China’s central bank cut rates on its medium-term loans on Monday, in a bid to support businesses which are reeling from the disruption to activity.
That followed several moves in the past few weeks to support businesses. On Friday, China said it will tolerate more bad loans, and also said it has supplied more than $76.9 billion in credit.
McDonald’s, Starbucks and other fast food companies in China are increasing their “contactless” delivery and pickup services as the outbreak continues, according to a Reuters report.
Customers can opt to order online, and their orders will be placed in a location for pickup — without human contact, according to the report.
China’s National Health Commission reported there were 105 additional deaths and 2,048 new confirmed cases as of Feb. 16.
That brings the country’s overall total to 70,548 confirmed cases, and 1,770 deaths, according to authorities.
Singapore, one of the worst-hit from the outbreak with among the highest number of cases outside of China, downgraded its growth forecast on Monday.
To cushion the economic blows from the virus outbreak, economists said the Singapore government will likely register one of its largest fiscal deficits on record this year — with estimates ranging from 7 billion Singapore dollars ($5.04 billion) to 8 billion Singapore dollars. — Lee
China’s Hubei province said it has confirmed 1,933 new coronavirus cases and 100 more deaths as of Feb. 16. It said that the virus has infected 58,182 people in the province and killed 1,696 people in the region alone.
Hubei is the center of the outbreak and where the majority of cases and deaths are located. —Wang
American passengers quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan began evacuating on Sunday. Officials said they would be taken on a charter flight to one of two U.S. military air bases, where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Passengers will be screened for symptoms prior to boarding. Americans that decide to not return on the charter flight will be unable to travel to the U.S. until March 4, according to the American Embassy in Tokyo.
Japanese officials said the quarantine aboard the ship should end on Feb. 19. There were 355 cases of the virus confirmed as of Sunday, with roughly 3,700 total passengers and crew on board. —Newburger
Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical, one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in China, has received approval to start selling Favipiravir as a potential treatment for the virus, according to a company filing. The company must still continue clinical trials of the antiviral drug, which is being developed by Toyama Chemical of Japan, after it hits the market. —Newburger
Taiwan said a man in his 60s with a history of hepatitis B and diabetes has died of the virus. It’s the first death on the island. The man died Saturday after nearly two weeks in a hospital, but does not have a known history of traveling to China.
Health officials are investigating how he became infected. Taiwan has 20 confirmed cases of the virus. —Newburger