(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Shelter from the financial storm
The numbers are huge: $ 15 trillion has been swept off the market, airlines’ value has evaporated by half, and shrinking economies are risking another wave of sovereign debt crises.
So where are the places to park your money?
Sit-on-your-bank stocks like Netflix and Amazon have gone up, and some specialty medical equipment companies have gone up. Ultra-safe US Treasuries also appear to be a safe haven, returning 13% as the Fed cut US interest rates to effectively zero.
While the cavalry has reached the G20 pledge of a $ 5 trillion revival effort, April is unlikely to bring much relief.
“Our expectation is for a very volatile second quarter,” said Stephane Monier, Lombard Odier chief investment officer. “It is important to keep high-quality cash.”
‘Blind luck’: South Korea exerted an emergency in December over the outbreak of fictional pneumonia
According to an undisclosed government document from Reuters, two dozen leading South Korean infectious disease specialists addressed a disturbing scenario in a emergency relief table exercise on December 17: a South Korean family contracted pneumonia after traveling to China, where cases of an unidentified disease had arisen.
This led the team of experts from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) to develop an algorithm to find the pathogen and its origin, as well as to test techniques.
Those measures were mobilized in real life when a first suspected coronavirus patient appeared in South Korea on January 20, the document said.
“It was blind luck – we were speechless when we saw the scenario become a reality,” said Lee Sang-won, one of the KCDC experts who led the exercise. “But the exercise helped us save a lot of time in developing testing methodology and identifying cases.”
(Coronavirus known and unknown: click https://reut.rs/2UHIgvz to answer some of your basic questions.)
There are more than 720,000 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, with more than 57,000 cases in 202 countries and territories in the last 24 hours.
The United States has reported more than 18,000 new cases in the past day, about a third of all new cases. North America now accounts for 20% of all cases and Europe 53%, although the mortality rates in the latter are much higher than in the United States.
3,208 deaths were reported in the past day, bringing the total number of fatalities to 34,000.
The global average death rate of the disease remains high at about 4.7%, although that figure is expected to decrease as testing widens. Countries with an unusually high death rate include Italy, where about 11% of reported cases were fatal, and Spain, where 8% of cases were fatal.
China continues to report low numbers of new cases, with only 31 new infections on Sunday and only one locally contracted case. The country closed its borders to foreign passport holders on Saturday.
Worldwide, more than 145,000 cases are reported to have healed, about 20%. The recovery rate reached 92.5% in China, where the virus peaked more than a month ago.
(To see an interactive image tracking the worldwide distribution of coronavirus, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.)
Acceptable distance = length of hockey stick, sturgeon or large llama.
A distance of two meters (6 feet, 6 inches) is considered critical to prevent transmission of the coronavirus, but with few people wearing tape measures, rules of thumb have become important.
The city of Toronto posted signs in parks last week urging residents to keep one hockey stick apart.
In Oregon, which loves nature, ‘one adult white sturgeon’ would fail, the U.S. state’s fish and wildlife department wrote on Twitter, while the city of Calgary, Alberta, a ‘big llama suggested.
Even the length of a large llama may not work. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that coughing and sneezing can generate clouds of viral drops from seven to eight meters.
That’s about four hockey sticks.
(Reporting by Cate Cadell; compiled by Karishma Singh)