Italian Politician Infected; European Cases Surge: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- A top politician in Italy caught the coronavirus and other countries curtailed travel to Europe’s worst-affected nation as its death toll climbed.One person was diagnosed in the Vatican, the tiny walled city-state in central Rome that is home to Pope Francis. The government may announce new quarantine measures.The virus also continued to advance as Germany, Spain, Belgium, Iran, Korea and Thailand confirmed new infections on Saturday. The number of cases globally climbed past 101,300.A 55-year-old lawmaker died in Iran as the death toll there swelled to 145. It marked the first fatality among 23 infected members of the country’s parliament. In the U.S., Florida reported its first two deaths.Key Developments:Cases surpass 101,000 worldwide; deaths top 3,400Iranian lawmaker dies from virus at age 55Chinese exports fell 17.2% in the first two months of the yearAir travel poised for worst year on recordPence reports 21 cases on Grand Princess off California coastClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.Sweden, Portugal Brace for More (8:50 a.m. NY)Officials from Sweden and Portugal warned that the outbreak will get worse. The epidemic “will have a major impact at the global level,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told reporters in Lisbon following a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart. “In Sweden, we do have plans for a worse scenario than we have today.”In Portugal, “it’s highly probable that the number of infected people will continue to increase in the next few days,” said Prime Minister Antonio Costa. The government has so far confirmed 13 cases in the country.Paris Transport Workers Infected (8:10 a.m. NY)France diagnosed a third case among staff of RATP, the operator of public transport in the Paris region, local media reported. The bus driver has been quarantined. The country had 103 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to the health ministry, bringing the total to 716. Two more deaths were reported. Separately, a ban all indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people will end mid-April, rather than at the end of May, according to newspaper Les Echos.Italy Mulls New Measures (7:17 a.m. NY)Italy is poised to announce sweeping measures including extending quarantine areas to deal with the virus after the death toll surged by about a third. The number of fatalities over the past two weeks has risen to 197, with infections growing by 78 to 4,636, the fourth-highest after China, South Korea and Iran. One case was diagnosed in the Vatican. Nicola Zingaretti, the head of the country’s democratic party, said on Facebook that he had tested positive for the virus.Barcelona Delays Marathon (6:56 a.m. NY)Barcelona’s local government has decided to postpone the city’s annual marathon, newspaper El Pais reported. The decision comes about a week after Paris canceled its half marathon one day before the event. The Barcelona race was due to take place on March 15 and has been delayed until Oct. 25.The marathon is not the first local event affected by the outbreak. Last month, the Mobile World Congress, the wireless industry’s annual showcase, was scrapped in a major blow to the city’s economy. In Catalonia, Barcelona’s region, about a hundred health staff have been isolated due to the risk of infection, the regional health authority said.Malta Reports First Case (6:00 a.m. NY)Malta confirmed its first infection in a 12-year-old girl who had visited northern Italy, the Associated Press reported, citing Health Minister Chris Fearne.The girl was tested on Friday and results came back positive early Saturday. She is being held in an isolated section of Malta’s main public hospital, together with her immediate family.Philippines Declares State of Emergency (5:37am NY)President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to declare a state of national public health emergency in the Philippines after a local transmission of coronavirus, CNN Philippines reports, citing Senator Bong Go.The Philippines health department reported the country’s sixth infection Saturday, a 59-year-old woman who is married to the country’s fifth patient, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said at a press briefing in Manila. The woman is stable; her husband, 62, is in critical condition.Officials are bracing for an increase in cases as the government repatriates hundreds of citizens from affected areas abroad, including tourists, overseas workers and undocumented migrants.Vietnam Air Crew Quarantined (4:45am NY)All air crew and ground staff working on a Vietnam Airlines’ flight from London to Hanoi on March 1 are being quarantined after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus, according to a release from the country’s health minister.The 26-year-old woman is the country’s 17th confirmed case, the first in Hanoi. City officials are trying to contact about 30 people who traveled in business class with the patient.Nile Cruise

Italian Politician Infected; European Cases Surge: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- A top politician in Italy caught the coronavirus and other countries curtailed travel to Europe’s worst-affected nation as its death toll climbed.One person was diagnosed in the Vatican, the tiny walled city-state in central Rome that is home to Pope Francis. The government may announce new quarantine measures.The virus also continued to advance as Germany, Spain, Belgium, Iran, Korea and Thailand confirmed new infections on Saturday. The number of cases globally climbed past 101,300.A 55-year-old lawmaker died in Iran as the death toll there swelled to 145. It marked the first fatality among 23 infected members of the country’s parliament. In the U.S., Florida reported its first two deaths.Key Developments:Cases surpass 101,000 worldwide; deaths top 3,400Iranian lawmaker dies from virus at age 55Chinese exports fell 17.2% in the first two months of the yearAir travel poised for worst year on recordPence reports 21 cases on Grand Princess off California coastClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.Sweden, Portugal Brace for More (8:50 a.m. NY)Officials from Sweden and Portugal warned that the outbreak will get worse. The epidemic “will have a major impact at the global level,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told reporters in Lisbon following a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart. “In Sweden, we do have plans for a worse scenario than we have today.”In Portugal, “it’s highly probable that the number of infected people will continue to increase in the next few days,” said Prime Minister Antonio Costa. The government has so far confirmed 13 cases in the country.Paris Transport Workers Infected (8:10 a.m. NY)France diagnosed a third case among staff of RATP, the operator of public transport in the Paris region, local media reported. The bus driver has been quarantined. The country had 103 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to the health ministry, bringing the total to 716. Two more deaths were reported. Separately, a ban all indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people will end mid-April, rather than at the end of May, according to newspaper Les Echos.Italy Mulls New Measures (7:17 