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Coronavirus News and Daily Updates from My Office in China

My Office in China have UK managers located in China with over 30 years experience in supporting UK businesses trading with China.

My Office in China are based in Guangzhou region of China and are monitoring the Coronavirus alerts on a daily basis.

Coronavirus News February 4th 2020

The trajectory of both infections and deaths is steadily increasing day by day.

My guess is that this will affect factories operating fully during February and probably into March, given that virtually any product relies on a large supply chain for it’s components.

Currently the China government has stopped factories re-opening until the 10th (they were due to open on the 3rd) and if the trajectory continues upwardly, I think this may be extended, or at the very least restricted. Given that many factories rely on migrant employees from adjacent/different provinces, the workforce will have problems getting to their destinations, especially if current travel bans are not fully lifted.

As always with the China government, they look at the economic repercussions and this virus outbreak will have a huge impact on the economy the longer it continues to spread and restrictions are in place.

Travel bans within China as well as many airlines stopping to fly into China will have an impact on trade fairs in March being affected (My guess is that they will be cancelled) and I reckon that the April fairs (Canton Fair) will probably be the first that goes ahead this year. Again this will depend on the trajectory during the next 7-10 days. If it continues in an upwardly direction (for both infections and deaths), then April fairs will be liable to be cancelled, as airlines will continue to stop flying into China.

Whilst the China government have tried to contain the virus by imposing travel bans on a huge part of the country (not only within Hebei Province where Wuhan is situated), as well as restricting any large gatherings (imagine if these bans were in London or any other European city), my feeling is that they delayed the bans until AFTER the China New Year travel was completed which meant millions of people leaving Hebei province, allowing the virus to spread outside of the province.

It’s important to understand that the vast majority of China’s working population ‘migrate’ from their working provinces to their home provinces and it’s customary for families to be together during the China New Year festival, so a huge number of people are traveling from province to province.

The delay in imposing the travel ban until 1 day before China New Year, allowing people to complete their travels, may have been calculated by the China government to allow families to be together during the CNY festival. However this ‘people migration’ could only have allowed the virus to spread at a dramatic rate.

The fact is that no-one knows at this stage how bad it will get and how it will affect China returning to ‘normality’. It could take 2-3 months at least.

Let’s all hope for the best.

Coronavirus Update 5 Feb:

The trajectory continues in an upwardly direction with an increased daily total of infected and fatalities.

March fairs have all been cancelled.

I think it’s inevitable that the Canton fair will be cancelled. It’s a matter of time when this will be officially announced. Not to do so, will be reckless in my view.

Generally, factories are supposed to be returning on 10th Feb, but production will not be able to start for some time after this date and I expect that these dates will be extended. It’s just not possible for a factory to start full production with all the current restrictions in place.

Many factories will be sending their customers emails explaining what precautions they will be taking as well as stating that sales staff will be working online instead of going into offices. The truth is that they are all under the control of China Government guidelines and given that they want to try to keep a lid on the spread of the virus, I expect there will be weekly extensions limiting movement and any large gatherings (factories in China typically have 1000 – 2000 workers at least, so will impact all factories).

Currently, some areas across China (not just Wuhan or within Hubei Province) are forbidden to leave without authorisation.

Watch the movie Contagion . . . . . . . . (If you haven’t already).

Coronavirus Update 6th February:

The trajectory continues in an upwardly direction with an increased daily total of fatalities.

It’s important to note that figures are those being released from the authorities. They are fully aware of the repercussions if there is huge daily growth in numbers of infections and fatalities. The fact that they have built 2 new hospitals as well as converting large municipal building’s into temporary accommodation tells you that they expect the rate to grow over the near future. The army have moved in to help medical staff and adjacent cities and provinces have sent medical personnel.

There continues to be road transport and general travel restrictions throughout China. Leaving some local towns needs authorisation (not easy to obtain) and when received you cannot return for several days.

Canton fair has been cancelled!

The main Hong Kong fairs in April are yet to be cancelled, but this is now an inevitability. Expect news of these being cancelled within the next few days.

Hong Kong have announced 14 day quarantine periods for all people (foreigners included) arriving from mainland China from 8th February. I’m not sure what facilities they have ready and how they are going to manage that at short notice. I can see that they will ban all transport from mainland China and that will have it’s own problems, not least to the (already battered) Hong Kong economy. I can see other countries following Hong Kong’s quarantine requirements.

Generally, the situation is getting worse and is impacting all people in China, not just in Wuhan and Hebei Province.

I cannot see how factories will be allowed to return to work on 10th February. I am sure this will be extended, or at the very least severely restricted, which will mean no real production coming out of factories for some time.

For those who are relying on orders to be produced and sent out in the next 3 – 6 weeks, will be disappointed.

The vast majority of factories will have emptied all their component stocks prior to closing for CNY holidays and the supply chain replenishment will take time, after they are allowed to get back to work.

Masks are no longer available in all the major cities. All masks manufacturers are being told (ordered) to send to Wuhan & Hebei Province. The public have been told not to wear the medical masks (N95) as these have to be ‘left’ for the medical staff and workers in Wuhan and Hebei Province.

Things are becoming surreal and are likely to get worse in the next 2 weeks. There is fear and panic within the general China public. (I’m not overestimating this point)

Coronavirus Update 7th February:

Where to start . . . . . . . .

Another 2752 patients tested positive yesterday to take the total tested and infected to 30830.
71 deaths recorded yesterday to take the total fatalities to 635.

