Wuhan to Test All 11 Million Residents After Handful of New Infections

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(BANGKOK) — Authorities in the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began were moving forward Wednesday with efforts to test all 11 million residents for the virus within 10 days after a handful of fresh infections were found there.

The U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, meanwhile, issued a blunt warning that cities and states could see more COVID-19 deaths and economic damage if they lift stay-at-home orders too quickly — a sharp contrast to President Donald Trump, who is pushing to right a free-falling economy.

“There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control,” Dr. Anthony Fauci warned a Senate committee and the nation Tuesday as more than two dozen states have begun to lift their lockdowns.

The tension in balancing people’s safety from the virus against the severe economic fallout is playing out in many other countries, too. Italy partially lifted lockdown restrictions last week only to see a big jump in confirmed coronavirus cases in its hardest-hit region. Pakistan reported 2,000 new infections in a single day for the first time after the easing of its lockdown saw crowds of people crammed into markets throughout the country.

China, the first nation to put a large number of its citizens under lockdown and the first to ease those restrictions, has been strictly guarding against any resurgence.

District health commissions and neighborhood committees in the city of Wuhan have been told to develop a plan to test all residents in their jurisdictions, local media reports said. The directive also said the testing should focus on the elderly, densely populated areas and places with mobile populations.

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A person who answered the mayor’s hotline in Wuhan on Wednesday said local districts had been given 10 days to carry out the tests. The official declined to give his name because she was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The first cases of the new coronavirus were found in Wuhan in December, and by the end of January the government had placed the entire city and the surrounding region, home to more than 50 million people, under a strict lockdown.

A cluster of six new cases was recently found in one part of the city, the first local infections the government has reported in Wuhan since before the lockdown was eased in early April.

It wasn’t clear how many people would actually still need to be tested, as one expert at Wuhan University told the Global Times newspaper that up to 5 million residents of Wuhan have already been tested since the outbreak began.

Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 4.2 million people and killed over 291,000 — with more than 82,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, the world’s highest toll. Experts say the actual numbers are likely far higher.

Progress was being made in many places, including New Zealand, which reported no new cases on Wednesday. It was the second day in a row without any and the fourth such day since early last week.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it was encouraging news as New Zealand prepares to ease many of its lockdown restrictions on Thursday. Most businesses, including malls, retail stores and sit-down restaurants, will be able to reopen. Social distancing rules will remain in place and gatherings will be limited to 10 people.

“The sense of anticipation is both palpable and understandable,” Bloomfield said.

Authorities in South Korea said Wednesday that they had no immediate plans to revive strict social distancing rules despite a spike in cases linked to nightclubs in Seoul.

In his Senate testimony, Dr. Fauci said more infections and deaths are inevitable as people again start gathering, but how prepared communities are to stamp out those sparks will determine how bad the rebound is.

“There is no doubt, even under the best of circumstances, when you pull back on mitigation you will see some cases appear,” Fauci said.

Move too quickly and “the consequences could be really serious,” he added. It not only would cause “some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery.”

With more than 30 million people unemployed in the U.S., Trump has been pressuring states to reopen.

A recent Associated Press review determined that 17 states did not meet a key White House benchmark for loosening restrictions — a 14-day downward trajectory in new cases or positive test rates. Yet many of those states have begun to reopen or are about to do so, including Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah.

Of the 33 states that have had a 14-day downward trajectory, 25 are partially opened or moving to reopen within days, the AP analysis found. Other states that have not seen a 14-day decline remain closed despite meeting some benchmarks.

Fauci expressed optimism that eventually vaccines will arrive, along with treatments in addition to the one drug that so far has shown a modest effect in fighting COVID–19. But it would be “a bridge too far” to expect them in time for fall, when schools hope to reopen, he said.

Although Trump declared this week that “we have met the moment, and we have prevailed” in increasing and improving virus testing, Republican senators on the panel were noticeably less sanguine.

A lack of testing has dogged the U.S. response from the beginning, when a test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ran into numerous problems. Sen. Mitt Romney said the U.S. may finally have outpaced testing leader South Korea but that country has far fewer deaths because it started testing early.

“I find our testing record nothing to celebrate whatsoever,” said Romney, a Republican from Utah.

Trump administration “testing czar” Adm. Brett Giroir said the U.S. could be performing at least 40 million to 50 million tests per month by September. That would work out to between 1.3 million and 1.7 million tests per day. Harvard researchers have said the U.S. must be doing 900,000 by this Friday in order to safely reopen.

Neergaard reported from Washington. Associated Press journalists around the world contributed to this report.

By CHRIS BLAKE and LAURAN NEERGAARD

Source: https://time.com

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13.9% Of New Yorkers Test Positive For Coronavirus Antibodies—Still Not Enough To Foster Herd Immunity

13.9% of people surveyed in New York tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies—a whopping 10 times higher than the state’s presumed infection rate, but still far from what would be considered herd immunity from the pandemic.

KEY FACTS

Herd immunity happens when over 60% of the population develops immunity—antibodies—to a disease, a phenomenon that usually occurs when a population is vaccinated against a virus.

In the new study cited by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on 3,000 people across the state, 13.9% exhibited COVID-19 antibodies (21% in New York City), implying that 2.7 million people across the state had been exposed to COVID-19, according to Bloomberg, 10-times higher than the presumed infection rate.

Dr. Nate Favini, medical lead at preventative health clinic Forward, told Forbes he’s skeptical about the antibody tests, and cautions against opening up the country to reach herd immunity, saying that would require infecting four-times the amount of people who’ve had the virus—all over the country—leading to a much higher number of deaths by possibly overwhelming hospital resources.

It is unclear whether, and for how long, those with COVID-19 antibodies are immune to second-time infection, as the CDC says survivor immunity is “not yet understood.”

Further, the validity of antibody tests have been widely criticized, as many on the market are not approved by the FDA.

Favini also thinks that more information about how the study was conducted is needed to accept and understand these numbers.

Critical quote

“For people who want to argue that we should just open up the county and let everyone get coronavirus so we can get to herd immunity: You’d have to go through all the cases and all the deaths that New York has experienced—you’d have to go through four-times that, all around the country,” said Favini.

Key background

It may be that COVID-19 is much more common than we initially thought, though this is contested. On Thursday, a new model out of Northeastern University, as reported by New York Times, shows that cities with major COVID-19 outbreaks could’ve had 28,000 cases on March 1, which is contrary to the popular model that showed only 23 cases by this time in the major cities. As of April 22, it also appears that the first COVID-19 death was in California on February 6, rather than February 29 in Washington.

