The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Global cases have reached 12,007,327, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
The worldwide death toll has hit 548,799.
To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:
(Source photo by AP)
Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):
Thursday, July 9
12:30 p.m. Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Group says it is in talks to raise more than 1 billion ringgit ($234.52 million) in funds, a day after its auditor cast doubt on its ability to continue as a going concern.
11:12 a.m. South Korea confirms 50 new cases and decides to ban small-group meetings at churches beginning Friday, allowing regular worship services only as churches again give rise to COVID-19 clusters. The country’s daily tally is down from Wednesday’s 63. Total infections reach 13,293, with 287 deaths.
10:30 a.m. Global infections surpass 12 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. still leads the world as it registers another single-day record for number of cases, followed by Brazil and India.
10:00 a.m. Five million Australians in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, wake up under a strict stay-at-home mandate, with three other states locking down their borders to residents of the southern state, which is experiencing a surge in infections. On Wednesday, it reported 134 new cases.
9:50 a.m. Beijing’s city government reports no new confirmed coronavirus cases for July 8, the third straight day of no new cases.
9:00 a.m. Japan’s machinery orders unexpectedly rose in May amid the pandemic, government data shows. Core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending, climbed 1.7% after a 12% slump in April.
6:20 a.m. Gilead Sciences says it has started an early-stage study of its antiviral COVID-19 treatment remdesivir that can be inhaled, for use outside of hospitals.
2:55 a.m. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue new recommendations for reopening schools next week. The announcement comes just hours after President Donald Trump assailed the guidelines.
“Well the president said today, we just don’t want the guidance to be too tough,” Pence says.
1:57 a.m. The governor of the U.S. state of New Jersey says he will sign an executive order that will require all residents to wear face masks when outdoors and social distancing is impossible. Phil Murphy did not indicate what the penalty for noncompliance would be.
1:25 a.m. The U.S. surpasses 3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases less than a month after crossing the 2 million case mark, as the virus spreads rapidly in California, Texas and Florida, according to tallies by Johns Hopkins University.
United Airlines could furlough as many as 36,000 workers, or about 45% of its U.S. staff, starting Oct. 1. © Reuters
1:00 a.m. United Airlines says it is preparing to send notices of potential furloughs to 36,000 U.S.-based frontline employees, or about 45% of staff, as demand hit by the coronavirus pandemic struggles to recover.
12:25 a.m. The European Commission has struck deals with drugmakers Roche and Merck KGaA to secure supplies of experimental treatments for COVID-19, Reuters reports.
The deals cover Roche’s arthritis medicine RoActemra and Merck’s multiple sclerosis drug Rebif – both seen as potential treatments for COVID-19 – and will secure supplies to any of the 27 EU member states willing to buy them, according to the report.
Wednesday, July 8
10:49 p.m. The Philippines reports its biggest single-day jump in new coronavirus infections, adding 2,539 cases to bring the total to 50,359, with 1,314 deaths.
10:40 p.m. U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to cut off federal funding to states that do not reopen schools. It is “important for the children & families,” Trump tweets, pointing to schools reopening in some European countries with no problems.
10:15 p.m. American men’s apparel brand Brooks Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, joining a long list of retailers including Neiman Marcus that have crumbled under the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
A man passes a Brooks Brothers store on Church St. in New York. The storied Manhattan fashion retailer filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. © AP
8:45 p.m. Iran’s virus death toll exceeds 12,000, according to the country’s health ministry via Reuters, after 153 deaths in the past 24 hours.
8:04 p.m. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund calls on global policymakers to keep climate change in mind as they tackle the pandemic, Reuters reports. “Looking ahead, policies should lay the foundation for a low-carbon, resilient recovery that would create millions of jobs while help address the climate crisis,” Kristalina Georgieva tells an International Labor Organization conference.
6:50 p.m. Hong Kong health officials warn of a third wave of coronavirus infections after the city records 23 new cases in two days, some of unknown origin. The government is now reviewing social distancing measures, which had been largely lifted in the past two months. Of particular concern is an outbreak at a home for seniors in Kowloon: four residents and four staff were found to be infected today, on top of one resident yesterday.