It’s important to note that the total infected are only based on actual patients tested. There is a large shortage of testing equipment, so you can make your own assumptions of the exact number of people who are infected with this virus.

Medical personnel from all over China are now being sent to Wuhan. it’s being reported that doctors there are overwhelmed by the amount of new cases.

15 municipal buildings and public venues including convention centers, gymnasiums and large halls are being converted to temporary ‘hospitals’ to treat patients categorised with ‘low level’ symptoms. These will hold approximately 15,000 beds. Those with advanced symptoms are being treated in the 2 new hospitals (built from scratch within 9 days!). Guidelines have been issued that those who are showing early symptoms to self isolate at home.

Wuhan has a population of 11 million (more than London!). I cannot imagine London being able to cope with this kind of epidemic. It would take 9 days to arrange a meeting, let alone building 2 hospitals from scratch!

There are now restrictions being sent out to many parts of China. Only 1 member of each household is allowed to go out for shopping and daily needs once every 2 days, they must return within 2 hours.

People are not allowed to leave towns and provinces, unless they have a police permit. There is now a total monitoring of people’s movements.

People moving from city to city must register online (‘Health Registration’) with the local municipality and if they have had any contact with people from Hebei Province must self quarantine for 14 days.

Everybody in China must wear masks if traveling on public transport, but there are no masks of any description currently available for sale in the main cities. Measures being taken for reducing the threat of contamination whilst traveling on trains is to leave empty seats between passengers, this will be applied when booking train tickets with only 50% of seats available to be sold (not sure how effective that will be).

Any person caught selling masks at inflated prices (as has been the case in the past 2 weeks) will be heavily fined.

Apart from the lack of testing equipment in Wuhan, there is a lack of medical masks throughout China and the ban on flights arriving into China means supplies from outside of China cannot arrive.

Honk Kong airlines has cancelled flights coming in from mainland China and there are a growing number of international airlines postponing flights to and from China. This will grow.

Given the timing of the travel ban, there were millions (literally) of Chinese that went for holidays abroad for their CNY holidays. Only a fraction have returned due to airline cancellations. 180 planes are on stand-by to get them home. It’s unsure whether there will be any quarantine requirements as a proportion would have come from the infected province.

The number of infected outside of China in different countries seems to resemble (mainly) the most frequented countries favoured by Chinese during the CNY holidays.

The ‘migration’ of workers getting back to their work locations has been severely hampered due to the travel restrictions and this is likely to continue for the next 2 weeks at least. It is estimated that only 20% have returned so far.

Factory sales staff have been told to work online from home, but there will be no production taking place without production line workers, or supply chain components being ready.

While factories have been told to start production from 10th February (delayed from 3rd February), I cannot see this happening. It will take a minimum of 14 days for factories to get their full working staff in and will be reliant on their supply chain for components.

Yesterday I suggested that products will be in short supply for 3-6 weeks. I now estimate this to be 3-4 months, allowing for production time as well as shipping.

Factories are offering ‘stock’ which they have as a desperate measure. These stocks may not be suitable for all, as may have been manufactured for specific countries with different QC standards and certification. It’s very rare for a factory to hold stock as it’s the norm for factories to manufacture to order, unless they are selling their products directly on Amazon etc.

The local government has introduced aid to local businesses including postponement of taxes, low loan interest rates, national insurance rebates as well as other monetary help.

I expect many factories to go bankrupt.

Global production will also be affected, as many factories around the world rely on component parts manufactured and coming from China.

Global Sources & HKTDC have yet to officially confirm that the April fairs in Hong Kong will be cancelled. This is only a matter of time.

China is doing what it can and this cannot be expressed enough. They should be commended for this. This would not be done in any other country (for many reasons). The Chinese listen to government guidelines and generally obey what their government tells them to do. (yes, there are repercussions for those that don’t, but thats for another thread and not at this time of suffering).

This virus has also caused social issues globally and it’s only natural for the human instinct to be protective of potential health risks. Perhaps this is for another thread.

Sadly the doctor that was publicly reprimanded by authorities for ‘spreading rumours’ about the virus and causing unnecessary panic has died today.

This situation will get worse in the next week.

As Dave Allen used to say (for those that can remember) May your God go with you.

Coronavirus Update 8th February:

Another 3729 patients tested positive yesterday to take the total tested and infected to 34559. A 10% increase from yesterday.

85 deaths recorded yesterday to take the total fatalities to 720. The biggest daily increase so far.

As these figures rise, the panic and fear within the general China public also rises. This is not an exaggeration, nor is it scaremongering. Every area in China is greatly impacted with the growing spread of this virus. There is no grip on this virus and the numbers (the one’s being released) just keep growing. It’s probably fair to assume that the real figures of contamination are far higher as the figures released are only based on those tested.

More quarantine ‘hospitals’ are being set up in Wuhan and in other cities in Hubei Province. There are now a total of 163 ‘hospitals’ converted to treating patients infected with the virus and a total of 30,000 beds available in Wuhan alone.

In Wuhan, there are not enough medical resources including medicine, protective suits, equipment and personnel. More doctors are arriving daily. There is a shortage throughout China of these medical supplies and some factories have started to change their product category and to start manufacturing face masks, gloves and protective clothing etc as the current need for this is vital.

Most restaurants in Wuhan are closed. This is a problem in itself as local residents (as well as personnel in the makeshift hospitals) need a supply of food to be delivered to them on a regular basis. Many residents will not venture out to supermarkets to buy food. Many restaurants in major cities are also closed. There is simply a fear of going to places with large gatherings and it’s actively encouraged to avoid such places.

