The U.S. and Japan flew citizens out of the Chinese metropolis at the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic Wednesday, as the death figures soared sharply to 132, and the first case appeared in the Middle East.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned it’s confident in China’s capability to contain the coronavirus; however, the concern is mounting as well being agencies reported the number of confirmed cases had jumped by 1,459 to 5,974.
Streets had been abandoned in many major cities as the death toll from the flu-like virus climbed by 26 to 132, almost all in the city of Hubei, the capital of which is Wuhan, where the virus originated last month in a wild animal market.
Two of those evacuated had signs of pneumonia, but a coronavirus analysis has not been verified.
The concern is also rising over the impact of the virus on the world’s second-greatest economy, with airways suspending flights to China – British Airways is the latest to announce a suspension – and global corporations curbing employees’ travel.
The gambling center of Macau was virtually a ghost city, while malls and shopping facilities in Asian capitals like Bangkok had been bare, with many who ventured outdoors wearing green or white masks.
Sectors from mining to luxury items have been blown by concerns about the possibility of a worst-case epidemic.
Hong Kong shares took a beating on the first day of trading after the Lunar New Year holidays. Casino and financial stocks pushed the Hang Seng index 2.5% lower to a seven-month trough.
Regional markets, however, restricted their slide, with shares in Japan, Australia, Korea, and India steady.