Coronavirus Live Updates: Global Markets Plummet as Lockdowns Expand

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Global stocks plunged on Monday, with Wall Street poised to follow suit, as the spread of coronavirus led governments around the world to take increasingly stringent measures to try to slow the outbreak.

Italy began one of the largest-ever attempts to restrict the movement of people in a Western democracy, with a lockdown of the country’s northern region affecting about 16 million people and fueling questions about whether citizens would comply with the restrictions.

Saudi Arabia on Monday closed off air and sea travel to nine countries in an effort to slow transmission as the kingdom grappled with a simultaneous blow to its economy from a severe drop in oil prices because of the outbreak.

In the United States, where the Trump administration has come under criticism for sending conflicting messages on the crisis and failing to prepare adequately for its arrival, some government officials gave briefings on the more extreme measures that might be needed to limit the outbreak.

The leading American expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, said that officials might have to order regional lockdowns in the near future.

“I don’t think it would be as draconian as ‘nobody in and nobody out,’” Dr. Fauci said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But there’ll be, if we continue to get cases like this, particularly at the community level, there will be what we call mitigation.”

President Trump took to Twitter to rail against his critics, including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, who denounced the federal government for sending mixed messages and criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for delays in allowing private laboratories in New York State to test for the coronavirus.

“There are no mixed messages, only political weaponization by people like you and your brother, Fredo!” Mr. Trump wrote. The president was referring to Fredo Corleone, the youngest and most ineffectual of the fictional brothers in the movie “The Godfather” in his response to Mr. Cuomo and his brother, Chris Cuomo, an anchor on CNN.

Oblivious to politics, the virus continued its steady march across the country, with at least 545 cases. California, New York, Oregon and Washington State have all declared emergencies.

In Europe, France, Germany and Spain saw new cases double in just the past few days.

Italy remains the epicenter of the epidemic on the Continent, accounting for more than 7,350 of the world’s 109,400 cases, which are spread across at least 95 countries.

In China, where the outbreak was first reported late last year and which has recorded the vast majority of cases, the authorities continued to tout their success in beating back the spread of the pathogen.

The first schools reopened in China on Monday, a sign that the country could soon get back to normal. However, experts cautioned that until very stringent restrictions on movement were lifted, it would be hard to gauge how successful the measures had been in defeating the virus.

The United States faces an accelerating pace of new coronavirus case reports — each of the last six days has brought more than the day before — as well as the prospect of more sweeping measures to fight the spread of the virus. Over the weekend, more than 230 cases were added, bringing the national total to well over 500.

In Washington State, with the epicenter in the Seattle area, Gov. Jay Inslee said he was considering mandatory measures to help keep people apart. Public school districts in several states have shut down, universities are moving classes online and canceling large gatherings, companies are telling many employees to work from home, and houses of worship are limiting services. A global health conference in Orlando, Fla., planned for Monday, with President Trump as a speaker, has been called off.

The cruise ship Grand Princess, which has been held off the California coast for days after some onboard developed symptoms and tested positive for the virus, is expected to dock Monday in Oakland. Passengers and crew members will be quarantined on four military bases in California, Georgia and Texas, the authorities said.

Officials are not yet talking about locking down whole American cities, as China and Italy have done. But the specter of isolation — of telling people in affected areas not to go out — is hovering in communities where the infection has taken hold.

“I don’t think you want to have folks shutting down cities like in northern Italy — we are not at that level,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview. “Social distancing like in Seattle is the way to go. I’m not talking about locking down anything. There’s a big difference between voluntary social distancing and locking anything down.”

Dr. Fauci and other officials have been signaling that, with many new cases popping up that have no known link to foreign travel, the spread of the virus in the United States may have reached the point where it can no longer be completely contained by isolating the sick and quarantining their contacts.

“Don’t go to crowded places, think twice before a long plane trip, and for goodness’ sake, don’t go on any cruises,” Dr. Fauci said. For people who are particularly vulnerable, he said: “Don’t wait for community spread. Now is the time to do social distancing, whether there is spread in your community or not.”

Italy reported a huge jump in deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, a surge of more than 50 percent from the day before, as it ordered an unprecedented peacetime lockdown of its wealthiest region in a sweeping effort to fight the epidemic.

The extraordinary measure restricted movement for a quarter of the country’s population.

“We are facing an emergency, a national emergency,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in announcing the government decree in a news conference after 2 a.m.

The move is tantamount to sacrificing the Italian economy in the short term to save it from the ravages of the virus in the long term. The measures will turn stretches of wealthy northern Italy — including the economic and cultural capital of Milan and prime tourist destinations like Venice — into quarantined red zones until at least April 3.

They will prevent the free movement of roughly 16 million people.

Funerals and cultural events are banned. The decree requires that people keep a distance of at least one meter from one another at sporting events, bars, churches and supermarkets.