50 million people are on ‘lockdown’ in Hubei Province alone and this is spreading to other provinces all across China.

The government have now put very very strict guidelines in order to contain this virus.

People movement now has strict procedures to follow. No-one (literally) can leave towns or cities without notification, online registration with health authorities and onward address details. In many cases, return is prohibited for a period of 14 days.

The working ‘migrant’ population is struggling to get back to their working provinces due to transport restrictions and (dare I say it) personal fear for their health. People prefer to stay put and not travel at all.

China news agencies are emphasising the ‘recovery’ figures which are growing and that the numbers infected are slowing in order to lower fears within the China public. I don’t share this optimism that the virus has been contained, neither do most of the China public. They are much more savvy than they once were.

I cannot see how factory production will start on the 10th February as scheduled by the government. Workers will be reluctant to go in and understandably so. Sales teams, R&D staff, administration and general office staff will mostly be told to work from home, where possible. Production lines, where its normal for between 200 – 1000 to share one open space will be difficult to operate under the current restrictions and conditions. Most workers are still in their home provinces and are unable to leave due to the restrictions.

Many factory sales staff have been advised not to ‘spread bad news’ to their oversees customers and to say that everything is normal. This is far from the truth and certainly not what I have experienced having spoken to key personnel within factories we work with. Many have not replied yet, which is very unusual in itself given that they were supposed to return on 3rd February. These are key personnel (owners, engineers, managers within factories) and would normally be online (at the very least) to accept and return messages.

Every building, including restaurants, hotels, offices, factories, shopping malls throughout China are now disinfecting public areas including lifts and often used spaces on a regular basis. There is a nervousness within the China public to visit these areas at the moment.
Generally, there will not be normality in factories for some time yet.

These posts are certainly not intended to be ‘scaremongering’ in any way. My comments are fact based and from a perspective of a Brit living in China (Guangzhou) and with many business contacts throughout the whole of China.

This virus is far from being contained or controlled.

Coronavirus Update 9th February:

Another 2990 patients tested positive yesterday to take the total tested and infected to 37549.
93 deaths recorded yesterday to take the total fatalities to 813. The biggest daily death total to date.

The trajectory continues to rise.

2 new born babies were diagnosed with the virus on Friday, (both mothers were diagnosed with the virus). Sadly one baby passed away yesterday.

The China government have stated that any patient with confirmed symptoms of the virus will be sent to a hospital for observation. (Their slogan: No-one Will Be Left Behind). Not sure if they have the resources for this, given the amount of people infected and showing symptoms.

Small towns are increasingly getting more difficult to leave. All traffic lights are now left on red in many towns to stop people leaving. Cars are not allowed to collect people from other towns.
Major roads are still on lockdown with entry onto motorways blocked and have a police presence. In some towns and villages, people need a release note and health certificate in order to leave.

Trains tickets are not being issued to allow people to sit next to each other, there must be at least one seat separation.

Schools and universities are not allowed to open before March 1st. An extension to this date will be likely if the infected total continues to rise in the next week.

After Hubei province, the 2nd & 3rd highest total of recorded infections by province are in Guangdong & Zhejiang provinces, the most concentrated area for factories. Guangdong is especially noted for the manufacturing of technology products (amongst others) in Dongguan & Shenzhen. Zhejiang province is concentrated with household products, fabrics (amongst others). Speaking to many factory owners I know, they told me that many owners and managers left their home provinces before the transport ban started as they feared (or were informed) the lockdown would take place.

Factories in Guangdong province now need authorisation to re-open after CNY. Authorities will carefully study application forms before granting permission to open. The earliest date that production lines will be able to operate has been earmarked for March 1st. I expect this will be the case in other parts of China.

It will be prudent for business owners to make contingency plans if they work directly with China factories, as there is likely to be disruption on the vast majority of products being manufactured for a 1 – 2 month period at the very least.

Guidelines are being issued to all business owners/companies to adhere to local regulations before commencing work after CNY. The list is comprehensive and requires hygiene supplies, including masks to be available. Business owners/Companies are required to fill in forms with signature and company stamp. If any violation occurs, they will be responsible for any issues arising of non compliance.

In Guangzhou, in order to buy masks you have to go to the pharmacy and fill in an application form at 8.30am. You are informed at 3pm if you will be allocated a face mask that day.

Emphasis on China news bulletins continues to be on the people recovered, as well as showing world infected figures in order to try to deflect it as being a ‘China’ problem. People can make their own assumptions.

Authorities say the situation is grim. (A news bulletin quote)

2 ships (docked in Japan & Hong Kong) with Chinese travelers have people infected on board and have been quarantined. The amount of infected is bound to rise on these 2 ships giving the close proximity people get on these cruises. I imagine every cruise ship with Chinese travelers collected at pick up points in and around China will be looking to step up their health checks.

It cannot be stated enough at the lengths the Chinese authorities are doing to try to contain and combat this virus from spreading.

However, there has been public uproar in China over the rebuked doctor that died of the virus on last Friday. Dr Li Wenliang was 34 years old and tried to alert his fellow doctors of the threat of the virus. He was publicly reprimanded and forced to sign a declaration that he was wrong and will not continue to spread rumors. When authorities were asked at a news conference to comment on his death, they responded by saying that they do not have his notes to comment. Make up your own minds if this was the right response.

