People wearing protective masks in Venice, Italy, on February 23, 2020 due to concerns over coronavirus infection.
4:18 pm: Israel may quarantine 200 South Korean visitors
Israel may quarantine some 200 visitors from South Korea at a military base in a Jewish settlement on the occupied West Bank over coronavirus fears, according to Israel’s Ynet news site. Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said separately he had ordered South Korea and Japan to be added to a list of Asian countries to which travel to and from Israel was being barred.
3:48 pm: Austria halts train traffic with Italy
Austria has halted train traffic with its southern neighbor amid concern that two passengers on an in-bound train from Italy were infected with the coronavirus. Italy is grappling with the largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia, with more than 130 reported cases and three deaths.
3:03 pm: Air New Zealand cuts 2020 outlook
Air New Zealand cut its 2020 outlook, as the impact from the coronavirus and subsequent capacity reductions appear set to offset benefits from lower jet fuel prices, Reuters reported. The airline said the negative impact to earnings was between $22.2 million and $47.4 million, Reuters said.
1:08 pm: Four passengers test positive for coronavirus in England
Four passengers tested positive for the virus in England after being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, according to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
“Four further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to thirteen,” the statement from the chief medical officer for England said.
12:25 pm: Mnuchin: Central bankers will look at options for responding to virus
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking after a meeting of G20 financial leaders, told reporters that central bankers will look at options for responding to the virus as needed. “I’m not going to comment on monetary policy, but obviously central bankers will look at various different options as this has an impact on the economy,” he said.
11:47 am: Official: Third person dies in coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy
A third person infected with the coronavirus has died in Italy, a regional official said, as the government struggles to contain an outbreak of the illness in the north of the country with more than 130 cases reported since Friday. Lombardy regional councilor Giulio Gallera told reporters the victim was an elderly woman from the town of Crema, east of Milan, who was also suffering from cancer. Two other elderly patients in northern Italy have died over the past 48 hours. The government has placed a dozen towns under quarantine and closed down schools.
11:29 am: There’s a ‘clear will’ from governments to react if coronavirus outbreak persists: EU commissioner
Paolo Gentiloni, the European commissioner for economic affairs, told CNBC that there’s a “clear will” from governments to react if the virus outbreak persists. “Our assessment that was made here at G20 was to update continuously information on this situation and be ready to react if the downside risk will materialize,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Gentiloni said the European Union sees “no need to panic” over a coronavirus outbreak in Italy that has already killed two people and infected more than 100 in the country. The comments came after a meeting of G20 financial leaders in Saudi Arabia.
10:28 am: G20 ready to adopt policies to limit economic impact of virus
Saudi Arabia’s finance minister said that finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies agreed to continue monitoring the risk from the coronavirus outbreak and to adopt appropriate policies to limit the global economic impact.
9:45 am: IMF chief sees negative economic impact from virus, even if outbreak contained
The coronavirus that originated in China will have a negative impact on the global economy even if it is rapidly contained, and it would be prudent to prepare for more significant consequences, the head of the IMF said. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, in a statement issued after a meeting of finance officials from the world’s 20 largest economies, called for coordinated action to contain the human and economic impact of the virus.
9:21 am: Venice Carnival to be halted due to outbreak
The last two days of the Venice Carnival, which draws tourists from around the world, have been canceled because of an outbreak of coronavirus, the head of the Veneto region Luca Zaia said. Events scheduled for Sunday in the lagoon city would continue as planned. “But as of this evening there will be a ban on the Venice Carnival as well as on all events, sporting as well, until March 1 inclusive,” Zaia said.
9:15 am: Turkey to close Iran border, halts flights
Turkey will close its border with Iran as a precautionary measure to halt the potential spread of coronavirus after the neighboring country reported 43 cases of the disease, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said. All highways and railways will be closed as of 5 p.m. local time on Sunday and flights from Iran suspended.
6:52 am: South Korea on high alert, confirms sixth death
South Korea raised its coronavirus alert to the “highest level” as cases continued to rise. A sixth person has died from the coronavirus in South Korea, the country’s Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention said Sunday evening. South Korea’s new cases jumped by 169 over the weekend, bringing the its total infected to 602.
6:07 am: China’s Xi says coronavirus situation is still “serious and complex”
Chinese Premier Xi Jinping said the coronavirus situation in China is still “serious and complex,” according to a Reuters translation of state media. He also said that the country would maintain a “prudent” monetary policy, and would introduce new policy measures in a timely way, Reuters reported.
Xi said the epidemic was a major public health emergency with “the fastest spread, the widest range of infections, and the most difficult prevention and control in China” since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, according to state media.
China is the epicenter of the new coronavirus, with 76,936 cases and 2,442 deaths on the mainland as of Feb. 22. Many businesses and schools remain shut, with economists predicting an economic growth slowdown for the country of 1.4 billion.
— CNBC’s Weizhen Tan, Natasha Turak and Reuters contributed to this report.