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Total confirmed cases: More than 81,000
Total deaths: At least 2,764
7:40 am: Toyota says Japan plants might get hit by virus-related supply issues
said that operations at its plants in Japan might be affected by supply chain issues due to the coronavirus outbreak in the coming weeks, as the global outbreak gathers pace. The automaker, which operates 16 vehicle and components sites in Japan, said that it would decide on how to continue operations at its domestic plants from the week of March 9, after keeping output normal through the week of March 2. Plants could be affected by potential supply disruptions in China as some plants in the epicenter of the outbreak remain are unable to produce and transport goods, while some plants remain closed under orders by regional authorities. —Reuters
7:30 am: Rio Tinto’s best earnings since 2011 clouded by virus risks
Global mining group Rio Tinto warned that the outbreak might create challenging conditions over the next six months, with more disruptions to global supply chains and potential delays to projects in Australia. The miner’s warning comes on the heels of its best underlying earnings since 2011, buttressed by a sizable jump in iron ore prices last year. However, 2020 looks uncertain with economic activity stalling in many parts of China as it grapples to contain the virus that has killed more than 2,700 people and spread to over two dozen other countries. “Today, our iron ore books are full. But we are likely to see some short-term impact such as on supply chains and possibly in provisional services from Chinese suppliers,” Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques told reporters in a teleconference. —Reuters
People wearing protective face masks sit outside the AHEPA hospital, where the first confirmed coronavirus case is being treated, in Thessaloniki, Greece, February 26, 2020.
Alexandros Avramidis | Reuters
7:23 am: World’s biggest spirits company Diageo warns of coronavirus hit
Diageo said Wednesday the spread of the coronavirus in Asia could knock up to $260 million off its profit in 2020. Trade has been significantly disrupted since the end of January and the group expects this to last at least into March. After that Diageo anticipates a gradual improvement with consumption returning to normal levels towards the end of fiscal 2020. The company estimated the negative impact of the virus outbreak on the group’s organic net sales and organic operating profit to be between 225 million to 325 million pounds and 140 million to 200 million pounds ($260 million) respectively. It cautioned that these ranges exclude any impact of coronavirus on its other markets beyond China and Asia Pacific. —Reuters
6:08 am: France reports second death from coronavirus, Greece confirms first case
Europe continues to report a slew of coronavirus cases with France seeing its second death and Italy reporting its 12th death. Greece has also confirmed its first coronavirus case, a 38-year-old Greek woman who had traveled from an area of northern Italy, according to Sotiris Tsiodras, a representative of the Ministry of Health, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Italy has now reported that four children in the country have also contracted the flu-like illness.
5:24 am: Another Chinese city to test all travelers for coronavirus
As South Korea and Japan report more cases of coronavirus, another Chinese city near the eastern Asian countries is stepping up restrictions on travelers. A major city in Shandong province, Yantai, announced all travelers from abroad who arrive in the city will receive free nucleic acid tests for the virus. This move follows an earlier announcement from Weihai, another city in the province, that travelers from Japan and South Korea will be put in hotels for a 14-day free quarantine. South Korea and Japan are the two countries closest to China’s northeastern provinces and Jiaodong Peninsula. Shandong’s Qingdao, Weihai and Yantai are home to hundreds of Korean companies and the majority of these Korean investors are from Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, Incheon and Bushan, according to public data. —Wu
4:29 am: As China ramps up for Winter Olympics, virus keeps skiers away
In Hebei province, a major location for China’s Winter Olympics in 2022 , ice and snow sports venues reported a drop of 2.78 million visits from 2019, according to Peng Weiyong, deputy director of the economic department of the General Administration of Sport. For the 2018-2019 season, Hebei province reported 10 million trips to its ice and snow sports venues. Peng noted that more than 770 ski resorts have been built nationwide, and most have been closed since Jan. 24 due to the coronavirus. The closures also come amid historically high snowfall in the region. Peng was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday. —Cheng
Read CNBC’s coverage from the Asia-Pacific overnight: France sees second death from virus; Greece confirms first case
CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng, Christine Wang, Eustance Huang, Holly Ellyatt, Weizhen Tan and Reuters contributed to this report.