“Saving face’ seems to still be the trait, even under these circumstances.

Coronavirus Update 10th February:

Another 2829 patients tested positive yesterday alone to take the total tested and infected to 40378.

95 deaths recorded yesterday to take the total fatalities to 908. The biggest daily death rise total to date.

The trajectory continues to rise at an alarming rate.

There continues to be a huge lack of protective supplies including protective suits & testing equipment in Wuhan City and masks generally throughout China.

The cruise ship in Japan which has been quarantined after 10 patients were tested positive with the virus a few days ago, has now 70 people infected.

The government has advised (ordered) community members to knock on every door to check on people with symptoms and report their findings.

People moving from town to town, must first apply for a permit, notify and fill in a medical report and notify their forwarding address.

An estimated 70% of all workers are still in their home provinces, unable to travel due to the current lockdown in all towns.

Factories have been told they are not allowed to re-open their production lines before (provisionally) March 1st. If the infected total continues to rise in the next 7 days, this will surely be extended to April 1st. Admin staff are being advised to work from home, where possible. Permits need to be granted by the government to allow factories to open.

The government is set to pay all factories with over 100 employees a sum of RMB200,000 (approx GBP22,000). Many factories will go bankrupt.

Again, it’s important to reiterate that the China government is doing everything it can to contain and combat this virus.

The major Hong Kong shows in April have yet to be officially cancelled (Canton Fair has already announced it’s cancellation), but given that virtually all the exhibitors come from China, this is just a question of time. Not sure what miracle they’re waiting for!

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, it’s important for all business owners working directly with factories to have contingency plans in place. I cannot see any production leaving China factories until the beginning of April, at the earliest. If the factory production start date is extended from March 1st, then this will have dramatic consequences for China’s economy as well as global manufacturers who are reliant on China made components. Virtually every industry has component parts being manufactured in China, including the likes of Apple, Samsung and many other technology related brands.

It’s interesting to note that there has been ZERO mention (on general TV news) of when factories are likely to go back to work (They keep saying 10th February is when they will start). There is also no mention of the cancellation of fairs, particularly the Canton Fair. This is in stark contrast to how they generally promote factory production output, international fairs to show economic growth etc. etc. I suppose this is to be expected.

Has the UK (and the world) become too reliant on China?

‘When China sneezes, the whole world will catch a cold’ seems an appropriate statement to make.

Be well everybody.

——————————–

Let me add one more set of figures which should set alarm bells ringing . . . .

According to official figures, the number of suspected cases in China today is 63,760. This is in addition to the already tested and diagnosed with the infection of 40,378.

Start crunching those numbers, if you dare.

Coronavirus Update 11th February:

Another 2723 patients tested positive yesterday alone to take the total tested and infected to 43101.

109 additional deaths recorded yesterday to take the total fatalities to 1017. The biggest daily death total to date.

The trajectory continues to rise.

Medical teams from all over China are being assigned to each city in Hubei Province.

Given the continued lack of testing equipment in Wuhan City, Hubei and throughout China, testing on patients with mild symptoms cannot be fully carried out. This will impact on official figures being stated who have been infected.

Lack of medical supplies cannot be emphasised enough. Protective suits need to be replaced daily, including masks. There is a huge shortage.

Non medical supply manufacturing companies are being urged to start manufacturing medical supplies which are urgently needed. BYD (one of the large car manufactures in China) have started to produce masks at a rate of 5 million a day.

The cruise ship docked in Japan has now 65 new cases, taking the total to 135 confirmed infected, including 5 service staff (which must have come into contact with multiple passengers). This just confirms how easy it is for the virus to be transmitted.

Every factory (with production lines) that I have spoken with (bar none) in Dongguan & Shenzhen have been informed that March 1st is the earliest date they will be allowed to start. (This does not include admin staff who are being told to work from home). The only exceptions are for factories manufacturing medical supplies. Businesses involved in the food, transport and service industries are encouraged to go back to work.

The vast majority of workers have yet to return to their working cities/locations (varying between 70% – 90%) with factories I have spoken with.

According to the government It is estimated that 160 million people will be traveling back this week. I imagine many of these will be staying at home, fearful of being infected. I can see a huge amount of staff leaving jobs, being laid off and as a minimum, reluctant to return to work until the virus has been ‘cleared’. Who can blame them?

The government are doing what they can, but I fear many factories will not survive. I hope I’m wrong. For a factory to lose one day production can be painful, to lose 30 days (or more) is a very serious worry to all factory owners.

China state media are continuing to portray (in public) that things will be back to normal very quickly and keep on emphasising that the recovery total is increasing daily. I understand the need for ensuring calm within the China public (& globally) but these figures are not what are important. In my view, the 2 main figures are those infected (reported and not reported) and deaths (reported and not reported).

The decision to start the transport ban 1 day before the start of China New Year (allowing virtually all workers to travel to their home provinces for the holidays) may well be seen as the biggest mistake in this virus outbreak. This allowed millions in Wuhan (and those who had travelled to Wuhan during December & January) to ‘carry’ the virus out of Wuhan and into all areas of China (& globally).

If the travel ban was imposed earlier, this could have limited the spread of the virus.

Hindsight maybe, but there was sufficient information (as well as the experience China had with the SARS outbreak) to have made a decision earlier. The fact that it’s so important for families to be together during China New Year was perhaps the overriding factor to delay the transport ban.

This may come out in the fullness of time, but currently you cannot fault the China government to try and contain the virus, (albeit with some draconian methods).