a.m. NY)Italy is poised to announce sweeping measures including extending quarantine areas to deal with the virus after the death toll surged by about a third. The number of fatalities over the past two weeks has risen to 197, with infections growing by 78 to 4,636, the fourth-highest after China, South Korea and Iran. One case was diagnosed in the Vatican. Nicola Zingaretti, the head of the country’s democratic party, said on Facebook that he had tested positive for the virus.Barcelona Delays Marathon (6:56 a.m. NY)Barcelona’s local government has decided to postpone the city’s annual marathon, newspaper El Pais reported. The decision comes about a week after Paris canceled its half marathon one day before the event. The Barcelona race was due to take place on March 15 and has been delayed until Oct. 25.The marathon is not the first local event affected by the outbreak. Last month, the Mobile World Congress, the wireless industry’s annual showcase, was scrapped in a major blow to the city’s economy. In Catalonia, Barcelona’s region, about a hundred health staff have been isolated due to the risk of infection, the regional health authority said.Malta Reports First Case (6:00 a.m. NY)Malta confirmed its first infection in a 12-year-old girl who had visited northern Italy, the Associated Press reported, citing Health Minister Chris Fearne.The girl was tested on Friday and results came back positive early Saturday. She is being held in an isolated section of Malta’s main public hospital, together with her immediate family.Philippines Declares State of Emergency (5:37am NY)President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to declare a state of national public health emergency in the Philippines after a local transmission of coronavirus, CNN Philippines reports, citing Senator Bong Go.The Philippines health department reported the country’s sixth infection Saturday, a 59-year-old woman who is married to the country’s fifth patient, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said at a press briefing in Manila. The woman is stable; her husband, 62, is in critical condition.Officials are bracing for an increase in cases as the government repatriates hundreds of citizens from affected areas abroad, including tourists, overseas workers and undocumented migrants.Vietnam Air Crew Quarantined (4:45am NY)All air crew and ground staff working on a Vietnam Airlines’ flight from London to Hanoi on March 1 are being quarantined after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus, according to a release from the country’s health minister.The 26-year-old woman is the country’s 17th confirmed case, the first in Hanoi. City officials are trying to contact about 30 people who traveled in business class with the patient.Nile Cruise Quarantined (4:00 a.m. NY)About 150 tourists and local crew were quarantined on a cruise ship on Egypt’s Nile river in the southern city of Luxor after 12 people tested positive for the virus, the Associated Press reported.A tourist who had been on the same ship tested positive when she returned to Taiwan, according to the report. The World Health Organization informed Egyptian authorities, who tested everyone currently on the ship.Iranian Lawmaker Dies (3:52 a.m. NY)Fatemeh Rahbar, an Iranian lawmaker, died Saturday two days after entering a coma, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. The death toll from the virus increased to 145 as the number of diagnosed cases grew to 5,823, a health ministry spokesman said on state television.Rahbar was a conservative politician poised to represent the constituency that includes Tehran in the upcoming parliament. She was among the top local candidates in the party, which won February’s general election by a sweeping majority amid the lowest turnout in the republic’s history.Cases Swell in Germany, Spain (2:00 a.m. NY)Germany’s confirmed infections rose to 684 from 534 a day earlier, according to the Robert Koch Institute. Spain identified 93 new cases, bringing its total to 441.Germany wants to ease the rules for implementing short-time work to help companies cope with the economic impact of the virus, Handelsblatt reported, citing unidentified coalition officials. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government plans to reinstate rules that were in effect during the financial crisis until the end of the year. Spain is also considering some measures to help cushion the economic blow, according to El Pais.Milken Conference Postponed (00:20 a.m. NY)The Milken Institute Global Conference, originally scheduled for early May in Beverly Hills, California, is being postponed until July. Nicknamed “Davos of the West,” the annual event run by billionaire financier Michael Milken’s think tank brings together some of the world’s most influential people for discussions of global trends in finance, health care, immigration and politics.The Milken conference joins Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Oaktree Capital Management on the growing list of finance industry gatherings that are rescheduling, moving events online or canceling outright as the spreading coronavirus brings new concerns about travel and big public gatherings.U.S. Reports New Deaths (9:15 p.m. NY)Florida health officials confirmed the state’s first two deaths from coronavirus as well the first pair of cases in the Miami metropolitan area. The health agency for Seattle and King County said a man in his 60s died on Thursday, the ninth fatality associated with the outbreak at an area nursing home.Nebraska and Kentucky reported their first cases. A person in Alameda County, California, who had been on a cruise ship last month tested positive for the virus, as did a Chicago school aide and a Starbucks barista at one of the coffee chain’s downtown Seattle stores.G-20 Ready to Act (6:40 p.m. NY)G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in a statement said they are closely monitoring the evolution of new coronavirus, including its impact on markets and economic conditions.The officials said they are ready to take further action, including fiscal and monetary steps -- as appropriate -- to aid in the response, support the economy and maintain the resilience of the financial system.“We reiterate our commitment to use all available policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and safeguard against downside risks,” according to the statement.Princess Cruise Ship Has 21 Cases (6:04 p.m. NY)At least 19 passengers and two crew members on Carnival Corp.’s Grand Princess, currently off the coast of California, tested positive for the virus, Vice President Mike Pence said.Forty-six people on the ship have been tested, Pence said at a news conference in Washington. The Grand Princess will be brought to shore and everyone will be tested and quarantined as needed. He said cruise ships “represent a unique challenge for health officials” and advised elderly Americans to carefully consider whether to to take cruises.\--With assistance from Justin Sink, Lizette Chapman, John Follain, Angelina Rascouet, Thomas Gualtieri, Karl Maier and Joao Lima.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Steve Geimann in Washington at sgeimann@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew G. Miller at mmiller144@bloomberg.net, Marthe Fourcade, James AmottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.