Coronavirus latest: Tokyo stocks rise as emergency nears end

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 5,380,774, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 343,880.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Monday, May 25

3:00 p.m. Tokyo stocks advance as the government prepares to end the state of emergency in Tokyo and all other areas, raising hopes that the economy may soon start recovering. The benchmark Nikkei average rose 1.7% to 20,741.65, its best finish since March 6, with air and land transport shares leading the rally.

2:45 p.m. Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will close two of its three offices for SpaceJet aircraft subsidiary Mitsubishi Aircraft in North America, plans that are likely to affect a few hundred jobs, Nikkei has learned. Mitsubishi’s SpaceJet program was hit by demand uncertainties as the novel coronavirus swept the world.

2:30 p.m. Japan’s annual Ceatec electronics expo will be held online this autumn due to virus concerns, the organizer announces. The four-day trade fair begins Oct. 20. Last year, more than 700 companies participated, attracting about 150,000 visitors.

2:00 p.m. Thailand confirms two new cases and one death, bringing the country total to 3,042 cases and to 57 deaths since the outbreak began in January.

12:30 a.m. China’s central bank lowers the midpoint on its trading range for the yuan to 7.1209 to the dollar, its lowest point since the 2008 global financial crisis, reflecting losses in the spot yuan market on Friday after Beijing proposed a new national security law for Hong. The confrontation between the U.S. and China over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak has added uncertainty.

Security personnel wearing face masks following the coronavirus outbreak stand guard outside the Great Hall of the People after the opening session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing.

  © Reuters

11:30 a.m. Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of Japan’s coronavirus response, says an expert panel on COVID-19 has accepted a government proposal to lift the state of emergency in Japan’s five remaining prefectures, including Tokyo, Kanagawa and Hokkaido. A government task force will finalize the decision later in the day.

10:30 a.m. South Korea confirms 16 new cases, down from 25 a day ago. Total infections reach 11,206 with 267 deaths.

10:00 a.m. China reports 11 new confirmed cases as of the end of May 24, up from three a day earlier. All are imported cases involving travelers from overseas, including 10 detected in the Inner Mongolia region. The report also notes 40 new asymptomatic cases — patients who are infected but do not show symptoms — compared with 36 a day earlier.

9:35 a.m. Japan is set to lift the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and four other prefectures still on alert, ending seven weeks of economic restrictions and ushering in an uncertain “new normal” on Monday.

7:00 a.m. The White House announces it is prohibiting foreigners from entering the U.S. if they have been in Brazil anytime during the two weeks before their intended arrival. Brazil on Friday surpassed Russia as the world’s No. 2 coronavirus hotspot, trailing only the U.S. It now has over 347,000 cases.

6:39 a.m.The Japanese capital may have suffered more than 200 excess fatalities from pneumonia and other causes early in the outbreak, possibly dwarfing the period’s official coronavirus death count of 16.

2:25 a.m. The Japanese government is preparing a coronavirus relief package of more than $900 billion, aiming to strengthen the corporate safety net in following up on last month’s $1 trillion stimulus.

Sunday, May 24

5:55 p.m. Indonesia confirms 526 new coronavirus infections, taking the total to 22,271 cases, and reports 21 new deaths, taking the total to 1,372.

5:35 p.m. Malaysia reports 60 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of known infections to 7,245. The number of fatalities remains unchanged at 115.

4:11 p.m. Singapore’s health ministry says it had confirmed 548 more coronavirus cases, taking its tally of infections to 31,616.

Children wear protective shields as they spend the afternoon at a park in Bangkok after the Thai government eased isolation measures. 

  © Reuters

1:57 p.m. Thailand on Sunday reports no new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, maintaining the total to 3,040 confirmed cases and 56 fatalities since the outbreak began in January. This is the fourth time in this month that there were no new daily cases.

1:00 p.m. The coronavirus outbreak has forced digital-savvy South Korean companies and citizens to rethink many aspects of their interaction with technology — finding new business models but also acknowledging some of the downsides.

9:04 a.m. Oil demand in China, the second-largest market in the world, is returning to pre-pandemic levels, with prices on the rise, even as the global outlook for the commodity remains bleak.

8:29 a.m. Brazil registers 965 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of fatalities to 22,013. The country now has 347,398 confirmed cases, according to the ministry, up 16,508 from Friday, when it surpassed Russia to become the world’s virus hot spot behind the U.S.

1:21 a.m. Thailand on Saturday begins testing a vaccine against the coronavirus on monkeys after positive trials in mice, an official said. They hope to have a “clearer outcome” of its effectiveness by September.

Saturday, May 23

6:02 p.m. Indonesia confirms 949 new coronavirus infections, taking the total in the Southeast Asian country to 21,745, and 25 new deaths, taking the total to 1,351.

5:40 p.m. Malaysia reports 48 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 7,185. The health ministry also says no new deaths were recorded, with the number of fatalities remaining at 115.

4:35 p.m. Russia says that 9,434 new cases of the novel coronavirus had been reported in the last 24 hours, pushing its nationwide tally to 335,882. The country’s coronavirus crisis response center reports 139 new fatalities after a record of 150 deaths the day before, bringing the death toll to 3,388.

4:07 p.m. Singapore’s health ministry says it had confirmed 642 more coronavirus cases, taking its tally of infections to 31,068.

11:50 a.m. China’s National Health Commission says the country reported no new cases of the new coronavirus on Friday, marking the first day of zero confirmed cases since the outbreak started late last year. But the commission said that there were two new suspected cases in Shanghai and Jilin.

11:42 a.m. Car rental firm Hertz Global Holdings Inc. files for bankruptcy protection after its business all but vanished during the coronavirus pandemic and talks with creditors failed to result in needed relief, according to Reuters.

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week’s latest updates.

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