As stated yesterday, businesses relying on manufactured stock from China should be making contingency plans for at least the next 2 months.

Be well.

Coronavirus Update 12th February:

An additional 1686 patients tested positive yesterday alone to take the total tested and infected to 44787.

95 additional deaths recorded yesterday to take the total fatalities to 1112.

The trajectory continues in an upwards direction.

The cruise ship docked in Japan has the following numbers: Total passengers = 3500, Total tested = 452, Total infected = 172

Medical teams are overwhelmed by the amount of patients to test and treat. My heart goes out to the brave (especially young and inexperienced) medical personnel who are on the front line treating the infected patients. They are putting their lives at risk and this cannot be understated.

Many of the public here in China are still in ‘fear’ and reluctant to go out, unless neccessary. Factory owners, managers and key personnel are the first to return to their factories to evaluate the situation and get prepared as much as they can until they get authorisation from the government to resume production. This has been earmarked for March 1st (earliest date). If the total infected continues to rise by this weekend, then this date will inevitably be pushed back.

Foxconn (Apple’s main supplier) has started to manufacture face masks, as have many other factories to ensure sufficient demand for the China public (and beyond).

Hong Kong fair organizers are sending out questionnaires as to what exhibitors and attendees feel about going ahead with the exhibitions in April. Pathetic in my book, they should cancel and the sooner they do, the better for all concerned to plan accordingly.

Given that many factories are emailing their customers to say they have returned to work (not actual production) and the fact that some will not survive, it will be prudent to ensure production start/finish dates in contracts and to include a penalty clause should there be any delays. This way you should get more accurate dates for your shipments.

Factories want to portray calm and that everything is ‘normal’. This is far from the truth.

What will the repercussions be from the effects of this virus?

1. Many companies going bankrupt (even allowing for the help the government is offering).

2. Delays in newly manufactured shipments until end March (earliest) end April (realistic at this stage) end May (if factories cannot get back to work on March 1st as scheduled).

3. Price increases – I think this is an inevitability given the losses every company will have suffered, which they will have to try to mitigate as fair as possible.

4. Global supply chains being affected, so a rush to find alternative stock/suppliers.

5. Retail outlets not receiving Spring/Summer merchandise in time, as above rushing to find alternative stock/suppliers.

6. Many global exhibitions will be impacted in the next 2 months at least, as there are generally many Chinese companies exhibiting at these events. Many companies will pull out.

Thoughts must go to the medical teams treating infected patients. There lives are at risk.

Coronavirus Update 13th February:

ALARM BELLS!!

An additional 15477 patients tested positive yesterday alone to take the total tested and infected to 60267. WHO (World Health Organisation) have arrived in China and advised new clinical diagnosis of infected patients, so we are now getting ‘more accurate’ figures. This is the biggest increase (by far) from any other daily rate increase. It’s also more than the past 5 days COMBINED.

255 additional deaths recorded yesterday to take the total fatalities to 1367. A 250% increase from yesterdays total.

The trajectory continues in an upwards direction. Today’s rise is alarming.

This virus is still far from being contained, albeit with the huge and stringent measures the China government are doing in order to keep people isolated.

The government have sent today an additional 2600 army medical personnel to Wuhan City. This is in addition to the 4600 already there.

The cruise ship docked in Japan has today 218 total infected, an increase of 44 from yesterday’s figure.

Another cruise ship has been docked and being tested in Cambodia with fear of infected on board.

More factories are being urged by the government to start manufacturing masks and this has been emphasised in all parts of the country. It’s important to remember that approximately 90% of the China public have self quarantined themselves over the past 3 weeks, so when they start to venture outside they will all need masks, 1 per day for each member of the public. 1.4 billion people. I expect anyone who will not be wearing a mask when venturing outside will be shunned by the public. I maybe wrong.

I have been advised by factories that we work with (suppliers to the likes of Aukey, Anker, Huawei, Xiaomi and similar brands, that part of the application process to return to work includes a 14 day quarantine period for all returning workers. Given that the vast majority of workers are still in their home provinces, this means when they finally return to work to their work provinces, they will first have to be self quarantined in their living accommodation. I cannot see how March 1st is going to be a realistic date to start production. Given that every factory in the tech industry relies on a huge number of components & supply chains, this will delay the start date even more. Other industries which have a smaller reliance on supply chains will have an advantage of starting sooner.

I expect a fair percentage of workers will not return to their current jobs and this will present a labour shortage within factories and will also impact start dates and ‘normal’ production. This may be the catalyst to see robotics being employed to a greater degree within factories, which many have already started using.

My prediction below is for factories (with production lines) starting actual production with components delivered to the factory. It takes into account my conversations with factory owners over the past few days.

Start date (currently earmarked) March 1st: Unlikely due to lack of component supplies.

Start date March 15th: Possible, depending on the supply chain delivering all components.

Start date April 1st: Probable, generally a factory will allow 30 days to get in all the components.

Start date April 15th: Depends on numbers during March.

The above takes into account today’s figures and (very) slow movement of workers returning to their work place.

The above also takes into account the technology industry (to which we have our main interests and collaboration with factories). As mentioned, industries who are not reliant on a large supply chain will have higher % rates of starting earlier.

I imagine (given the sudden rise in numbers) that every country with infected patients will be stepping up their stock of medical supplies and screening practices.

It maybe time to worry a bit more, should infected numbers start to rise in UK.

Be well.

Coronavirus Update 14th February:

Officially an additional 4173 tested positive with the virus yesterday, to take the total tested and infected to 64437.

