Coronavirus update: Guangdong stays at zero

Guangdong has seen zero new infections of COVID-19 for two days in a row, the first time since it started reporting the numbers, as recoveries are steadily climbing in the province. The total infections so far are 1,347, of which 873 have left hospital, with 32 discharged on Wednesday alone, according to the Guangdong Health Commission.

In Hong Kong, six new cases testing positive yesterday were confirmed, taking the city’s total to 91. Among those, 24 patients have been discharged, adding six new recoveries today, according to the city’s Centre for Health Protection. The death toll in the GBA remained at nine.

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1. Hubei, epicentre of the outbreak, reported 409 new cases yesterday, taking the total to 65,596. The death toll rose to 2,641, with 26 new deaths added, halving the previously reported 52 daily increase, according to the Hubei Health Commission.

2. The nationwide number of new infections outside Hubei increased to 24 on Wednesday, up 19 from the previous day’s five. The death toll rose to 2,744, with 29 new deaths reported, 26 in Hubei. Of the total 78,497 infections, over 40% have been discharged, according to the National Health Commission.

3. COVID-19 is escalating in Asia, with infections in South Korea, the most-infected country outside China, climbing to 1,595, adding 334 new cases and 13th fatality on Wednesday. The spreading coronavirus has prompted Washington and Seoul to suspend their joint military drills until further notice. SCMP.

4. China’s airline industry is recovering as scheduled seats increased by more than 25%, or 1.3 million from the previous week, with a total of 7,923 flights reintroduced this week, according to OAG Aviation Worldwide. Bloomberg.

5. After Hong Kong announced Wednesday a cash handout of HK$10,000 to each adult permanent resident, some residents expressed their anger over the relief package as new immigrants are ineligible. SCMP.

6. Hong Kong’s government may revise tax rates to stimulate Hong Kong’s battered economy, as a fiscal deficit of HK$139 billion next year looms large, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, adding that Hong Kong needs to identify new economic drivers. SCMP.

7. Sentiment of SMEs in China dropped to an all-time low in February, with an index compiled by the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business falling from 56.2 to 37.3, as the country’s economy takes a hit from the coronavirus outbreak. SCMP.

8. Zhongshan has seen the vast majority of the city’s businesses back to work, with around 90% of the service providers and wholesale and retail enterprises above designated size, as well as 83% of major projects under construction resume operations as of Tuesday. Nanfang Daily

9. Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory expert at the National Health Commision, said Thursday the numbers of infections had peaked around February 15, which was in line with their expectations, and that he was confident that the outbreak would be brought under control by the end of April.

10. A piece by Southern Metropolis Daily offers a glimpse into the life of the visitors from Hubei who have been quarantined in Guangdong’s hotels – stringent disinfection routines, food and necessities delivered to the rooms, as well as clothes that couldn’t dry in the small hotel rooms. Southern Metropolis Daily.

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