PARIS: Death toll tops 900. Prices soar as millions in China return to work. Britain warns of an “imminent threat”. Here are the global developments in the coronavirus crisis over the past 24 hours.
The death toll from the coronavirus reaches 908 in mainland China, with one death in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.
There have been 97 new deaths from the virus — with 91 in hardest-hit Hubei province.
The number of confirmed infections in China reaches 40,171, according to the National Health Commission.
The World Health Organization warns that while there are signs the epidemic is stabilising, there could be more infections abroad in people who have never travelled to China.
Slow return to work
After the extension of the annual Lunar New Year holiday, millions of people in China return to work, but the pick-up is only partial.
Tens of millions of people in Hubei province remain under lockdown and outside the quarantined region, many companies are limiting staff.
Schools and universities across the country remain closed.
Consumer prices in China rise 5.4 percent in January over one year, a record since the end of 2011. The spike in pork and fresh vegetable prices in particular push up costs.
Beijing reports a jump of more than 20 percent in food prices, due in part to the disruption of transportation and other lockdown measures, and people buying supplies in bulk.
With four confirmed cases in Britain, the government warns the outbreak of the coronavirus is “a serious and imminent threat” and announces new measures to protect the public.
Anyone with the virus can now be forcibly quarantined if they are deemed to pose a public health threat.
Infections rise aboard cruise ship
Around 60 more people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan’s coast are diagnosed with the coronavirus, bringing the total infections to about 130.
The quarantine of all aboard — around 3,600 people, many elderly — started a week ago and could last until February 19. The WHO recommends psychological support measures for passengers.
Golf calendar in tatters
Golf’s LPGA Tour cancels its HSBC Women’s World Champions and the LPGA Thailand, capping off a trio of scrapped competitions in women’s golf held in Asia.