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China Vows to Support Market, U.S. Limits Flights

Monday 3rd February 2020

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China’s central bank will inject more than $21 billion of liquidity in seeking to avert a potential sell-off from the coronavirus outbreak, and the U.S. is ready to redirect flights with passengers from China.

A Wuhan man died in the Philippines, the first from the virus outside China. A jump in fatalities and a surge in infections stoked fears of contagion.

Airlines in Asia, Europe and the Middle East stopped service to the mainland. A city 700 kilometers from the epicenter of the outbreak has quarantined 9 million residents.

U.S. flights carrying citizens who visited China will be redirected to one of seven international airports to be screened for possible coronavirus symptoms, part of new restrictions that take effect Sunday to stem the outbreak.

Flights will only land in Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, the Department of Homeland Security said. Once on the ground, passengers will be subject to enhanced health screening.

Visitors to Hubei Province, the populous region where the outbreak began, may be quarantined for as long as 14 days, the agency said.

“We realize this could provide added stress and prolong travel times for some individuals,” DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said. “However, public health and security experts agree these measures are necessary to contain the virus and protect the American people.”

If a traveler was in China, but outside Hubei Province, is re-routed and shows no symptoms after screening, they will be re-booked to their destination and asked to self-quarantine at home, DHS said.

The U.S. offered top public health experts to help China with the coronavirus outbreak, but so far Beijing hasn’t responded, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday.

“This is a worldwide concern -- we want to help our Chinese colleagues if we can,” O’Brien said on CBS, noting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health are world-class organizations. “We’ve made the offer and we’ll see if they accept.”

So far, Chinese health officials are providing information and the U.S. is “taking that for what it’s worth, but at the same time we’re monitoring ourselves,” he said on “Face the Nation.”

One area that may feel the impact will be the international education industry. Australian Education Minister Dan Tehan estimated the global impact on the market could reach A$8 billion ($5.4 billion), the Sydney Morning Herald reported. About 200,000 Chinese students are due to study in Australia this year, the paper said, with many more attending schools and universities throughout the rest of the world.

(Bloomberg)



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