5:51 p.m. Indonesia reports its biggest single-day increase in novel coronavirus cases, with 1,853 new infections, up from 1,268 the previous day, taking the case total to 68,079. There were 50 additional coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in the country to 3,359, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.
5:45 p.m. China’s passenger car sales in June fell 6.5% on the year to 1.68 million vehicles, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said on Wednesday. Sales were in line with forecasts and signaled a continuing recovery in the market, the association said in an online briefing. Luxury automakers’ sales outpaced the overall market, CPCA Secretary-General Cui Dongshu said.
4:43 p.m. AirAsia Group shares have been suspended, and “significant doubt” hangs over the budget airline’s ability to operate given the lingering pandemic, the company’s external auditor told the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange.
4:42 p.m. Business sentiment among workers in Japan with jobs sensitive to economic trends posts a record rise in June, reflecting expectations for an economic recovery following the end of the coronavirus state of emergency, government data show.
3:16 p.m. Tokyo confirms 75 new infections, sources tell Nikkei, ending six straight days of 100-plus daily infections.
2:05 p.m. Japan’s service sector sentiment index rose in June, a Cabinet Office survey showed Wednesday, with the government saying the index was showing signs of picking up. The survey of workers who have close contact with consumers, such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff, showed their optimism regarding the economy rose 23.3 points to 38.8 from May. The index hit a record low in April.
1:18 p.m. India reports 22,752 new cases in the last 24 hours, up slightly from 22,252 the previous day, bringing the country’s COVID-19 tally to 742,417. The death toll has jumped to 20,642, an increase of 482 since Tuesday morning.
Visitors enter the Art Basel exhibition space in Hong Kong in March 2017. © Reuters
12:35 p.m. To revive its conference industry, which was halted by the pandemic after struggling through last year’s protests, Hong Kong will offer 1.02 billion Hong Kong dollars ($131.6 million) in subsidies to exhibitors, organizers and participants. Organizers of new events will be able to use either of the city’s two exhibition centers rent-free while others may be eligible for a 50% subsidy.
12:27 p.m. Australia’s coronavirus emergency cabinet will consider limiting the number of citizens and residents returning from overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday. Morrison added there were no plans to reimpose restrictions across the country, after Victoria — the country’s second-most populous state — enforced stay-at-home rules in Melbourne and one regional area due to a spike in infections.
12:09 p.m. Gold steadied near a more than eight-year high on Wednesday, as worries over surging COVID-19 cases and hopes of more stimulus measures from the U.S. Federal Reserve lifted demand for the metal. Spot gold was little changed at $1,792.79 per ounce, after hitting its highest since November 2011 at $1,796.93 on Tuesday, just a few dollars away from the key $1,800 level. U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,805.70.
11:56 a.m. Demand for cooler masks during summer in Japan is giving companies — both domestic and foreign and ranging from casual clothing purveyors to electronics makers — new opportunities to add value to a commodity people used to throw away at the end of each day.
10:56 a.m. New Zealand says a 32-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 will be charged after briefly slipping away from an isolation facility in Auckland, marking the country’s latest miscue as it tries to halt coronavirus at the border. The man, who was quarantined after arriving from New Delhi on July 3, tested positive for COVID-19 the next morning.
10:26 a.m. South Korea confirms 63 new cases, up from 44 a day ago, bringing the country total to 13,244 with 285 deaths.
10:07 a.m. Japan’s lending by banks and credit unions rose 6.2% in June from a year earlier to a record 570.1 trillion yen ($5.3 trillion), continuing its rise from 4.8% in May and marking the fastest pace of growth since data became available in 2001, Bank of Japan data showed. Companies continued to hoard cash to protect against the impact from the pandemic, the central bank says. Total deposits — including certificates of deposit — rose 8.0% to a record 786.1 trillion yen due to a surge in deposits from companies, households and public entities, a central bank official said.
8:49 a.m. U.S. confirmed coronavirus cases rise by over 50,000 on Tuesday, pushing the cumulative number past 3 million, according to a Reuters tally, as officials fear hospitals will be overwhelmed. The U.S. leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths. More than 131,000 Americans have died from the disease, a toll experts warn will likely surge as many states experience record increases in case numbers.