Further reading

Autopsies Now Say California⁠—Not Washington State⁠—Has First Known U.S. Coronavirus Deaths (Forbes)

Coronavirus Model Used By White House Predicts 10% Increase In Death Toll (Forbes)

Hidden Outbreaks Spread Through U.S. Cities Far Earlier Than Americans Knew, Estimates Say (New York Times)

1 in 5 New Yorkers May Have Had Covid-19, Antibody Tests Suggest (New York Times)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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Source: 13.9% Of New Yorkers Test Positive For Coronavirus Antibodies—Still Not Enough To Foster Herd Immunity

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The infection rate of the coronavirus in New York is slowing, but the state could soon see the full scope of the virus as it begins antibody testing this week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says antibody testing will help provide the “first true snapshot” of how much of a hold COVID-19 has on the state. On Sunday, the governor toured a testing lab on Long Island, using it as a launching pad for the state’s newest drive toward understanding and defeating the coronavirus. “We’re going to sample people in this state… to find out if they have the [antibodies] that will help us for the first time, what percentage of the population actually has had the coronavirus, and is now at least short term immune to the virus,” the governor said.

As Coronavirus Spreads, Many Questions & Some Answers From Harvard Health Blog

The rapid spread of the coronavirus and the illness it causes called COVID-19 has sparked alarm worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency, and many countries are grappling with a rise in confirmed cases. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people to be prepared for disruptions to daily life that will be necessary if the coronavirus spreads within communities.

Below, we’re responding to a number of questions about COVID-19 raised by Harvard Health Blog readers. We hope to add further questions and update answers as reliable information becomes available.

Does the coronavirus spread person-to-person?

What is the incubation period for the coronavirus?

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Can people who are asymptomatic spread coronavirus?

Can the coronavirus live on soft surfaces like fabric or carpet? What about hard surfaces?

Should I wear a face mask to protect against coronavirus? Should my children?

Should someone who is immunocompromised wear a face mask?

Should I accept packages from China?

Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food prepared by others?

Should I travel on a plane with my children?

Is there a vaccine available for coronavirus?

Is there a treatment available for the new coronavirus?

How is this new coronavirus confirmed?

How deadly is this coronavirus?

What should people do if they think they have coronavirus or their child does? Go to an urgent care clinic? Go to the ER?

Can people who recover from the coronavirus still be carriers and therefore spread it?

Does the coronavirus spread person-to-person?

Yes, the virus can spread from one person to another, most likely through droplets of saliva or mucus carried in the air for up to six feet or so when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Viral particles may be breathed in, land on surfaces that people touch, or be transferred when shaking hands or sharing a drink with someone who has the virus.

Often it’s obvious if a person is ill, but there are cases where people who do not feel sick have the virus and can spread it.

Basic steps for avoiding flu and other infections — including steps for handwashing shown in this video and avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes — are likely to help stop the spread of this virus. The CDC has a helpful list of preventive steps.

Quarantines and travel restrictions now in place in many counties, including the US, are also intended to help break the chain of transmission. Public health authorities like the CDC may recommend other approaches for people who may have been exposed to the virus, including isolation at home and symptom monitoring for a period of time (usually 14 days), depending on level of risk for exposure. The CDC has guidelines for people who have the virus to help with recovery and prevent others from getting sick.

What is the incubation period for the coronavirus?

An incubation period is the time between being exposed to a germ and having symptoms of the illness. Current estimates suggest that symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear around five days on average, but the incubation period may be as short as two days to as long as 14 days.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Fever, dry cough, and trouble breathing are the common symptoms of COVID-19. There have been some reports of gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) before respiratory symptoms occur, but this is largely a respiratory virus.

Those who have the virus may have no obvious symptoms (be asymptomatic) or symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In some cases, the virus can cause pneumonia and potentially be life-threatening.

Most people who get sick will recover from COVID-19. Recovery time varies and, for people who are not severely ill, may be similar to the aftermath of a flulike illness. People with mild symptoms may recover within a few days. People who have pneumonia may take longer to recover (days to weeks). In cases of severe, life-threatening illness, it may take months for a person to recover, or the person may die.

Can people who are asymptomatic spread coronavirus?

A person who is asymptomatic may be shedding the virus and could make others ill. How often asymptomatic transmission is occurring is unclear.

Can the coronavirus live on soft surfaces like fabric or carpet? What about hard surfaces?

How long the new coronavirus can live on a soft surface — and more importantly, how easy or hard it is to spread this way — isn’t clear yet. So far, available evidence suggests it can be transmitted less easily from soft surfaces than frequently-touched hard surfaces, such as a doorknob or elevator button.

According to the WHO, coronaviruses may survive on surfaces for just a few hours or several days,  although many factors will influence this, including surface material and weather.

That’s why personal preventive steps like frequently washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wiping down often-touched surfaces with disinfectants or a household cleaning spray, are a good idea.

Should I wear a face mask to protect against coronavirus? Should my children?

Follow public health recommendations where you live. Currently, face masks are not recommended for the general public in the US. The risk of catching the virus in the US is low overall, but will depend on community transmission, which is higher in some regions than in others. Even though there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, most people are more likely to catch and spread influenza (the flu). (So far this season, there have been nearly 30 million cases of flu and 17,000 deaths.)

Some health facilities require people to wear a mask under certain circumstances, such as if they have traveled from areas where coronavirus is spreading, or have been in contact with people who did or with people who have confirmed coronavirus.

If you have respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing, experts recommend wearing a mask to protect others. This may help contain droplets containing any type of virus, including the flu, and protect close contacts (anyone within three to six feet of the infected person).

The CDC offers more information about masks. The WHO offers videos and illustrations on when and how to use a mask.

Should someone who is immunocompromised wear a mask?

If you are immunocompromised because of an illness or treatment, talk to your doctor about whether wearing a mask is helpful for you in some situations. Advice could vary depending on your medical history and where you live. Many people will not need to wear a mask, but if your healthcare provider recommends wearing one in public areas because you have a particularly vulnerable immune system or for other reasons, follow that advice.

Should I accept packages from China?

There is no reason to suspect that packages from China harbor COVID-19. Remember, this is a respiratory virus similar to the flu. We don’t stop receiving packages from China during their flu season. We should follow that same logic for this novel pathogen.

Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food prepared by others?

We are still learning about transmission of COVID-19. It’s not clear if this is possible, but if so it would be more likely to be the exception than the rule. That said, COVID-19 and other coronaviruses have been detected in the stool of certain patients, so we currently cannot rule out the possibility of occasional transmission from infected food handlers. The virus would likely be killed by cooking the food.

Should I travel on a plane with my children?

Keep abreast of travel advisories from regulatory agencies and understand that this is a rapidly changing situation. The CDC has several levels of travel restrictions depending on risk in various countries and communities.

Of course, if anyone has a fever and respiratory symptoms, that person should not fly if at all possible. Anyone who has a fever and respiratory symptoms and flies anyway should wear a mask on an airplane.

