Coronavirus death toll passes 500, more than 28k cases confirmed

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

06th Feb, 2020. 11:19 am
UK patient caught in singapore

Chinese Authorities said late on Wednesday night that at least  563 people have died and a total of 28,018 cases have been confirmed of coronavirus in the country.

The WHO has called for $675 million (€613 million) in donations from UN countries to fight the outbreak.

Passengers aboard two cruise ships are stranded off the coasts of Japan and Hong Kong after passengers tested positive for coronavirus.

The aviation industry has been taking a hit, with Cathay Pacific announcing a three-week unpaid leave for 27,000 workers and Airbus halting production in Tianjin.

At least 5,000 Chinese tourists stranded on the island of Bali after Indonesian government halted all trips to China, the local Chinese consulate said.

Evacuation flights are continuing from Wuhan on Wednesday. A flight carrying New Zealanders from Wuhan will land in Auckland on Wednesday evening.

The passengers include 98 people from New Zealand, 35 from Australia, and others from Pacific nations including Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Samoa.

US Crude Oil Prices

On the other hand U.S. crude prices were up around 2.01% to $51.77 a barrel while global benchmark Brent rose 1.54% to $56.13. Overnight, energy was the top-performing sector on the S&P 500.

Oil prices have struggled in recent weeks, with U.S. crude down more than 16% for the year and Brent also lower by almost 16%. The worry from market participants is that the coronavirus outbreak could significantly curb demand for oil, especially from China. Some experts said that could lead to OPEC and its allies cutting production to bolster prices.

A technical committee comprising OPEC members and its partners extended a two-day meeting this week into Thursday to find a consensus on whether the oil producers need to make emergency production cuts. OPEC and its allies, which include Russia, are currently holding back 1.8 million barrels a day, with Saudi Arabia reducing its output the most.

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