The Italian outbreak — the worst outside Asia — has inflicted serious damage on one of Europe’s most fragile economies and prompted the closing of schools. The country’s cases nearly tripled from about 2,500 infections on Wednesday to more than 7,375 on Sunday. Deaths rose to 366.

More and more countries have adopted or are considering stronger measures to try to keep infected people from entering and to contain outbreaks.

Global financial markets began a perilous week on Monday, as the relentless spread of the coronavirus and a clash among the world’s biggest oil producers rattled investors.

European shares plunged when they started trading on Monday, with London and Frankfurt markets down 8 percent. Paris and other European exchanges were close behind, echoing sentiment in the Asia-Pacific region, where markets ended sharply lower.

Wall Street looked set to follow, according to futures markets.

Government bonds signaled that investors wanted the security of a safe harbor, as yields on U.S. government debt fell to new lows. Gold, the tried-and-true indicator of investor skittishness, rose.

Oil prices lost nearly a quarter of their value in futures markets, as Saudi Arabia and Russia, two major producers, set off a price war while the world’s thirst for crude is already ebbing. While low oil prices can give consumers a boost, they can also disrupt countries that depend heavily on petroleum dollars to keep their economies running.

World markets were already shaken by the near-shutdown of China in January, as the new coronavirus began spreading beyond the city of Wuhan. Even before the weekend’s developments, stocks in the United States had fallen more than 10 percent over the past month, as measured by the S&P 500 stock index.

The problem is growing worse.

Italy took the drastic step on Sunday of locking down a large chunk of its industrial northern region. In the United States, a government disease expert warned that regional lockdowns might become necessary, though he played down the idea of tight quarantines like the kind China has enacted.

Analysts warned that if Saudi Arabia failed to reach an agreement with Russia on oil prices, it could prompt not only a further spiraling in oil prices but also contagion across financial markets.

A fear gauge known as the Vix index jumped to a multiyear high. It last reached similar levels in August 2015, when a sudden devaluation of China’s currency set off a global market rout.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday for delays in allowing private laboratories in his state to test for the coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases in the state has risen to at least 106, but more testing is needed, the governor said.

“C.D.C., wake up, let the states test, let private labs test, let’s increase as quickly as possible our testing capacity so we can identify the positive people,” Mr. Cuomo said.

President Trump fired back on Twitter overnight, saying that his administration had been consistent in its public statements while attacking the governor of New York and his brother.

“There are no mixed messages, only political weaponization by people like you and your brother, Fredo!” Mr. Trump wrote. The president was referring to Fredo Corleone, the youngest and most ineffectual of the fictional brothers in the movie “The Godfather” in his response to Mr. Cuomo and his brother, Chris Cuomo, an anchor on CNN.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday that there were 13 cases of the coronavirus, with “hundreds” expected in the weeks to come. He said the city would offer no-interest loans to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that could show a 25 percent reduction in sales since the outbreak and grants of as much as $6,000 for businesses with fewer than five employees.

The mayor urged New Yorkers to avoid crowded subway cars and to use alternative forms of transportation, like biking, if possible.

In Scarsdale, in Westchester County, schools will be closed from Monday through March 18 after a faculty member at the district’s middle school tested positive for the virus.

Columbia University and Barnard College in New York canceled classes Monday and Tuesday and will shift to remote classes the rest of the week after a member of its community was quarantined as a result of exposure to the coronavirus.

China, the source of the coronavirus epidemic, is now touting the international aid it is distributing to support the fight against it.

The latest assistance included a $20 million donation to the World Health Organization and the dispatch of an expert team to Iraq, which has 60 confirmed cases and six deaths. The W.H.O.’s general director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced China’s contribution after meeting on Saturday with China’s top envoy to the United Nations in Geneva.

The donation would put China among the top voluntary donors to the organization, behind only Britain, Sweden and Norway, according to the W.H.O’s website. The agency is funded by streams of revenue from countries, international organizations and charities.

In Baghdad, Chinese experts arrived over the weekend aboard a plane carrying supplies, including masks, thermometers and scanners. That followed a similar relief effort in Iran, which has been among the hardest hit nations outside China, with nearly 7,000 cases and 194 deaths. China has also dispatched aid to Japan, Pakistan and South Korea.

The donations reflect a conscious effort by the Chinese government to counter criticism at home and abroad over its early missteps in handling the outbreak.

“We must do well in the diplomatic work associated with epidemic prevention and control, and continue engagement and coordination with the World Health Organization and with the related countries and regions,” the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, said in a speech last month.

News of the donation to the W.H.O. was met with a flurry of comments on the country’s tightly controlled social media sites.

Many comments were patriotic in tone, calling it a sign of China’s emergence as a responsible world power. Others were critical, saying the money should have been used to help the residents of Hubei Province, who have been kept under a strict lockdown since late January. Still others accused the government of using the money to buy the W.H.O.’s support.