Is there a vaccine available for coronavirus?

No vaccine is available, although scientists are working on vaccines. In 2003, scientists tried to develop a vaccine to prevent SARS but the epidemic ended before the vaccine could enter clinical trials.

Is there a treatment available for coronavirus?

Currently there is no specific antiviral treatment for this new coronavirus. Treatment is therefore supportive, which means giving fluids, medicine to reduce fever, and, in severe cases, supplemental oxygen. People who become critically ill from COVID-19 may need a respirator to help them breathe. Bacterial infection can complicate this viral infection. Patients may require antibiotics in cases of bacterial pneumonia as well as COVID-19.

Antiviral treatments used for HIV and other compounds are being investigated.

There’s no evidence that supplements, such as vitamin C, or probiotics will help speed recovery.

How is this new coronavirus confirmed?

A specialized test must be done to confirm that a person has COVID-19. Most testing in the United States has been performed at the CDC. However, testing will become more available throughout the country in the coming weeks.

How deadly is this coronavirus?

We don’t yet know. However, signs suggest that many people may have had mild cases of the virus and recovered without special treatment.

The original information from China likely overestimated the risk of death from the virus. Right now it appears that the risk of very serious illness and death is less than it was for SARS and MERS. In terms of total deaths in the United States, influenza overwhelmingly causes more deaths today than COVID-19.

What should people do if they think they have coronavirus or their child does? Go to an urgent care clinic? Go to the ER?

If you have a health care provider or pediatrician, call them first for advice. In most parts of the US, it’s far more likely to be the flu or another viral illness.

If you do not have a doctor and you are concerned that you or your child may have coronavirus, contact your local board of health. They can direct you to the best place for evaluation and treatment in your area.

Only people with symptoms of severe respiratory illness should seek medical care in the ER. Severe symptoms are rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, high or very low temperatures, confusion, trouble breathing, severe dehydration. Call ahead to tell the ER that you are coming so they can be prepared for your arrival.

Can people who recover from the coronavirus still be carriers and therefore spread it?

People who get COVID-19 need to work with providers and public health authorities to determine when they are no longer contagious.

Reliable resources

Also, read our earlier blog posts on coronavirus:

Related Information: Cold and Flu

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What Is Coronavirus (COVID-19)? The World Health Organization declared the new #Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a global health emergency in January 2020. Experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine are closely monitoring the spread of the virus and offering useful information on what the disease is and how to help prevent transmission. For more information, please visit the #JohnsHopkins Medicine coronavirus website. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/coron…

California Declares State Of Emergency After 1st Coronavirus Death In The State

Topline: California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Wednesday after the state reported its first coronavirus death, making it the third state to declare an emergency in response to the disease.

  • The first patient who died was an elderly adult with underlying health conditions in Placer County, which is north of Sacramento.
  • The patient was a former passenger on the Grand Princess cruise, which departed from San Francisco to Mexico last month, raising concerns that others aboard may have been exposed, Newsom said. (The cruise company, Princess Cruises, also operated the Diamond Princess ship that was quarantined in Japan last month.)
  • State health officials are working to contact people who were on the ship, and the vessel is currently being prevented from docking back in San Francisco while the CDC tests symptomatic passengers on board.
  • Washington state, which has seen the most cases, and Florida have already declared states of emergencies.
  • Practically, an emergency declaration loosens up regulations to allow state agencies to procure medical supplies and resources faster.
  • There are 53 positive cases in the state, 24 of which involve patients who have been repatriated from abroad.

Crucial quote: “This proclamation, I want to point out, is not about money. It’s about resourcefulness. It’s about our ability to add tools to the tool kit,” Newsom said in a press conference.

News peg: Eleven people have died and more than 100 people have been infected by the coronavirus in the U.S. as officials brace for an outbreak. Public health experts say the U.S. should expect to see more cases in the coming weeks as the CDC begins to test more people after some early stumbles limiting its testing capacity.

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Source: California Declares State Of Emergency After 1st Coronavirus Death In The State

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday he has declared a state of emergency across the state after confirming California’s first death from COVID-19. Newsom said his decision to declare a state of emergency was not only a result of the confirmed death but because of confirmed cases of the virus on a California-based cruise ship. Newsom said the patient who died had been a passenger on the ship. For more info, please go to http://www.globalnews.ca Subscribe to Global News Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/20fcXDc Like Global News on Facebook HERE: http://bit.ly/255GMJQ Follow Global News on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1Toz8mt Follow Global News on Instagram HERE: https://bit.ly/2QZaZIB #Coronavirus #CoronavirusOutbreak #California #GlobalNews

Coronavirus Could Be The End Of China As A Global Manufacturing Hub

The new coronavirus Covid-19 will end up being the final curtain on China’s nearly 30 year role as the world’s leading manufacturer.

“Using China as a hub…that model died this week, I think,” says Vladimir Signorelli, head of Bretton Woods Research, a macro investment research firm.

China’s economy is getting hit much harder by the coronavirus outbreak than markets currently recognize. Wall Street appeared to be the last to realize this last week. The S&P 500 fell over 8%, the worst performing market of all the big coronavirus infected nations. Even Italy, which has over a thousand cases now, did better last week than the U.S.

China On Hold

On January 23, Beijing ordered the extension of the Lunar New Year holiday, postponing a return to work. The coronavirus was spreading fast in the epicenter province of Hubei and the last thing China wanted was for that to be repeated elsewhere. Travel restrictions and quarantines of nearly 60 million people drove business activity to a standstill.

The most frightening aspect of this crisis is not the short-term economic damage it is causing, but the potential long-lasting disruption to supply chains, Shehzad H. Qazi, the managing director of China Beige Book, wrote in Barron’s on Friday.

Chinese auto manufacturers and chemical plants have reported more closures than other sectors, Qazi wrote. IT workers have not returned to most firms as of last week. Shipping and logistics companies have reported higher closure rates than the national average. “The ripple effects of this severe disruption will be felt through the global auto parts, electronics, and pharmaceutical supply chains for months to come,” he wrote.

That China is losing its prowess as the only game in town for whatever widget one wants to make was already under way. It was moving at a panda bear’s pace, though, and mostly because companies were doing what they always do – search the world with the lowest costs of production. Maybe that meant labor costs. Maybe it meant regulations of some kind or another. They were already doing that as China moves up the ladder in terms of wages and environmental regulations.

Under President Trump, that slow moving panda moved a little faster. Companies didn’t like the uncertainty of tariffs. They sourced elsewhere. Their China partners moved to Vietnam, Bangladesh and throughout southeast Asia.

Enter the mysterious coronavirus, believed to have come from a species of bat in Wuhan, and anyone who wanted to wait out Trump is now forced to reconsider their decade long dependence on China.