Total fatalities are recorded at 1383.

The trajectory continues in an upwards direction.

Doctors continue to be overwhelmed by the amount of people to be tested and are aware that many showing mild symptoms are not being checked.

They do not have sufficient information on how the virus spreads.
Plasma has been identified as a test source from infected patients (especially those infected and recovered), to better understand the virus. All patients who have recovered have been asked to donate Plasma for testing.

Hubei & Wuhan Governors and leading officials have been replaced. Beijing are not happy with how the virus has been handled. Read into that what you will.

There is very little movement between town to town and movement is being vigorously restricted, those needing to travel urgently must apply for a permit and fill in health records and cannot return for a period of 14 days.

Many towns have erected (substantial) road barriers to prevent cars entering and leaving.
14th February, Valentines Day (yes, even in China) and the roads and pavements in Wuhan are deserted. Imagine that in London today.

There are food shortages in provincial towns and main city supermarkets are restricting opening times. The bike couriers who normally handle take away restaurant deliveries are now focusing on supermarket deliveries, as people avoid to venture out and many restaurants have virtually shut down across China.

People here in China are gripped, not knowing when they will be allowed ‘out’ and continue with normal daily life . . . .going to the supermarket, going to restaurants, traveling without the need for police checks and self-quarantine requirements . . . . . .and getting back to work.

The affect that China is unable to start manufacturing products will have extreme consequences on all businesses reliant on Chinese products and those within the supply chain. China produces key ingredients in day to day drugs to supply the global pharmaceutical companies.

Whilst China has it’s faults, thought should be spared to the Chinese and the current predicament they find themselves in.

Let’s all hope this clears up soon.

Coronavirus Update 15th February:

Official figures: An additional 2487 tested positive with the virus yesterday, to take the total tested and infected to 66924.

Total fatalities are recorded at 1523. An increase of 140 to yesterdays total.

The trajectory continues in an upwards direction.

1767 Medical staff who have been treating the infected patients have been infected themselves, 6 have died.

Senior doctors say it’s ‘an impossible situation’ and resembles ‘a battlefield’

Chest imaging has been introduced, allowing for faster testing in addition to the lab tests which are being used.

The fact that there are more temporary hospitals being converted on a daily basis, tells you what you need to know about numbers of infected patients. It’s growing daily.

Resources including medical personnel, safety and testing equipment are still extremely limited and in short supply. This must surely be having an affect on patients able to be tested.

In Shanghai, some hospitals are closing as medical staff have been transferred to Wuhan City. This is happening across China as medical teams are being sent to 15 cities Hubei Province.

In Wuhan City alone, there are 217 medical teams from all over China with a total of 20,374 medics, not including the army. More are on the way.

Social distancing is the only way to protect the public and this is continuing throughout China. There is little movement this week of workers returning. There is little movement in towns throughout China. The travel restrictions continue.

ALL towns and cities have now received strict guidelines from Beijing: Any person arriving at their home or work/new destination, must self quarantine for 14 days. Any person not complying, will have legal action taken against them.

Given the increasing numbers of infected and fatalities, as well as the mandatory 14 day quarantine period required after travel, I cannot see how Beijing will allow factories to go back to work on March 1st. I think this is likely to be pushed back to mid March. Given the unpredictability, factory start dates will need to be assessed every 7 days.

I suspect all schools and universities to follow the above opening timelines.

I’ve spoken to some of my customers in the UK over the past couple of days and there seems to be some surprise when I describe the current situation in China. Perhaps the UK media are not reporting the severity of the situation that’s taking place in China right now.

Wuhan City 11 million on lockdown and told (ordered) not to venture out. Hubei 60 million and told (ordered) not to travel throughout the province, or to leave the province. This is being replicated to a large degree in every province in China.

I was scheduled to leave China this week for visa renewal. The police told me to stay in China, not to venture out and not worry about the visa expiring (unheard of before). There will be no fines or punishment for foreigners overstaying their visa dates during the current crisis.

It’s not possible for me to describe the current situation without readers thinking that I’m overstating what is actually happening. I can only say that people can believe what they want to believe. I am explaining the situation as I see and experience on a daily basis here in China, as well as fellow work colleagues and friends who are stuck in their home provinces describing the situation. I am in daily contact with all the factories we work with, so I receive up-to-date information without bs.

This is a human virus, not a people or country specific virus.

Be well everyone.

Coronavirus Update 16th February:

Official figures: An additional 2139 tested positive with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 69063.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 143, taking the total fatalities recorded to 1666.

The trajectory continues in an upwards direction.

The cruise ship docked in Japan has a total of 355 infected from 1279 passengers tested. An increase of 70 from yesterday. It’s important to note that only those showing early symptoms are being tested. The China government has advised that everybody on the ship to be tested.

Just to repeat yesterday’s interim update:

The incubation period has now been increased to 24 days (from 14). Given this news, it may well be that the current mandatory quarantine period of 14 days (required after traveling from city to city) is lengthened to 24 days.

300 million workers are still in their home provinces and the government has earmarked 200 million will return by end of February and the remaining 100 million during March. There will be priority given to key workers in key industries. (Not sure how they will manage that, but I’m sure they will devise a system. There are also 100 million students to return to their schools and campuses and this has been scheduled to happen during March.

There will be a daily maximum of 200,000 people allowed to travel by train to ensure ‘safer’ travel. Given all the numbers, it will take longer than one month for everyone to get back to their working locations, whether by train, bus, car, plane . . . . .