6:31 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump says he will press state governors to open schools this autumn, despite a surge in coronavirus cases across the country that have prompted some local officials to pause or scale back reopening plans.
A man shows a tomogram of the lungs of his son, who is being treated for COVID-19 in La Paz, Bolivia. © Reuters
6:10 a.m. Texas reports over 10,000 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day increase in the state since the pandemic started. Texas, with 30 million residents, has reported more new daily cases than any European country had at the height of their outbreaks, according to a Reuters tally.
5:40 a.m. The U.S. says it will leave the World Health Organization on July 6, 2021, after formally notifying the United Nations.
4:50 a.m. The World Health Organization acknowledges “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.
“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, tells a news briefing.
The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.
2:05 a.m. Japan is in talks with the U.K., France and other potential partners to set up a $20 billion fund to jointly buy coronavirus vaccine, Nikkei has learned.
2:00 a.m. The World Health Organization says a team of experts would travel to Wuhan, China at the weekend to prepare a study of the origins of the novel coronavirus and how it jumped from animals to humans.
12:30 a.m. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, 65, says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. His cavalier handling of the pandemic has come under fire as his country sees a continued rise in infections.
President Jair Bolsonaro told a television interview that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. © Reuters
Tuesday, July 7
9:01 p.m. Germany’s Lufthansa airline announces it will cut 20% of its leadership positions and 1,000 administrative jobs in a restructuring plan to cope with the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Lufthansa Group, which employs about 138,000 people, said it also would halve its investment in new aircraft, though the company still could add up to 80 new planes by 2023.
8:21 p.m. The American government has awarded Novavax $1.6 billion to cover testing, commercialization and manufacturing for a potential vaccine in the U.S., with the goal of delivering 100 million doses by January. The award is the biggest yet from “Operation Warp Speed,” the White House program aimed at accelerating access to vaccines and treatments.
7:34 p.m. The World Health Organization urges travelers to wear masks on planes and keep themselves informed as cases surge again in some countries. Spokeswoman Margaret Harris calls on people not to be caught off-guard by resurgent local epidemics and quarantine measures, saying: “If it’s anywhere, it’s everywhere, and people traveling have to understand that.”
6:15 p.m. Hong Kong reports 14 new cases, five of which are imported while the rest are local transmissions, health officials say. They have not been able to track the origins of five of the local cases.
6:00 p.m. Indonesia reports 1,268 new coronavirus infections, up slightly from 1,209 a day earlier, bringing its total cases to 66,226. Another 68 deaths related to the virus were reported, raising total fatalities to 3,309.
4:55 p.m. Tokyo confirms 106 new infections, sources tell Nikkei, extending the daily streak of more than 100 cases to six. The capital has urged workers at establishments in nightlife districts to get tested, even if they show no symptoms, as those places have become recent coronavirus hot spots.
4:10 p.m. Malaysia’s central bank cuts its key interest rate for a fourth straight meeting, dropping it to a historic low, as the country grapples with the pandemic and faltering demand for its exports. Bank Negara Malaysia eased its overnight policy rate by 25 basis points to 1.75%.
A police officer directs traffic at a roadblock in suburban Melbourne on July 2: The Australian state of Victoria reimposed a lockdown after it reported 191 COVID-19 cases overnight on July 7. © AP
2:55 p.m. Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, reimposes stay-at-home restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and one regional area for six weeks. Victoria reported 191 new cases overnight, the biggest jump so far. The decision, which affects around 4.9 million people, was announced just hours before the border between Victoria and New South Wales is scheduled to close for the first time in a century.
1:48 p.m. India’s confirmed coronavirus cases top 700,000 with 22,252 new infections reported in the past 24 hours, down from 24,248 the previous day. The country’s COVID-19 tally stands at 719,665. The country’s death toll surpassed 20,000, with 467 new deaths, and stands at 20,160.
11:50 a.m. China’s Sinovac Biotech will start phase three trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate in Brazil this month. The study, to be conducted in partnership with Brazilian vaccine producer Instituto Butantan, will involve nearly 9,000 health care professionals. AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine, developed by researchers at the University of Oxford, and one developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) are the only other candidates in late-stage phase three trials.
