And talking of that propaganda push, here are some examples from social media, including this fascinating one about “another busy day” in the fight against the virus in Wuhan No 4 hospital. CGTN news talks to a nurse, Xu Xinchen, as he goes about his night shift at the hospital, describing problems such as a shortage of protective suits for staff and the difficulties of taking blood from people while wearing large protective goggles.
And this one about about to look after your pets.
And robots helping out…
And Wuhan locals pitching in to help medical staff get to work …
A wave of positive propaganda about the slowdown in infections has swamped the media in China, according to the seasoned China expert, Bill Bishop.
Bishop, an American who publishes a regular newsletter about China, Sinocism, wrote on Tuesday that the official media “is in full positive energy mode trying to spread that word that while the battle is still raging victory is within reach”.
Today’s figures – as mentioned in the blog below – would appear to bear that out and come closely on the heels of comments by China’s China’s senior medical adviser, Zhong Nanshan, suggesting the coronavirus outbreak may be over by April.
Bishop notes, however, that an end to the lockdown still affecting millions of people in China, and especially in Hubei, may tell a greater part of the story. He writes:
Let’s all hope that we are near the peak, but relaxations of quarantine and other restrictive policies may be a better tell than the official data ... Then again, the central government is clearly very concerned about the economic impact and appears to be pushing local governments to get business back up and running as fast as possible. There is the risk if that people go back to work too quickly there could be a second wave of cases D
Stock markets across Asia Pacific have risen this morning as the financial world continues to shrug off any concerns that Covid-19 could derail the global economy.
The ASX200 is up 0.4% in Sydney while the Nikkei is 0.3% to the good. Seoul is flat. Chinese markets open in about 40 minutes.
The strong showing follows a surge in markets across Europe and the US on Tuesday. MSCI’s all-world stock index gained 0.44% to hit a record high, as did the STOXX 600 index in Europe, the blue-chip DAX in Germany and the S&P/TSX Composite in Canada.
Oil prices have also recovered some ground today on hopes that the outbreak is easing. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 74 cents to close at $54.01 a barrel.
Outbreak could affect US-China trade deal – White House
Coronavirus could reduce Chinese purchases of US food prooduce required under phase one of the US-China trade deal, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on Tuesday night in Washington, Reuters reports.
O’Brien told an event at the Atlantic Council:
“We expect the phase 1 deal will allow China to import more food and open those markets to American farmers, but certainly as we watch this coronavirus outbreak unfold in China it could have an impact on how big, at least in this current year, the purchases are.”
Under the deal signed in January, which took months to negotiate, China agreed to buy more US agricultural goods in exchange for the US dropping tariffs on manufactured goods going the other way.
40 new cases on the Diamond Princess
Japan’s health ministry says that 39 more people on board the cruise ship have been confirmed as having the coronavirus. In addition, a quarantine official who was collecting forms on the ship has been infected.
Katsunobu Kato said the total of people infected on the ship was now 174. Four are in a serious condition.
Out of 53 new test results [on passengers and crew], 39 people were found positive.
At this point, we have confirmed that four people, among those who are hospitalised, are in a serious condition, either on a ventilator or in an intensive care unit.
We have to careful with the figures, but it looks like good news today with a discernible fall in the rate of deaths and the spread of the disease in China.
- There were 95 deaths reported overnight according to health officials and Chinese news sites. That’s down from 116 reported for Monday – a drop of 22%.
- New cases reported for the Chinese mainland on Tuesday is 1,696. That is down from a peak of over 3,000 new cases on 4 February and the lowest number of new infections since 1,347 were reported on 31 January.
- However, we have to treat the new cases with a dose of scepticism as Chinese authorities appeared yesterday to change the way these were counted. Previously anyone diagnosed with the virus was included as a new case, but from now on only people with symptoms of the infewction are included in the number. (See yesterday’s blog here)
- The global derath toll is now 1,113 once you include one in Hong Kong and one in Philippines.
- The number of cases around the world is now 44,815
Welcome to our rolling coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
- The death toll in China rose by 95 on Tuesday, according to news sites in the country, making a total of 1,111 on the mainland. But a smaller increase than yesterday.
- Confirmed new cases in China rose by 1,696, also a smaller increase in what appears to be a slowing of the contagion.
- The World Health Organization says the virus is “public enemy number one” and poses a greater threat than terrorism.
- WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a meeting of experts in Geneva that a vaccine for the virus, now named Covid-19, could be 18 months away
- 39 more cases have been confirmed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored off Yokohama in Japan, the Japanese health ministry says
- A hospital emergency unit worker has been confirmed as one of the eight people with the virus in the UK.
- The world’s annual tech industry fest, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will go ahead despite Intel and Vivo pulling out.
- A global index of leading stocks hit a record high on Tuesday, helped by China’s senior medical adviser suggesting the coronavirus may be over by April.
- The parents of an Australian toddler stuck in the stricken Chinese province of Hubei have pleaded with the Canberra government to evacuate her.
- US national security adviser says the virus could impact the US-China trade deal