Given the above dates, I cannot see factories starting production lines before end March, as component suppliers will have to deliver before any production starts.

A further ‘makeshift hospital’ is being prepared and opened today in Wuhan.

There is no further news of any factories being allowed to open (production lines) any time soon

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There will be many issues for businesses reliant on goods from China to source alternative suppliers in the interim, which include:

1. How long will the lack of production likely to last in China?

2. How quick can ready made products be found from other countries?

3. Will ready made products from alternative suppliers be compliant to CE (and other) requirements?

4. How long will it take to sample/order/receive new stock from new suppliers?

5. Are alternative factories reliant on component parts from China?

6. Given its on average a 60 – 80 day cycle from start to finish (sampling, ordering, production, shipping) is it better to wait and either diversify to locally bought products (perhaps different product categories) or simply have empty shelves in your warehouse/shop and ride out the situation?

It will be interesting to get your thoughts on how you are preparing for the inevitable shortage of stock, if you purchase from China.

What should businesses purchasing from China do to mitigate any risks/losses during the current situation? My advice is as follows:

1. Deposits already paid (with production yet to start) should consider asking for the funds (or a portion) to be returned until confirmation of start date of production. The reason I say this is that many factories will go bankrupt, so best to safeguard your money. I understand that this may affect negatively on the supplier relationship, but best to be safe. A good supplier will understand your situation, or at least should. You may need the funds to use for alternative products / suppliers.

2. New deposits given should be subject to confirmed start dates of production of your order and this should be confirmed by notification (where feasible) given by the supply chain.

3. Any new orders given, should have clauses in the contract with discounts for any delays to production times quoted. This will encourage accurate dates are given by your suppliers. Reasonable delays should be allowed and noted within the contract. I expect many factories will struggle initially, from both financial and workforce issues.

4. Contingency plans to find alternative suppliers, whether as an interim measure, or longer term, depending on the ‘after-virus’ status of the factories currently being used.

5. Dialogue with senior management for regular updates on possible production start dates.

I’m happy to respond to any issues, which I will answer on a personal level (by PM if preferred).

For businesses who have yet to start making contingency plans, should start ASAP.

It’s vital to remember that many factories outside of China are reliant on raw materials and component parts coming from China, so this is not a ‘China only’ problem.

Be well everyone.

Coronavirus Update 17th February:

Official figures: An additional 2167 tested positive with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 71230.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 104, taking the total fatalities recorded to 1770.

The trajectory continues in an upwards direction.

To put some perspective on the above figures, it was noted by the Wuhan Mayor that only 1.3 million households have been screened to date and of those 300,000 were found to have raised temperatures and after further tests were made, those showing early symptoms were being ‘observed’. Over 30,000 patients are being treated ‘off-line’ and being given prescriptions to treat their symptoms. He noted that it is a ‘daunting situation’.

Wuhan City has a population of 11 Million. Hubei Province (Where every city and town has numerous infected patients) has a population of 70 Million.

The government have introduced a curfew starting today for the whole population of Hubei province. Exceptions are Police, Medical staff & key personnel.

All public places have been temporarily closed.

Permission must be sought before starting work.

The whole population of Hubei is now confined to staying at home.

No schools (in the whole of China) are allowed to open. Many schools have started online courses with students.

The toll is having an affect on medical teams on the front line with the chief medical officer reporting doctors and nurses suffering from anxieties, despondency and psychological illness. 2 days ago, I reported that 1767 had been infected culminating with 6 deaths. There have been no further updates available since then.

Doctors who are being interviewed are stating that ‘there is no end in sight’ but there will be no let up in the fight to contain the virus and control it’s spread.

The speed of which this virus is claiming lives (after infection) is being highlighted by nurses administering medication and watching heart rates go fro 80 to 0 in a matter of minutes, with drugs having no effect.

It has been reported that the most likely source of this virus has come from Bats. Most other animals have been ruled out.

Wuhan chief medical officer has stated that the current rate of infected likely to worsen stands at 21.6%, as at 15 February.

There has been no update on numbers infected on the cruise ship docked in Japan which had a total of 355 infected from 1279 passengers tested up to yesterday. The China government has advise everybody on the ship to be tested. Many countries with citizens on the ship are arranging for flights to take them back home. UK is still thinking about it!

One good piece of news. 1 factory (out of over 30 we work with) contacted me today to say they have started 1 production line with 30 workers. (They have 10 production lines with an average of 100 per production line). It is primarily concentrating on assembly of parts they had in stock from before CNY holidays. They are reliant on their supply chain and workers to return in order to start any serious production.

Roads in Guangzhou remain fairly deserted, perhaps 5% – 10% of normal traffic.

Businesses are supposed to start work today, many will remain closed for lack of personnel arriving, whether its because they have yet to arrive in their work locations, or are just fearful traveling on public transport.

I will update further tomorrow, but if there are any ‘major’ updates, then later during today.

Be well.

Coronavirus Update 18th February:

Official figures: An additional 2102 tested positive with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 73332.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 103, taking the total fatalities recorded to 1873.

The cruise ship docked in Japan has a total of 454 infected to date, 3200 remain on the ship. Everyone on board is being tested, irrespective of any signs of infection. This is likely to take 3 days.

The emphasis in China continues to be on containment and thats the priority. Social distancing and control measures will not be relaxed for the time being.

In Wuhan City there are door to door checks in order to note and confirm health conditions on all it’s citizens.