Retail pharmacies in parts of Europe reported that couldn’t get surgical masks because they’re all made in China. Can’t Albania make these things for you? Seems their labor costs are even lower than China’s, and they are closer.

The coronavirus is China’s swan song. There is no way it can be the low-cost, world manufacturer anymore. Those days are coming to an end. If Trump wins re-election, it will only speed up this process as companies will fear what happens if the phase two trade deal fails.

Picking a new country, or countries, is not easy. No country has the logistic set up like China has. Few big countries have the tax rates that China has. Brazil surely doesn’t. India does. But it has terrible logistics.

Then came the newly signed U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, signed by Trump into law last year. Mexico is the biggest beneficiary.

It’s Mexico’s Turn?

Yes. It is Mexico’s turn.

Mexico and the U.S. get a long. They are neighbors. Their president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants to oversee a blue collar boom in his country. Trump would like to see that too, especially if it means less Central Americans coming into the U.S. and depressing wages for American blue collar workers.

According to 160 executives who participated in Foley & Lardner LLP’s 2020 International Trade and Trends in Mexico survey, released on February 25, respondents from the manufacturing, automotive and technology sectors said they intended to move business to Mexico from other countries – and they plan on doing so within the next one to five years.

“Our survey shows that a large majority of executives are moving or have moved portions of their operations from another country to Mexico,” says Christopher Swift, Foley partner and litigator in the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice.

Swift says the move is due to the trade war and the passing of the USMCA.

The phase one China trade deal is a positive, but the coronavirus – while likely temporary — shows how an over-reliance on China is bad for business.

There will be fallout, likely in the form of foreign direct investment being redirected south of the Rio Grande.

“Our estimates of possible FDI to be redirected to Mexico from the U.S., China and Europe range from $12 billion to $19 billion a year,” says Sebastian Miralles, managing partner at Tempest Capital in Mexico City.

“After a ramp-up period, the multiplier effect of manufacturing FDI on GDP could lead Mexico to grow at a rate of 4.7% per year,” he says.

Mexico is the best positioned to take advantage of the long term geopolitical rift between the U.S. and China. It is the only low cost border country with a free trade deal with the United States, so there you have it.

Thanks to over 25 years of Nafta, Mexico has become a top exporter and producer of trucks, cars, electronics, televisions, and computers. Shipping a container from Mexico to New York takes five days. It takes 40 days from Shanghai.

They manufacture complex items like airplane engines and micro semiconductors. Mexico is the rank the 8th country in terms of engineering degrees.

Multinational companies are all there. General Electric is there. Boeing is there. Kia is there.

The trade war is yet to be decided, but the damage that has already been done will not be undone. Room for a new key commercial ally is open.

– from “The U.S.-China Divorce: Rise of the Mexican Decade”, by Tempest Capital.

Safety remains a top issue for foreign businesses in Mexico who have to worry about kidnappings, drug cartels, and personal protection rackets. If Mexico was half as safe as China, it would be a boon for the economy. If it was as safe, Mexico would be the best country in Latin America.

“The repercussions of the trade war are already being felt in Mexico,” says Miralles.

Mexico replaced China as the U.S. leading trading partner. China overtook Mexico only for a short while.

According to Foley’s 19 page survey report, more than half of the companies that responded have manufacturing outside of the U.S. and 80% who do make in Mexico also have manufacturing elsewhere. Forty-one percent of those operating in Mexico are also in China.

When respondents were asked about whether global trade tensions were causing them to move operations from another country to Mexico, two-thirds said they already had or were planning to do so within a few years. A quarter of those surveyed had already moved operations from another country to Mexico on account of the trade war.

For those considering moving operations, 80% said they will do so within the next two years. They are “doubling down on Mexico”, according to Foley’s report.

Of the companies that recently moved their supply chain, or are planning to do so, some 64% of them said they are moving it to Mexico.

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Source: Coronavirus Could Be The End Of China As A Global Manufacturing Hub

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for free here: https://sc.mp/subscribe-youtube China’s manufacturing industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic. Many factories are unable to resume production because of a shortage of workers, disrupted supply chains and sluggish demand, leaving manufacturers facing huge losses in sales as they struggle to ramp up production. Follow us on: Website: https://scmp.com Facebook: https://facebook.com/scmp Twitter: https://twitter.com/scmpnews Instagram: https://instagram.com/scmpnews Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sout…

 

How To Tell If You Have A COVID-19 Coronavirus Infection

Telling people that you are a “zero” may not get much attention. Telling people that you are a “patient zero”? That’s a different story.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who also goes by the nickname Woz, momentarily caused a stir with the following tweet:

                         

Yeah, that’s not going to get zero reaction with the ongoing COVID-19 causing coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) outbreak occurring. The possible suggestion that he and his wife, Janet, may have been the “patient zeros” who brought the new coronavirus to the U.S. got all kinds of responses, ranging from people tweeting that Macs don’t get viruses to those wondering angrily why the Wozniaks took so long to see doctors.

A patient zero is the first human to get infected by a pathogen like a virus and then subsequently spread it to others. There can be a patient zero for the overall SARS-CoV2 outbreak, that is the first human to have contracted the virus from a non-human source such as another animal. There can also be patient zeros for outbreaks in different locations, such as the persons who first introduced the virus to each country. It can be very, very difficult to identify who really was the patient zero in each of these cases because that person may have had very non-specific symptoms or even no symptoms at all.

It turns out that all of this patient zero talk Woz probably a false alarm. As Carlie Porterfield reported for Forbes, Janet Wozniak sent USA Today an email indicating that she actually had a sinus infection, presumably a run-of-the-mill sinus infection that was not caused by the SARS-CoV2. So perhaps there is zero concern, or rather zero zero concern about the Wozniaks.

All of this shows how easy it is to mistake something else for a SARS-CoV2 infection, and vice versa. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, the potential symptoms of “coronavirus disease 2019” include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. That’s pretty darn non-specific.

The World Health Organization (WHO) website does add “breathing difficulties” to the list of potential symptoms. It also says that “infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.”

OK, so death is always pretty serious and would certainly merit attention. But the other symptoms may not be quite as clear. After all, lots of things can cause a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, including many different types of bacterial and viral infections and a BTS appearance. Just because you have these symptoms, does not mean that you should automatically suspect SARS-CoV2. Instead, ask yourself the following questions:

Are your symptoms severe? If so, contact a doctor as soon as possible. This includes having a temperature of over 102.5° F (39.2° C) or a cough that significantly interferes with your daily life. The prescription for a fever that high is not just more cowbell. It is medical attention. Very frequent or very severe coughing should raise concerns as well. The words “coughed up a lung,” typically shouldn’t be followed by “but everything is cool.” Similarly, distinguish between the love-is-in-the-air type of shortness of breath and real difficulty breathing. The latter calls for a call to the doctor.

