Coronavirus Outbreak: Live Updates and News for Mar. 27, 2020

Coronavirus Outbreak: Live Updates and News for Mar. 27, 2020

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China is willing to offer help to the U.S. in controlling the coronavirus, President Xi Jinping told his counterpart Donald Trump after weeks of rising tensions. The World Health Organization told G-20 leaders to fight the virus, and that it could “tear us apart if we let it.”

The U.S. overtook China for the most virus cases worldwide, fueled by a large jump in infections in New York, while global deaths from the pandemic surpassed 24,000.

The Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates, joining central banks around the world in boosting stimulus to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. U.S. President Donald Trump offered a plan to restore normal business by ranking counties by their virus risk.

relates to Xi Seeks Trump’s Cooperation; WHO Warns Leaders: Virus Update

Key Developments:

  • Cases at 532,000; 24,000 dead, 122,000 recovered: Johns Hopkins
  • U.S. fatalities top 1,100; confirmed cases in Canada surge 72%
  • Trump and Xi had a phone call on virus
  • Ventilators are top fear in New York as deaths mount
  • Second shockwave is hitting China’s factories
  • From Spain to Germany, farmers warn of fresh food shortages

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Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here. To see the impact on oil and commodities demand, click here.

relates to Xi Seeks Trump’s Cooperation; WHO Warns Leaders: Virus Update

Singapore ‘Facing ‘Very Grave Situation,’ Premier Says (3:28 p.m. HK)

Singapore’s grave economic challenge posed by the coronavirus pandemic may affect the timing of the nation’s election, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Lee said the tide “had not turned” with the outbreak. As more residents come home to Singapore, more virus enters the country, he said.

Malaysia Announces Massive Stimulus (3:13 p.m.)

Malaysia announced billions of dollars in fresh support for its economy. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Friday the government was unveiling 250 billion ringgit ($58 billion) in support for the economy. That figure includes a 20-billion ringgit package announced last month by the previous government, as well as other measures presented since then, Muhyiddin said.

Hungary Declares Limited Nationwide Lockdown (2:35 p.m. HK)

Hungary’s government will partially restrict movement for a two-week period ending April 11 to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. People can still leave their homes for work and for essential needs such grocery shopping and to get fresh air, but only when respecting social distancing recommendations.

WHO to World Leaders: “Fight Like Hell” (2:10 p.m. HK)

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told G-20 leaders to “fight like hell,” and said shutdowns are necessary to slow down the pandemic, but they won’t extinguish it, so countries need to test more and trace every contact. The WHO chief himself didn’t call the coronavirus a pandemic until mid-March.

“The price we end up paying depends on the choices we make now,” Tedros said in a speech to the world’s top politicians. “The actions we take now will have consequences for decades to come.”

“Fight like your lives depend on it,” he said. “Because they do.”

Sony Says Virus Disruptions May Hit Profit (2:04 p.m. HK)

Sony Corp. said fallout from the coronavirus may wipe out a previously projected increase in its profit. The Japanese company said two factories in China are returning to normal operation but continue to face component shortages, while facilities in Malaysia and U.K. will remain shut until middle of April because of government requests. Sony said it can’t dispatch employees to these locations to discuss assembly of new products.

Xi Tells Trump To Take Steps to Improve Ties: Xinhua (1:42 p.m. HK)

Relations between China and the U.S. are at an important juncture and cooperation is the only right choice, Xi told Trump, the official Xinhua news agency reports. China is willing to offer help to the U.S. in coronavirus control, and the two sides should enhance cooperation on the fight against the virus, the report said.

American Air Sees $12 Billion Share of Aid (1:35 p.m. HK)

American Airlines Group Inc. said it’s in line to receive $12 billion in a pending U.S. rescue program for an industry battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

With demand for air travel having tumbled “precipitously,” American will slash its flight schedule 60% in April and 80% in May, Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said. To make up for lost sales, the company will have to rely on government assistance that’s still subject to a Friday vote in the House of Representatives.

India Central Bank Cuts Rates in Emergency Meeting (12:44 p.m. HK)

The Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates in an unscheduled move. The benchmark repurchase rate was lowered by 75 basis points to 4.40% from 5.15%, Governor Shaktikanta Das said after an emergency meeting of the rate-setting panel. The RBI had been on hold since December after five rate cuts in 2019.

Australia to Quarantine International Air Arrivals (11:50 a.m. HK)

Australian authorities will quarantine anyone arriving in the nation’s airports to slow the spread of the coronavirus, amid concern some residents returning home were failing to self-isolate.

The defense force will be deployed to enforce the measures, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters after a meeting of the National Cabinet.

The government has moved incrementally to shut down society, closing pubs and casinos, barring non-essential travel and closing its borders to non-residents. Yet still the number of infections has grown, reaching 2,985 on Friday and 13 deaths.

WATCH:Australia’s Morrison discusses the new measures the government is undertaking to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Trump Promises GOP Convention Will Be Held in August (10:42 a.m. HK)

U.S. President Donald Trump said the Republican National Convention would go forward as planned this August even as the coronavirus has caused the cancellation of large-scale events all across the U.S.

The Democrats are scheduled to hold their convention in Milwaukee from July 13 to 16. The Republican convention is to be held from Aug. 24 to 27. “We’re quite a bit later than them, which I think is good,” Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

Chinese Industrial Firms See Profits Slump (10:06 a.m. HK)

Profits of Chinese industrial companies slumped the most on record as the virus outbreak hurt business activities. Industrial profits dropped by 38.3% in the first two months of this year compared to the same period in 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. Profits at state-owned firms, private companies and foreign-invested business all dropped more than 30%.

The drop is due to the severe shock caused by the sudden outbreak of the coronavirus, according to a statement from NBS official Zhang Weihua. Both production and sales dropped, while profits were squeezed by rising costs and falling prices of industrial products.

Top K-Pop Group BTS Cancels North America Tour (9:15 a.m. HK)

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