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China reports 47 more #coronavirus deaths

US postpones ASEAN regional summit due to coronavirus: US official

In Asia, a total of 427 new cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed on the Chinese mainland as of midnight on Friday and 47 new deaths were reported, according to China's National Health Commission.

The total number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland now stands at 79,251 and the cumulative death toll is 2,835.

On the same day, Chinese health authorities said 2,885 more patients were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 39,002.

The numbers of confirmed cases in Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and China's Taiwan region are as follows:

Hong Kong: 94 (two dead, 30 recovered)

Macao: 10 (eight recovered)

Taiwan: 34 (one dead, nine recovered)


The U.S. has confirmed 63 coronavirus cases. The Dow and the S&P 500 suffered their biggest weekly losses since the 2008 financial crisis.

The United States on Friday decided to postpone a meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian countries it had planned to host on March 14 due to worries about the coronavirus outbreak, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said. Reuters reported.

According to the reports, President Donald Trump had invited leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to meet in Las Vegas after he did not attend a summit with the group in Bangkok in November.

“As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with ASEAN partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the ASEAN leaders meeting,” one of the sources, a senior administration official, told Reuters.

The official added that the United States values its relationships with ASEAN member nations and looks forward to future meetings.

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The decision comes amid growing fears that the virus will spread in the United States as countries report new infections, companies announce curbs on employees’ travel and global stock markets continue to plummet.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said on Monday preparations for the meeting were going ahead in spite of the coronavirus outbreak.

The latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures indicate over 82,000 people have been infected, with more than 2,700 deaths in China and 57 deaths in 46 other countries.

While the outbreak appears to be easing in China, it has surged elsewhere and countries other than China now account for about three-quarters of new infections.

China is not a member of ASEAN, which groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Although the State Department has repeatedly stated that ASEAN is at the heart of its strategy to maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific” in the face of rising Chinese power, Trump’s decision not to attend the Bangkok meeting raised questions about the U.S. commitment to the region.

Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review earlier this month quoted diplomatic sources as saying that leaders from Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand planned to attend Las Vegas summit.

Meanwhile, the WHO says the global coronavirus risk is now "very high." The rapid spread of the coronavirus increased fears of a pandemic on Friday, with six countries reporting their first cases and the World Health Organization (WHO) raising its global spread and impact risk alert to “very high”.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said his organization was not underestimating the risk.

“That is why we said today the global risk is very high,” he told reporters in Geneva. “We increased it from ‘high’ to ‘very high’.”

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said the scenario of the coronavirus reaching multiple or all countries “is something we have been looking at and warning against since quite a while.”

Tedros said mainland China had reported 329 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest there in more than a month, taking its tally to more than 78,800 cases with almost 2,800 deaths.

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