Do you have any symptoms of pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or kidney failure? Chest pain could be a sign of a pneumonia or other type of severe respiratory disease. So could night sweats, assuming that you aren’t actively doing burpees in your bed, or coughing up blood. Be concerned about any significant decrease in urination or change in the color of your urine when you didn’t just eat a bucket of beets, as these could be signs of kidney damage. Keep in mind though that you can have pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or kidney failure without having obvious symptoms.

How long have you had these symptoms? No symptoms should last for more than week without medical attention. Not a fever. Not coughing. Not shortness of breath. In fact, anything that isn’t love and lasts for more than a week should give you pause. Also, track the course of your symptoms. If you find yourself getting better and then suddenly getting worse, contact your doctor.

Do you have any risk factors for a SARS-CoV2 infection? No, seeing someone of East Asian-descent and eating Asian food are not risk factors. We’re talking about real risk factors. Of course, the biggest one is coming into close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. So if your roommate made the news for having COVID-19, take any possible COVID-19 symptoms very seriously. In fact, if you were that close to someone who definitely had COVID-19, it’s good idea to notify your doctor even if you don’t have symptoms. Similarly, if you’ve been in a location where there’s active transmission of the virus such as Wuhan, China, contact your doctor as soon as you develop any kind of fever or respiratory symptoms. Symptoms typically begin anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed to the virus.

You can see how recognizing COVID-19 can be very difficult without formal medical testing. You can also see how identifying a patient zero before he or she has spread the new coronavirus can be very challenging. The person could even have zero symptoms, so to speak. In the end, we may never find out who the zeros were. Nevertheless, always let your doctor know if you are worried in any way about having a new type of infection. For example, if you hear of a new infectious disease in a place that you have just visited, have a low threshold for seeking medical advice. After all, you want to make sure that you have as close to zero chances as possible of spreading that infection to others.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Currently, I am a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York (CUNY), Executive Director of PHICOR (@PHICORteam), Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and founder and CEO of Symsilico. My previous positions include serving as Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, working in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founding a biotechnology/bioinformatics company. My work involves developing computational approaches, models, and tools to help health and healthcare decision makers in all continents (except for Antarctica) and has been supported by a wide variety of sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH, AHRQ, CDC, UNICEF, USAID and the Global Fund. I have authored over 200 scientific publications and three books. Follow me on Twitter (@bruce_y_lee) but don’t ask me if I know martial arts.

Source: How To Tell If You Have A COVID-19 Coronavirus Infection

What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 19)? The coronaviruses that circulate among humans are typically benign, and they cause about a quarter of all common cold illnesses. But occasionally, coronaviruses, like COVID-19, circulate in an animal reservoir and mutate just enough to where they’re able to start infecting and causing disease in humans. Find our complete video library only on Osmosis Prime: http://osms.it/more. Hundreds of thousands of current & future clinicians learn by Osmosis. We have unparalleled tools and materials to prepare you to succeed in school, on board exams, and as a future clinician. Sign up for a free trial at http://osms.it/more. Subscribe to our Youtube channel at http://osms.it/subscribe. Get early access to our upcoming video releases, practice questions, giveaways, and more when you follow us on social media: Facebook: http://osms.it/facebook Twitter: http://osms.it/twitter Instagram: http://osms.it/instagram Our Vision: Everyone who cares for someone will learn by Osmosis. Our Mission: To empower the world’s clinicians and caregivers with the best learning experience possible. Learn more here: http://osms.it/mission Medical disclaimer: Knowledge Diffusion Inc (DBA Osmosis) does not provide medical advice. Osmosis and the content available on Osmosis’s properties (Osmosis.org, YouTube, and other channels) do not provide a diagnosis or other recommendation for treatment and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosis and treatment of any person or animal. The determination of the need for medical services and the types of healthcare to be provided to a patient are decisions that should be made only by a physician or other licensed health care provider. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.

China’s E-Learning Leaders Add $3.2 Billion As Coronavirus Fears Drive Students Online

The coronavirus outbreak has been hitting China’s economy hard as many businesses have had to temporarily shut down their operations amid tight quarantine rules. But measures to stop the spread of the illness have also become an unexpected boon for at least one industry: online education.

With the opening of schools pushed back to March and all extracurricular activities suspended, tens of millions of students have been told to go online to study. And the country’s providers of online tutoring services are suddenly experiencing a surge in interest from students and their parents.

The biggest winner appears to be TAL Education’s Zhang Bangxin, who saw his wealth increase by $1.7 billion, giving him a current net worth of at least $10 billion. His New York-listed company rallied 20% last month on expectations of strong growth. The 40-year-old Zhang has catapulted past the likes of JD.com’s founder Richard Liu ($8.7 billion) and Baidu’s Robin Li ($7.1 billion) to reach No. 24 on China’s wealth rankings.

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“This is like a natural marketing campaign for these companies,” says Jiao Wei, an analyst at Shanghai-based research firm 86 Research. “Parents who didn’t know much about online education can now see how it works and how classes are being streamed online.”

TAL has partnered with more than 300 public schools across China to stream free classes, and its Xueersi unit is providing complementary K-12 online tutoring sessions. Other education companies are also launching more e-learning courses, while developing data tools to analyze student performance and help teachers track their progress.

Shares of New York-listed New Oriental rose 7.3% last month, adding $190 million to the wealth of its founder Yu Minhong. His current net worth is estimated at $3.4 billion. And Chen Xiangdong, founder of GSX Techedu, also listed in New York, has seen his net worth rise to $4.75 billion, thanks to a 40% rally that added another $1.3 billion to the value of his stake in the same period. The three education billionaires’ combined $3.2 billion gain makes them stand out as rare winners at a time when the coronavirus outbreak has battered industries ranging from hospitality to retail and logistics. As of Thursday, the virus that had infected nearly 80,000 people in China has been estimated to shave $60 billion off China’s economic growth.

More Sources:

https://commodity.com/blog/biggest-lost-fortunes/

Analysts say that education companies are likely to benefit from the increased attention for their services for some time. After both students and parents become more familiar with virtual classrooms, they can be enticed to try other products and pay for services down the road. Terry Weng, a Shenzhen-based analyst at research firm Blue Lotus Research Group, estimates that 22% of Chinese K-12 students will take part in online tutoring by end of this year, up from 17% in 2019. Driven by tough competition for good schools and jobs, as well as technological advances in virtual learning, China’s online education market is expected to more than triple to 696 billion yuan ($99.3 billion) in 2023 from last year’s 203 billion yuan, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan.