China’s Sinovac Biotech is one of three groups working on a vaccine for COVID-19 whose candidate is in late-stage phase three trials. © Reuters
10:30 a.m. South Korea confirms 44 new cases, down from 48 a day ago. Total infections reach 13,181, with 285 deaths.
10:10 a.m. China reports eight new cases for Monday, up from four the previous day, and all of them involve travelers entering China from abroad. China also reports 15 new asymptomatic cases, up from 11 on Sunday.
9:20 a.m. Japan’s May household spending data shows a 16.2% decline from a year earlier, the steepest fall on record, as consumers refrain from going out to contain the pandemic.
6:30 a.m. The New Zealand government says it has agreed with Air New Zealand to put a short-term hold on new bookings of inbound international flights due to limited quarantine facilities. “Our No. 1 priority is stopping the virus at the border, so everyone must go into quarantine or managed isolation,” Housing Minister Megan Woods says.
New Zealand is bowing to its lack of quarantine facilities and working with Air New Zealand to put a hold on new bookings of inbound international flights. © AP
5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks rise on strong data for the domestic services industry and expectations of a Chinese economic recovery. The Dow closed up 460 points, or 1.8%, while the S&P 500 climbed 1.6%.
4:20 a.m. France is creating three strengthened ministries for finance, social affairs and the environment to respond to the coronavirus shockwaves convulsing the economy, as Emmanuel Macron attempts to recast his presidency, reports Reuters.
1:40 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says U.S. President Donald Trump is “enabling” the coronavirus pandemic by downplaying the problem and telling Americans they don’t have to wear a mask.
“He wants to deny the COVID virus. He has from day one. ‘Well, it’s just like the flu. Well, it’s going to be gone by Easter. It’s going to get warm and disappear like a miracle,'” Cuomo says at a Monday press briefing.
Monday, July 6
11:23 p.m. Israel on Monday returns to a closure of bars, night clubs, gyms and event halls in order to cope with a spike in coronavirus cases. “The pandemic is spreading. It is rising steeping daily and it is dragging with it, contrary to what we had been told, a trail of critically ill patients,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says.
8:54 p.m. Low-cost Southeast Asian carrier AirAsia Group reports a 804 million ringgit ($188 million) first-quarter loss, reversing a 96 million ringgit profit for the same period last year. The airline attributed the loss to “collapsed demand for air travel” in February and March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
8:07 p.m. Bank Indonesia agrees to buy a total of 397 trillion rupiah ($27 billion) in government bonds directly from the finance ministry to fund the nation’s economic recovery program. The purchase is worth nearly 70% of the 574 trillion rupiah of debt the government intends to issue to fight the pandemic. The remaining bonds will be sold through a regular auction, but the central bank can participate as it has already done in several occasions over the past few months.
Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati says June 6 that the country’s central bank will buy government bonds directly from the ministry to fund the nation’s economic recovery program. © Reuters
The money raised will be earmarked for spending on health and social assistance as well as providing extra funds for regional governments. Any interest received on the bonds will be returned in full to the Indonesian government.
“I want to emphasize that these steps were taken by the government and BI due to very extraordinary conditions,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.
6:20 p.m. The World Bank expects the Russian economy to shrink 6% this year, the biggest drop since 2009, due to the coronavirus pandemic and falling oil prices. It sees the economy returning to growth in 2021-22. The country says it recorded another 6,611 new infections over the past 24 hours, bringing its total number of cases to 687,862.
6:00 p.m. Indonesia confirms 1,209 new coronavirus infections, down from 1,607 a day earlier, bringing its total to 64,958. The country also reports 70 new deaths, pushing the number of fatalities to 3,241.
4:49 p.m. Hundreds of scientists say evidence suggests that the coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people, and they are calling for the World Health Organization to revise recommendations, The New York Times reports.
3:18 p.m. Tokyo confirms 102 additional coronavirus cases, sources tell Nikkei, down from the previous day’s 111 but exceeding 100 for the fifth consecutive day. The Japanese capital is carefully monitoring the recent surge, which consists mostly of people in their 20s and 30s, with many new infections linked to nightlife districts.
