NYC Comes to Standstill; Manila in Lockdown: Virus Update

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French President Emmanuel Macron called the coronavirus the epidemic of the century and the leading U.S. infectious-disease official said America’s testingsystem is failing, as the death toll from the coronavirus approached 5,000.

New York Citydeclared a state of emergency, bringing the financial and cultural capital of the U.S. to a standstill. France willclose all schools starting next week, while the Philippines placed Manila in a lockdown.

Macron was slated to speak with President Donald Trump on Friday amid Europe’s anger aboutflight bans the U.S. has imposed. U.S. stocks tumbled again, with benchmark gauges posting their worst drop since 1987.

Key Developments:

  • Confirmed cases at 128,393 globally; 4,742 deaths
  • NCAA basketball, baseball and NHL allsuspend play
  • Italy’s death surged despite a nationwide lockdown
  • Wall Street tries fighting virus withstaggered office plans
  • Trump flight clampdown is ahammer blow for airlines

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

Arsenal Soccer Club Manager Tests Positive (7:40 a.m. HK)

Arsenal soccer club manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to astatement on the London Premier League team’s website.

Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Arteta, including the first-team squad and coaching staff, will self-isolate, the statement said. The Premier League will convene an emergency club meeting Friday on future fixtures.

Formula 1 Cancels Australian Grand Prix (7:35 a.m. HK)

Formula Oneconfirmed it will cancel this year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix event in Melbourne, adding to the ranks of major global sports disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision was taken after a member of the McLaren Racing team tested positive for coronavirus, Liberty Media Corp.-owned Formula One, the FIA governing body and Australian Grand Prix Corp. said in a statement. The event, which includes practice and qualifying sessions, attracted 324,000 spectators to Melbourne across four days in 2019, including 102,000 on race day, according to the Victoria state government. Teams had been scheduled to begin a practice session at midday Friday ahead of Sunday’s main race.

Duterte Locks Down Philippine Capital for a Month (7:28 a.m. HK)

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he’s placing the capital region of Manila in alockdown for a month to help contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

Duterte is also restricting entry for travelers from countries with local transmission, and suspending domestic travel to and from Metro Manila – a region of more than 12 million people – from March 15 to April 14, subject to daily review.

Schools Closures Spread Across the U.S. (6:20 a.m. HK)

Large school districts across the U.S. announced closures to prevent the virus’s spread. San Francisco is planning to close all public schools for three weeks starting March 16. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said every school in state would shut for two weeks. In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine said schools would close for a three-week period.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee ordered the closure of all schools, public and private, in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties from March 15 until April 24. King County, which includes Seattle, has the highest number of cases and the majority of deaths in the state, most of which have occurred among patients at a nursing home.

“It’s really important not to sugarcoat the situation we are in,” Inslee said. “It is our job to slow down the spread of this virus and we think we can do that.”

Belgium Nears Lockdown (6:08 a.m. HK)

Belgium ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants and other leisure venues, caretaker Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes announced in Brussels. All public schools will suspend classes as of Monday until April 3, the start of a two-week Easter holiday. Stores selling non-essential goods are being told to close their doors on Saturdays, to avoid contact between people not regularly meeting. Food stores and pharmacies will remain open in the weekend.

Disney to Shut California Theme Parks (4:49 p.m. NY)

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure will beclosed from March 14 through the end of the month. The move follows an order by California Governor Gavin Newsom for the state to limit public gatherings to 250 people.

NYC Declares Emergency (4:22 p.m. NY)

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency for New York, saying the city would enforce its decree against many public gatherings to combat the new coronavirus outbreak.

“All of our large venues will no longer have gatherings,” the mayor said at a news conference. “I suspect it will be a number of months.”

The order also applies to restaurants and bars, he said. Venues under 500 capacity will operate at 50% occupancy.

He called the overall numbers of new virus cases “striking and troubling.”

“We now have 95 confirmed cases, 42 new since yesterday,” the mayor said, “29 in mandatory quarantine, more than 1,700 in voluntary quarantine.”

France to Close All Schools (3:35 p.m. NY)

France ordered the closing of nurseries, schools and universities from the beginning of next week to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which President Emmanuel Macron called the worst health crisis in a century.

France urged people to work from home, limit travel, and keep the most fragile citizens and people over 70 in their houses.

“The government will use all the financial means necessary to save lives, whatever the cost,” the president said.

Baseball, Boston Marathon Curbed (3:15 p.m. NY)

Major League Baseball will suspend spring training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks, it said in a statement.

The iconic Boston Marathon will be run in September instead of on April 20, CBS Boston reported.

Pro basketball, hockey and Nascar have all announced curtailed activities in recent days.

New York to Ban Events Over 500 People (2:28 p.m.)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of more than 500 people to slow the virus’s spread. He also banned visitors to nursing homes, though the restrictions didn’t apply to them, nor to hospitals, schools or mass transit.

He said the densityrules will apply to Broadway, starting Thursday night.

TheNew York Philharmonic canceled performances through March, it said in a statement.

Cuomo reported a 112 new cases in New York for a total of 328. There were no deaths, he said.

Trump Had Limited Interaction With Infected Brazil Official (2:15 p.m. NY)

The White House said President Trump had “almost no interactions” with a visiting staff member of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. The aide had attended a dinner with the president at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend and has since tested positive with the coronavirus.

Pictures show the aide, Fabio Wajngarten, Bolsonaro’s communications secretary, side by side with Trump, wearing a “Make Brazil Great Again” hat.

“I’m not concerned,” Trump said at a news conference.

U.K. Sees Peak in 10-14 Weeks (1:46 p.m. NY)

U.K. coronavirus infections are likely to be between 5,000 and 10,000, the government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said in a press conference alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Vallance said the peak of the outbreak may be 10 to 14 weeks away in the U.K.

The number of cases will rise sharply and more people will die, Johnson said, as he described the outbreak as “the worst public health crisis for a generation.” Johnson also confirmed the government has moved on from trying to contain the virus to instead focus on delaying the worst of outbreak.

NHL Suspends Games, Nascar Bans Fans (1:45 p.m. NY)

The National Hockey League has decided to follow the National Basketball Association’s lead and suspend itsseason in response to the coronavirus. NASCAR will hold its Miami, Atlanta races without fans.

Italy Deaths Surge by Third, Surpass 1,000 (1:22 p.m. NY)

The death toll in Italy rose to 1,016 from 827, civil protection officials said on Thursday. The European nation has 15,113 total cases, up from 12,462 previously reported.

Virus Threatens to Overwhelm EU Health Care (12:39 p.m. NY)

The coronavirus threatens to exceed health care capacity across the European Union, according to the bloc’s disease prevention office.

Trends across Europe mirror those seen earlier in China, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, which called for and “immediate targeted action” to counteract the spread of the disease. The virus has reached all EU countries and the U.K., with a total of 17,413 cases in the region as of March 11, with more than half of those cases in Italy, the agency said.

“In a few weeks or even days, it is likely that similar situations to those seen in China and Italy may be seen” in other countries in the region, the organization said in a statement.

Trudeau to Self-Isolate After Wife’s Illness (12:01 p.m. NY)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in self-isolation and working from home while his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

U.S. Testing System a Failing, Fauci Says (11:41 a.m. NY)

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told lawmakers Thursday that the U.S. testing system for coronavirus is “a failing” and not yet ready to ramp up to test more Americans.

“The idea of anyone getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we’re not setup for that,” he said at a House Oversight Committee hearing.

— With assistance by Jeff Sutherland, Sophie Alexander, John Tozzi, Dina Bass, and John Martens

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