February 18, 2020 / 7:11 AM / Updated 17 hours ago

Factbox: Latest on coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

(Reuters) - Here are the latest developments around the coronavirus outbreak:

** The virus killed another 98 people in mainland China, bringing the total death count to 1,868. Daily new cases rose by 1,886 to a total of 72,436.

** The number of new coronavirus cases in mainland China fell below 2,000 for the first time since January but the virus remains far from contained.

** In Hubei province, number of deaths rose by 93 to 1,789. An additional 1,807 cases were detected, taking the total in the province to 59,989.

** The central Chinese province of Hubei will adopt more thorough and forceful measures to find patients with fever to further help contain the new coronavirus epidemic, the state media reported on Tuesday.

** Outside of China, there are 827 cases in 26 countries and regions, and five deaths.

** The head of a leading hospital in Wuhan died of the disease, state television said, becoming the second prominent Chinese doctor to have succumbed to the pathogen.

** The World Health Organization said on Monday the latest data indicates a decline in new cases, but “every scenario is still on the table” in terms of the epidemic’s evolution.

** State television quoted President Xi Jinping as saying China could still meet its economic growth target for 2020 despite the epidemic.

** China will cut some pension contributions and insurance fees to help companies cope with the coronavirus, while firms in Hubei province won’t have to pay pensions, jobless and work-injury insurance until June.

** A further 88 people have tested positive for the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise liner quarantined off the Japanese port of Yokohama, bringing the total number of infected passengers to 542.

** Japan plans to trial HIV medications to treat patients infected with coronavirus, the government’s top spokesman said on Tuesday.

** The Philippines on Tuesday allowed Filipino workers to travel to Hong Kong and Macau, relaxing the travel ban it imposed on China and its special administrative regions.

** China’s supply of poultry and egg products may be hurt in the second and third quarter as the world’s second-largest poultry producer tackles the coronavirus outbreak, agriculture ministry official Yang Zhenhai said at a State Council briefing on Tuesday.

** A China trade body said on Tuesday some overseas buyers of Chinese metal products have stopped accepting shipments, while others are seeking damages over delays.

** Britain’s accounting watchdog said on Tuesday that companies should tell their investors what effect the coronavirus epidemic in China is having on their business.

** Singapore on Tuesday announced financial packages worth around $4.5 billion to help contain the coronavirus outbreak in the city-state and weather its economic impact.

** Singapore construction firms are asking for advice about whether they have the option of invoking force majeure clauses in building contracts as the government turns away or quarantines Chinese labour, lawyers told Reuters.

A man wearing a face mask walks past a statue with a face mask on near the Qianmen pedestrian street, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, in Beijing, China February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

** Despite North Korea’s ban on foreign tourism over coronavirus fears, the country plans to stage its “Mass Games”, featuring thousands of dancers, gymnasts and singers, as soon as August, tour companies said on Tuesday.

** World stock markets were knocked off record highs on Tuesday as two of the world’s mega companies and Europe’s largest economy, Germany, reported damage from the coronavirus outbreak.

** Apple’s stock fell almost 6% in Frankfurt at one stage and Wall Street looked set for a rocky ride later after the iPhone maker warned it was unlikely to meet the March quarter sales guidance that it had set just three weeks ago.

Compiled by Uttaresh.V, Sarah Morland, Milla Nissi and Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Arum Koyyur and Tomasz Janowski

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