1:53 p.m. India passes Russia as the third-worst-hit country with nearly 700,000 cases. The nation reports 24,248 new infections in the past 24 hours, compared with the highest single-day spike of 24,850 cases the previous day, bringing the country’s total to 697,413. Deaths jumped to 19,693, up 425 since Sunday morning.
11:41 a.m. Fujitsu announces it will cut office space in Japan by half over the next three years as the company sees teleworking as the new normal for dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. The move, reported by Nikkei earlier, may herald a trend among large Japanese companies to reassess how they operate.
11:17 a.m. South Korea confirms 48 new cases, down from 59 a day ago, bringing the country total to 13,137 with 284 deaths.
10:30 a.m. Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, will close its border with the state of Victoria on Tuesday to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Victoria reported 127 new cases overnight, with the capital, Melbourne, a particular hot spot. The border closure will take effect at 11.59 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
9:30 a.m. China reports four new cases for July 5, down from eight a day earlier. Three of the new infections were imported cases, involving travelers entering China from abroad, while Beijing reported one. China also reported 11 new asymptomatic cases, up from seven a day earlier.
3:40 a.m. China suspends pork imports from two Brazilian plants amid concerns about the widespread outbreak in the South American country. A total of six Brazilian meat plants are now blocked from exporting to China.
1:47 a.m. India postpones the planned reopening of the Taj Mahal as local authorities extend the lockdown curbs on monuments that have been in place since March. On Sunday, the country reported a record single-day spike of 24,850 new cases and more than 600 deaths.
Sunday, July 5
7:36 p.m. The Philippines reports its largest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases, adding 2,434 confirmed infections to lift the total count to 44,254. The Health Department says the rise could be attributed to increased contact among people as the country began easing lockdown measures to reduce the pandemic’s damage to the economy. The Philippines also records seven new deaths.
5:36 p.m. Indonesia reports 82 new coronavirus deaths in its highest daily tally, taking the toll to 3,171. Infections rose by 1,607, for a total of 63,749.
5:12 p.m. A deal between Indonesia and Australia to eliminate most trade tariffs and encourage investment goes into effect, Indonesia’s Trade Ministry said. Australia aims to boost exports including wheat, iron ore and dairy, while Indonesia hopes to increase automotive exports as well as textiles and electronics. Both sides look to bolster economies wounded by the pandemic.
A guard stands inside the empty premises of the historic Taj Mahal in Agra, India on April 2. © Reuters
11:55 a.m. Japan trails the U.S. and Europe in employees who ditched the office to work from home, a Nikkei examination of Google data finds. The gap is likely to widen, as Japan lifted its state of emergency and workers who did set up shop in their dining rooms are returning to their cubicles.
12:32 a.m. Thai boxing matches resumed Saturday after more than three months as the nation eases its coronavirus lockdown, but fans of the popular sport will have to make do with watching on television for now.
12:16 a.m. France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Cyprus have lifted entry restrictions blocking visits from Japan. Each country had imposed strict regulations to combat the novel coronavirus.
Saturday, July 4
5:39 p.m. Indonesia reports 1,447 new coronavirus infections, taking the Southeast Asian nation’s tally to 62,142, while 53 more deaths lifted its toll to 3,089.
4:22 p.m. India records its highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases, with over 22,000 new infections and 442 deaths. Infections rose in western and southern India amid heavy monsoon rains. India surpasses 640,000 cases, health ministry data shows. Only the U.S., Brazil and Russia have reported more.
8:35 a.m. The U.S. states of Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alaska experience record increases in cases on Friday, Reuters reports. Florida’s most populous county imposes a curfew ahead of Independence Day weekend, and Arkansas joins a push toward mandating mask-wearing in public.
8:25 a.m. Global cases top 11 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Total deaths reach 523,898.
2:35 a.m. Brazil is set to pass 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases as the virus continues to ravage Latin America’s largest country, even as Brazilian cities reopen bars, restaurants and gyms, Reuters reports.
To catch up on earlier developments, see last week’s latest updates.