The Grand Princess cruise ship that has been held off California after 21 people onboard tested positive for the coronavirus was expected to dock on Monday at the Port of Oakland, the vessel’s operator said.

Of the more than 3,500 people aboard, 19 crew members and two passengers have tested positive.

After the ship docks, everyone aboard will be taken to military facilities around the country to be tested and quarantined for 14 days, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The department said in a statement that about 1,000 passengers who are California residents were to go to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., or Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. Residents of other states will be taken to the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas or Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Ga.

The State Department is working with other countries to repatriate “several hundred passengers,” according to the statement.

The United States has counted at least 539 cases across 34 states — Connecticut reported its first case and Washington State announced that another patient being treated for coronavirus had died on Sunday — and the District of Columbia, and logged 22 deaths. Washington State, New York, California, Maryland and Oregon have declared emergencies. A growing number of schools are shutting down, raising concerns about how the closings will affect learning, burden families and upend communities.

The U.S. Army suspended travel to and from Italy and South Korea until May 6, an order that affects 4,500 soldiers and family members. And the Finnish armed forces announced that troop exercises planned for March 9-19 with Norway would be scrapped.

The leading U.S. expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, said on Sunday that it was possible that regional lockdowns could become necessary and recommended that those at greatest risk — older adults and people with underlying health conditions — abstain from travel.

Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the Trump administration was prepared to “take whatever action is appropriate” to contain the outbreak, including travel restrictions in areas with a high number of cases.

“I don’t think it would be as draconian as ‘nobody in and nobody out,’” Dr. Fauci said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But there’ll be, if we continue to get cases like this, particularly at the community level, there will be what we call mitigation.”

Even as the rate of new infections appeared to taper in China, the number of cases around the world continued to rise on Sunday, with some of the biggest clusters emerging in Europe.

In addition to a sharp increase in Italy, Germany reported more than 930 cases; Switzerland’s total reached 281; and the British Health Department said that three people with the virus had died and that the number of cases in the country had jumped to 273 by Sunday.

The smallest E.U. nation, Malta, reported its first confirmed case on Saturday: a 12-year-old girl who had recently returned from a vacation in northern Italy. Her condition was described as good.

The Spanish authorities said on Sunday that three more people confirmed to have the coronavirus had died in Madrid, raising the number of coronavirus fatalities in the country to 13. There are now over 500 cases, the authorities said.

Salvador Illa, the Spanish health minister, said at a news conference in Madrid that several cases in Spain were linked to people who recently traveled to Italy.

“Italy has taken very drastic measures and the most immediate impact is to halt the influx of people from northern Italy,” Mr. Illa added.

Iraq reported 62 confirmed cases and four deaths.

Among Iran’s more than 6,000 cases are a vice president, 23 members of Parliament, the deputy health minister and several other senior officials. The country raised its death toll to 149 from 100 a day earlier, which includes a senior adviser to the country’s supreme leader and Fatemeh Rahbar, a member of Parliament.

But new infections continued to fall in China. The government on Sunday confirmed 40 new cases and 22 more deaths. Of the new infections, 36 were in Hubei, the central Chinese province where the outbreak began. The other four were people who had recently returned from abroad, meaning that for two successive days — at least according to official data — China has recorded no new locally borne infections outside Hubei.

But China remains by far the worst hit country overall from the epidemic. In total, 80,735 people in China have been infected with the virus, and 3,119 have died from it, according to the official data, which may undercount both figures.

Two members of Congress said they would enter a period of self-quarantine after interacting last month with a person who attended a conservative conference outside Washington and later tested positive for the virus.

One of those lawmakers, Senator Ted Cruz, said in a statement on Sunday that he had interacted with the person at the conference. The interaction was less than a minute and consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake, the senator said, adding that he would self-quarantine at his home in Texas this week “out of an abundance of caution.”

The other lawmaker, Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, said he would take similar measures.

“I was with the individual for an extended period of time, and we shook hands several times,” Mr. Gosar said in a statement.

The American Conservative Union, which hosts the conference, said the person was exposed to the virus before the four-day event and tested positive for it on Saturday.

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also spoke at the event, the Conservative Political Action Conference, but they did not interact with the infected person, who never attended the proceedings in the main hall, the union said in a statement.

Others who spoke at the conference included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. Also in attendance were Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son.

On Saturday, President Trump said he was “not concerned at all” about the outbreak getting closer to the White House.

He also said that he had no plans to curtail his campaign rallies even though other large gatherings of people are being canceled across the country.

“We’re going to have tremendous rallies,” the president told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he was spending the weekend.

Reporting was contributed by Carlos Tejada, Jason Horowitz, Emma Bubola, Ellen Tumposky, Neil Vigdor and Russell Goldman.

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