More on Forbes: No Customers, Closed Stores: Chinese Entrepreneurs Brace For The Worst Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

But analysts also caution that the current e-learning boom may not translate into higher revenue or profit—at least not in the short term. In a bid to attract more users, many services are being offered for free or at a discount. Blue Lotus’s Weng estimates that when TAL actually charges its virtual classes, they are sold at a 10% to 30% discount compared with lessons for its offline learning centers. The company generated $6.5 million in profits from $2.5 billion in sales during the first nine months of 2019. Before the virus struck, TAL was estimated to derive between 20% and 30% of its revenues from online learning and the remainder came from its offline centers.

Still, investors seem willing to overlook any short-term loss and focus on future gains. Aside from faster user growth for their online services, TAL and New Oriental’s offline businesses may also capture a larger share of the overall education market. This is due to the fact that smaller service providers are running out of cash, and probably won’t stay in business much longer. They still have to pay rent and teachers’ salaries, even when China suspended all types of offline classes and ordered tuition refunds.

“The gradual exit of smaller education firms means there are more opportunities for TAL and New Oriental,” Weng says. “Investors are more keen for their future performance.”

I am a Beijing-based writer covering China’s technology sector. I contribute to Forbes, and previously I freelanced for SCMP and Nikkei. Prior to Beijing, I spent six months as an intern at TIME magazine’s Hong Kong office. I am a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Email: ywywyuewang@gmail.com Twitter: @yueyueyuewang

Source: China’s E-Learning Leaders Add $3.2 Billion As Coronavirus Fears Drive Students Online

 

There are at least 29 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United States. It’s a small fraction of the number of cases in China, but the fear surrounding the coronavirus outbreak knows no bounds. Many Chinese students in America are on edge, and worry for family members in China. CGTN’s Dan Williams met some students at Northwestern University.

Tracking Center Reveals Coronavirus Lies

Misinformation about the coronavirus is proliferating across the internet, despite efforts by the major players to stamp it out.

According to New York-based NewsGuard, which has launched the Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center, dozens of sites are publishing false and potentially harmful stories about the origins and impact of the virus, as well as the related science.

Some claim the virus was engineered by China as a bioweapon, or stolen by Chinese spies from Canada. Others promote dangerous ‘cures’ for the virus, including colloidal silver, bleach, and high doses of Vitamin C.

“Many are enormously popular, with their posts being exponentially more widely shared on social media than some of the world’s most reliable health care information websites,” says Tracking Center co-leader John Gregory.

NewsGuard rates each site based on nine criteria, including whether a site repeatedly publishes false content, whether it regularly corrects or clarifies errors, and whether it avoids deceptive headlines.

One Italian journalist, for example, made a video for the TV network Tgcom24, claiming that an anonymous source had told him that the virus was ‘engineered in a military laboratory where experiments were carried out to modify the SARS virus for war purposes’.

The major internet companies are scrabbling to try and make sure that misinformation like this isn’t shared on their platforms. Facebook recently pledged to start removing content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged as dangerous by leading global and local health authorities.

“We’re focusing on claims that are designed to discourage treatment or taking appropriate precautions. This includes claims related to false cures or prevention methods — like drinking bleach cures the coronavirus — or claims that create confusion about health resources that are available,” says Facebook head of health Kang-Xing Jin.

“We will also block or restrict hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram, and are conducting proactive sweeps to find and remove as much of this content as we can.”

YouTube, meanwhile, says it bans ‘content promoting dangerous remedies or cures, like videos which claim that harmful substances or treatments can have health benefits’; and Twitter’s been tagging searches on ‘coronavirus’ with a label urging users to visit official sources of information first.

However, in many cases, misinformation is spreading faster and more widely than official information.

“While the virus spreads, misinformation makes the job of our heroic health workers even harder. It is diverting the attention of decision makers. And it causes confusion and spreads fear to the general public,” WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently warned.

“At WHO, we’re not just battling the virus; we’re also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response.”

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I’ve been writing about technology for most of my adult life, focusing mainly on legal and regulatory issues. I write for a wide range of publications: credits include the Times, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times newspapers, as well as BBC radio and numerous technology titles. Here, I’ll be covering the ways content is controlled on the internet, from censorship to online piracy and copyright. You can follow my posts by clicking the ‘+ Follow’ button under my name.

Source: Tracking Center Reveals Coronavirus Lies

A transmission in Germany may be the first person-to-person infection of coronavirus outside Asia. Officials say a man contracted the virus from a Chinese colleague at a conference. Other confirmed cases of the viral outbreak in Europe have so far involved patients who had recently been to China. Other than Germany, more than a dozen countries have confirmed cases of the virus. In China, the death toll has jumped to 100, with more than 45-hundred cases confirmed. Scientific studies suggest each infected person passes the virus on to two or three other people, on average. Entire cities are already under quarantine, and now the government has asked people to delay foreign travel. For millions, worrying and waiting are the new normal. Spreading almost as rapidly as the coronavirus itself are false information and conspiracy theories about it. So what’s true and what’s fake? Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/deutsche… For more news go to: http://www.dw.com/en/ Follow DW on social media: ►Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deutschewell… ►Twitter: https://twitter.com/dwnews ►Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dw_stories/ Für Videos in deutscher Sprache besuchen Sie: https://www.youtube.com/channel/deuts… #Coronavirus #WuhanCoronavirus #ChinaCoronavirus

Could the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Be a Victim of COVID-19?

In a promotional video featuring Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, as well as fans of different nationalities, the organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games revealed on Feb. 17 the event’s official motto: United by Emotion.

Yet if there’s one emotion linking the world today, it might be fear. The COVID-19 outbreak shows little sign of weakening. As of Feb. 19, the disease has infected more than 75,000, killed 2,014 and prompted over 50 countries and territories to close their borders to arrivals from China. The “devil” virus, as Chinese President Xi Jinping has called it, has already surpassed the combined death toll of SARS and MERS and lies on the cusp of becoming a pandemic that spreads around the globe. The next few weeks will determine whether containment efforts can prevent COVID-19 becoming the “black swan event” that Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang has warned may derail the global economy.

The economic repercussions already look severe. According to analysis by research firm Capital Economics, COVID-19 will cost the world economy over $280 billion in the first quarter of this year, meaning that global GDP will not grow from one quarter to the next for the first time since 2009. China’s growth is expected to slow to 4.5% over the same period. Some 5 million companies have Chinese suppliers, according to data company Dun & Bradstreet, and all are under threat from slashed manufacturing capacity.

Korean automaker Hyundai has shut its huge factory in Ulsan due to a shortage of parts. Apple has told investors it will fail to meet quarterly revenue targets and warned of global “iPhone supply shortages” from the shutting of Chinese factories. The slowdown may also undermine U.S. plans to massively boost exports of agricultural goods, energy and services to China, hampering any potential recovery in farming communities and the Rust Belt.

