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Coronavirus updates: US advises against travel to Italy, postpones ASEAN summit

  • February 29, 2020
  • China, South Korea report more cases
  • The US advised citizens against travel to Italy
  • Mexico, Northern California confirm new cases
  • WHO opens TikTok account to spread awareness about coronavirus
  • Wall Street sees worst week since 2008 financial crisis

All updates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT).

01:24 President Trump accused democrats of “politicizing” the preventive steps taken by his administration to control the spread of coronavirus, calling it their new “hoax”. Some democrats have criticized him for not taking action soon enough.

01:24 South Korea, one of the worst affected nations by the coronavirus, reported 594 more cases. The total now stands at 2931.

01:09 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned top party officials of “serious consequences” if they failed to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. The nation, which shares borders with China and South Korea, has already closed borders. Officially, the country has not reported any cases. 

00:43 K-pop boy band BTS canceled four of their concerts that were to happen in April this year, as South Korea saw a huge leap in the number of cases of coronavirus. Almost 600 new cases were reported in the country on Friday.

00:31 Mainland China reported 47 more deaths on Friday, a slight rise from the 44 deaths seen on the previous day. The Hubei province, which has been the epicenter of the infection, reported 423 new cases. 

00:06 Here’s a look at how the markets closed on Friday, a less pronounced set of losses after a particularly brutal week in the US. Europe took the biggest hit on Friday. Asian markets also suffered, although they had been dogged by coronavirus fears for some time already so shed less in the course of this week. 

  • Dow Jones (US) -1.39%
  • SP 500 (US) -0.82%
  • NASDAQ (US) +0.01%
  • FTSE 100 (UK) -3.18%
  • DAX (Germany) -3.86%
  • CAC 40 (France) -3.38%

Screens show drop in prices at NYSE (Getty Images/S. Heins)

Growing concerns about the virus made markets tumble yet again on Friday

23:54 The US has postponed the ASEAN summit that was scheduled for March 14 due to worries over coronavirus. President Trump was supposed to meet the members of ASEAN in Las Vegas, after he failed to attend a summit in Bangkok last November.

23:32 Mexico has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus. One of the patients is in Mexico City, and the other is in the northern state of Sinaloa. Mexican assistant health secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said that neither was seriously ill.

23:28 A new case of Covid-19 was confirmed in northern California on Friday.

23: 21 The World Health Organization announced that it had started two new TikTok accounts, to spread information on protection from the virus.

23:15 The US has urged its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Italy. The European nation has become a hotbed for the infection, and has reported at least 21 deaths. 

23:09 Wall Street saw the biggest weekly drop since the financial crisis of 2008, over fears of coronavirus.


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