coronavirus fears sent funds fleeing into the safety of U.S. assets, lifting the dollar to three-year highs. [MKTS/GLOB]
Compiled by Amy Caren Daniel, Sarah Morland and Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Tomasz Janowski
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