Travel in and around the region has ebbed significantly. Some 21 airlines have cancelled all flights to mainland China. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has cut 40% of network capacity and asked 27,000 employees to take unpaid leave to help it stay afloat. Events from the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens to K-Pop concerts have been cancelled or postponed.

Now, speculation is mounting about one of the year’s biggest events due to take place directly in the orbit of the outbreak—the 2020 Olympic Games, which are to be held in Tokyo beginning July 24. Japan has the second highest rate of COVID-19 infections after China, with 695 people testing positive for the virus, most of them on a cruise ship docked at the city of Yokohama. Yet the Olympics torch relay is due to begin next month and traverse to all of Japan’s 47 prefectures over 121 days, coinciding with its popular cherry blossom bloom.

The chill on visitor numbers across Asia already risk making the Games a subdued affair. Japan received 9.6 million visitors from China in 2019, accounting for a third of foreign tourist expenditure, but Chinese arrivals have virtually ceased since the outbreak. According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Tokyo 2020 organizing committee chief executive Toshiro Muto said on Feb.5 he was “extremely worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the Games.”

Officials have since closed ranks as speculation about the Games has increased. Organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori insisted Feb. 13, “we are not considering a cancelation or postponement of the Games—let me make that clear.” As he spoke, some 3,700 people remained quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise liner, anchored less than two miles from Yokohama Baseball stadium, a key Tokyo 2020 venue. (Those uninfected were scheduled for release beginning Feb. 19.)

Four days later, the city canceled the Tokyo Marathon due to take place on March 1 for all except elite runners. Dick Pound, a former Olympian swimmer and member of the International Olympic Committee, told TIME the organisation was monitoring the situation closely but said no one was talking about relocation or cancelation with five months still to go. “If there’s a legitimate pandemic that is potentially a lot more lethal than normal illnesses of flu, that’s when you need to start thinking about it. But not at this stage.”

Mori’s confidence is in line with projections that COVID-19 will fade during warmer and more humid summer months, as SARS did in 2003. But it’s still not clear why SARS declined as temperatures rose. Some coronavirus strains—like MERS—thrive in the heat, says Prof. Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota. The theory of COVID-19’s summer regress is simply “based on wishful thinking,” he says. “There is no data to support it.”

It’s hard to overstate the economic impact on Japan were the Olympics forced to be canceled or relocated. The investment surrounding the event is staggering; the Games are set to cost $25 billion, according to latest predictions, nearly four times the original estimate. According to hospitality research firm CBRE Hotels, 80,000 hotel rooms were forecast to open across Japan’s nine major cities between 2019 and 2021. Tokyo’s Okura hotel reopened in September after a $1 billion renovation. In May, national carrier Japan Airlines is due to launch a low cost subsidiary, Zipair Tokyo, at a cost of around $200 million, to meet increased demand surrounding the Olympics. It will be based at Tokyo Narita International Airport, which is currently undergoing an expansion to nearly double capacity. (Tokyo’s other main airport, Haneda, is also due to boost capacity by 70%.)

The coronavirus is already keeping international visitors away beyond China. Capital Economics research suggests tourism arrivals in Japan will fall by 40% this quarter due to COVID-19, knocking off 0.4 percentage points from growth. The U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization forecasts that Japan could lose $1.29 billion in tourism revenue over the same period. Koichiro Takahara, CEO of Tokyo-based ride-sharing app nearMe, says he fears the Olympics could get cancelled if the outbreak worsens. That, he says, “would have a big impact on my business, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.”

It would also impose a political cost on Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Already, his insistence during the bidding process that radiation from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown would be tackled has been called out after Greenpeace found radiation hotspots in December near where the Olympic torch relay will pass. Similar assurances that COVID-19 will not disrupt the Games will be treated with skepticism, says Jules Boykoff, a politics professor at Pacific University, Oregon who studies the Olympics and played soccer for Team USA. “For many, when they hear Abe and other officials saying that COVID-19 will not affect the Olympics, they hear the unmistakable ring of previous empty promises.”

But it’s unclear what a Plan B might look like. Simon Chadwick, professor of the Eurasian Sport Industry at France’s Emlyon business School, suggests a networked event held across different countries is a more likely alternative. (The 2020 UEFA European Soccer Championships and 2022 Commonwealth Games are slated for such a format.) Yet there will be considerable resistance from sponsors and broadcasters who have already ploughed vast resources into securing rights deals and promotional activities. NBC alone spent $1.4 billion on broadcasting rights for Tokyo 2020. In this regard, both host and business interests will be furiously resisting any deviation. “The Japanese government is surely lobbying the IOC hard as it seeks to protect its multitude of investments,” says Chadwick.

That might explain an apparent unwillingness to address the uncertainty. Asked what contingency plans were in place for moving or postponing the Games, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government told TIME, “We cannot provide a definitive answer to a hypothetical situation.” Yet as the virus spreads its tendrils further into the Asia region, the risks are only becoming more tangible.

By Charlie Campbell February 20, 2020

Source: Could the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Be a Victim of COVID-19?

코로나19 확산 일로…도쿄 올림픽도 불안감 증폭 With the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics just five months away from kicking off in the Japanese capital,… the COVID-19 outbreak is raising concerns about whether the world’s biggest and most-celebrated sporting event might have to be called off. Lee Seung-jae reports. The Tokyo Marathon scheduled for March 1st will be held on a much smaller scale than originally planned this year in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Roughly 38-thousand amateur runners will not be allowed to participate,… instead it’ll be limited to only 200 elite runners and wheelchair participants. However, the bigger concern is the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games that’s scheduled to start on July 24th. As the COVID-19 outbreak is not yet under control,… there are concerns over whether the event could even take place. The WHO says it hasn’t made a decision on the matter. “We have not offered advice to the IOC for the Olympics one way or the other, and neither would we. It is not the role of WHO to call off or not call off any event. It is the role of WHO to offer technical advice, to support a considered a multi-layered risk assessment around an event, to offer advice on risk reduction and risk mitigation measures, to offer advice on risk response measures and it is the decision of hosting countries and the organizing agencies to make that decision.” According to the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee chairman,… the committee isn’t even considering cancelling or delaying the event,… and will press on with the Olympics regardless. Citing a Japanese virologist,… the New York Post reported on Wednesday,… that if the Olympics were to happen tomorrow,… they would have to be cancelled. The Tokyo organizing committee and the IOC have reiterated that they’re going to continue following the advice of the WHO. It raises the possibility that, if the outbreak spreads further,… the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be postponed or completely called off. Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News. #COVID19 #coronavirus #Olympics Arirang News Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/arirangtvnews

No Customers, Closed Stores: Chinese Entrepreneurs Brace For The Worst Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Zhou Yuxiang was not in the mood for festivities during China’s Lunar New Year holiday this year. The 30-year-old CEO of Shanghai-based software startup Black Lake Technologies had to figure out how to manage his company amid the country’s deadly coronavirus outbreak. Working from home to comply with local quarantine rules has lowered productivity, while expenses remained high as he still needs to pay rent even when no one is using the office.

What’s more, Zhou says, clients are slower to take on new contracts as factories remain shut and production is delayed, hurting his otherwise fast growth.

“This epidemic caused production suspension for a considerable number of factory clients,” he says, who counts 300 factory owners as customers of his cloud-based management software. “Unpredictability on when factories could resume production has increased uncertainty for our first quarter growth.”

As the deadly virus, temporarily called 2019-nCoV, shows no sign of slowing, China’s vast business scene is taking a hit. While some companies, including Zhou’s, hope to recoup any losses before the year’s end, others are suffering a much more devastating blow.

This is because the epidemic’s economic damage is far and wide. It is believed to be more contagious than the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic, causing the Chinese government to impose nationwide mall closures, movie cancellations and factory shutdowns to prevent the disease’s further spread. As manufacturing and business activities cease, first quarter GDP growth will plummet to 3.8%—which equals to $62 billion in lost growth—and drag full-year GDP growth below 6% to 5.4%, according to UBS economist Wang Tao.

Sectors that are hardest hit include catering, entertainment, hospitality, retail and transportation. These businesses tend to have heavy inventory or a lot of expenses, but they can’t generate any meaningful revenue when people stay indoors.

Jia Guolong, founder of popular restaurant chain Xi Bei, told local media this week that his company only had enough cash for the next three months. He still needs to pay rent and salary to more than 20,000 employees, even when his restaurants are largely empty. To preserve cash, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, Cathay Pacific has asked its 27,000 employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave, warning that the condition is as grave as the 2009 global financial crisis. And fast-food operator Yum China is expecting negative impact on 2020 full-year sales and profit, after temporarily shutting down 30% of its stores in China.

While these larger businesses may eventually have the resources to weather through, smaller startups could experience a life-and-death moment. Zhang Yi, founder of Guangzhou-based consultancy iiMedia Research, says he won’t be surprised if a wave of bankruptcies occur. And Wang Ran, founder of Beijing-based investment firm CEC Capital, urged startups to do whatever they can to survive.

“Downsize if you need to, relocate if you need to and lay off people if you need to,” Wang wrote in a recent blog post. “Only those who lived through this can see spring, and have a future.”

Beijing has put out rescue measures. The country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, announced on February 2 that it would pump $174 billion worth of liquidity into the markets to help cushion the impact. Local governments have called for rent deductions and more flexible salary arrangements, with the Shanghai municipal government promising tax and insurance refunds to employers who don’t engage in layoffs.

But analysts say business survival may ultimately depend on whether the virus can be contained. Since originating in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, it has spread across the country, infecting more than 28,000 people and killing over 500. There are now coronavirus cases around the world, including Japan, Thailand, Germany, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency and dozens of nations, including Italy, Singapore and the U.S., have placed travel restrictions from China.

“The longer this drags on, the bigger the damage,” iiMedia Research’s Zhang says. “If it lasts for another month, then it would be unbearable for any business.”

Startups are doing what they can to minimize damage. Black Lake’s Zhou is offering discounted services, especially to clients who are based in the most affected areas. Zhou Wenyu (not related to Zhou Yuxiang), founder of Shaoxing-based software startup Youshupai, is slowing down marketing activities and transferring its first quarter sales goal to the second quarter. And Joanne Tang, founder of travel and marketing agency Infinite Luxury, says she is diversifying to other Asian markets while reminding overseas-based clients not to reduce efforts in China.

“For sure, we are in a challenging time,” Tang says. “We have to monitor how it goes, but we won’t be standing still and just wait until this is over.”

I am a Beijing-based writer covering China’s technology sector. I contribute to Forbes, and previously I freelanced for SCMP and Nikkei. Prior to Beijing, I spent six months as an intern at TIME magazine’s Hong Kong office. I am a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Email: ywywyuewang@gmail.com Twitter: @yueyueyuewang

Source: No Customers, Closed Stores: Chinese Entrepreneurs Brace For The Worst Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

CNBC’s Eunice Yoon reports on how the coronavirus outbreak is expected to take a serious toll on China’s economy. Expect supply disruptions as China takes measures to contain an ongoing coronavirus outbreak, says REYL Singapore’s Daryl Liew. “The sharp action taken by the Chinese government to basically delay workers going back to work is definitely going to cause some supply disruptions,” Liew, who is chief investment officer at REYL Singapore, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Thursday. With the virus infecting at least 7,700 and killing 170 in China, authorities have taken measures to curb the disease’s spread. At least three provinces have declared that businesses, other than some essential industries, are barred from resuming work before Feb. 10. In Hubei province, where the majority of cases have been found, resumption of local business has been delayed till at least Feb. 14. A “big question mark” remains over how long the disruptions could last, Liew said, as it depends on whether the situation can be contained. That comes as manufacturing numbers were showing “some normalization,” he added. “It’s a bit of a lagging indicator but the December ISM numbers have all been broadly positive, especially for Asian economies … which suggest essentially that global trade is normalizing. It’s not bouncing back significantly but it is rebounding,” Liew said, adding that that has translated to better manufacturing numbers. “The current virus … and the extended shutdown in China will definitely put a crimp to that,” Liew said. Potential impact on US businesses The outbreak has sent tremors across markets in Asia and beyond in recent days, as investor concerns about the potential economic impact grow. “We’re concerned that there could start to be … some overall impact on the Chinese economy which could lend itself, from a sentiment perspective, to greater concerns … for the global economy,” Shannon Saccocia, chief investment officer at Boston Private, told CNBC on Thursday. That could spillover into the performance of U.S. businesses at a time when the “strain of lower production” is being felt stateside, Saccocia said. “If we start to see that upended by the fact that factories aren’t opening and … we’re not able to get the components that we need from the Chinese economy, you know, that could … certainly slow any sort of manufacturing reacceleration that we were hoping for in the first two quarters of 2020,” she said. The Chinese city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, is the epicenter of the outbreak, and authorities have placed multiple cities in the province under partial or complete lockdown. Wuhan and the surrounding region of Hefei and Jiangsu are major manufacturing hubs that work with American firms. But they have also been shut down due to the virus outbreak. “As an investor, you need to understand … where the supply chain starts and ends and factor in to your expectations … for those companies,” Saccocia said, though she acknowledged that it’s “a little early” to “paint the picture that half of the year is going to be meaningfully lower from a growth standpoint due to this virus.” For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://www.cnbc.com/pro/?__source=yo… » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic Turn to CNBC TV for the latest stock market news and analysis. From market futures to live price updates CNBC is the leader in business news worldwide. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #CNBC TV
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