It is unclear if asymptomatic ‘patients’ can spread the virus. This is very worrying.

The Mayor of Wuhan, Wu Jin has said that the situation is very severe with 9700 serious cases in Wuhan City alone.

He continued to say that Wuhan today had received a delivery of 33 thousand testing kits and 3 million masks, however this is still way short of what is required.

Only 1 person (per household) is allowed to go out once every 3 days, for food shopping only.

In Guangzhou, all apartment and office buildings have one restricted entrance in order to monitor temperature on entry. All sit down restaurants remain closed ) a very limited amount offering take away services only. Coffee shops (Starbucks) are allowed to open for take away only. Bars are closed. There is very little activity on the streets, 5% – 10% of normal volume.

It’s mandatory for everyone to wear a mask when going outside.

Given the low volume of people in the streets, it’s difficult to see factories with production lines being able to manufacture anything that resembles normality for some time. The barometer will be the amount of activity in the streets to confirm confidence has returned to (anything resembling) normality and this will reflect on working/factory personnel returning to their workplaces.

I’m trying to keep the posts as brief as possible and to focus on the main points of infected/fatalities, living/movement conditions and factory production. (Admin staff returning is not the same as production lines employees).

If any readers require specific information, I’ll be happy to oblige (where possible).

Be well everyone.

Update: The president of Wuhan Main Hospital has died this morning after being infected.

Coronavirus Update 19th February:

Official figures: An additional 1829 tested positive with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 75161.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 135, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2008.

The cruise ship docked in Japan has a total of 542 infected up to yesterday. 6 British citizens are said to be infected and will stay in Japan for the time being. There are approximately 60 UK passengers on the ship.

The trajectory continues to rise.

CT scans are being introduced to speed up tests, taking 3 minutes per test, so more patients can be tested.

More temporary hospitals are being prepared in Wuhan City to allow for more patients to be treated.

China Official: Fighting a battle between containing the virus and ensuring economic growth. Production to be allowed to start after stringent and adequate precautions have been implemented including 14 days quarantine for any returning migrant workers.

Container ships are leaving with approximately 10% of normal quantity of containers on board.

Factory updates (based on who we use):

1 has started a small production line with 30 workers, normally 10 production lines with 100-200 per line. They’re assembling components which they had in stock.

1 has started a production line with 50 workers, normally 6 production lines with 100 per line. Same as above, they are assembling components which they had in stock and components they manufacture themselves.

8 have responded that they hope to start within the next 2 weeks, but hardly any workers have arrived yet.

6 have responded saying they hope to start some time in March, depending on when their production line workers arrive back.

4 have said that they do not know yet and only 10% of workers have arrived so far.

Over 10 have not responded yet.

As mentioned previously, anything to do with products which rely on a large supply chain, I cannot see them getting to anywhere near normal production until at least mid March at the earliest.

Apple has started to move production to Taiwan, where Foxconn are located.

The German motor industry will be impacted as they rely on component parts from China, Wuhan being a major city for car component parts and where many German collaboration factories exist.

The lack of China international tourists (150 million per year) will impact global economies, especially airlines, hotels and international luxury brands. The Chinese are the biggest spenders abroad ( $200 billion) for luxury products.

Russia the latest country to ban Chinese citizens.

Chinese students not allowed to return to their campuses in UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, will also impact on those economies.

Every factory will give you different information and you can believe what you want to believe. My advice is to get shipment dates and penalty clauses within contracts and carry out additional due diligence. It’s inevitable that there will be delays within component supply chains.

Be well.

Coronavirus Update 20th February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 501 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 75662.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 117, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2125.

The population of Wuhan City are not allowed to leave their homes. Most of Hubei Province are not allowed to travel.

All other provinces are being allowed restricted travel, with guidelines to observe. Many are choosing not to travel until the situation improves.

The migrant workers (which virtually all factory production lines rely on) are trickling back. The figure is still put at approximately 25% – 30% returned. When returning they must self quarantine for 14 days.

Generally, factories cannot start normal production until their supply chains have returned, started to manufacture and delivered the component parts to the factories that require them. This on top of all their production line workers returning to work, which will still take some time, based on the amount of workers still to arrive.

Guangzhou is still at about 10% (I’m being generous) of normal activity in the streets. Hardly any shops open (5% at most). All markets remain closed.

Global Sources are likely to announce the cancellation of their Hong Kong shows for this April.(With a possible ‘new date’ for this July). HKTDC are likely to follow suit with cancelling their shows in April.

Further update tomorrow.

Coronavirus Update 21st February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 552 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 76214.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 122, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2247.

It should be noted that all efforts from the China government are being concentrated on Wuhan City and Hubei Province. This includes priority for medical personnel, testing equipment, protective clothing, gloves, masks etc etc. Other provinces will have to find their own resources.

How effective is/will the screening and testing process be in all the other provinces when all migrant workers and residents return, given the lack of testing equipment?

Will those testing positive be added to the ‘official’ figures?

The concern must be whether all citizens are reporting early or very mild symptoms to the authorities for fear of being sent to a ‘containment hospital’ (and probably greater chance of infection).

Beijing are conscious of balancing the containment of the virus with the effect this will have on the economy. This may lead to some guidelines (on a national level) being tilted in favour of trying to revive the economy earlier.

Wuhan City residents, apart from not being allowed out of their homes, have now been told that individual trips to the supermarket to buy food is prohibited. Instead there will now be ‘group buying’ where community leaders purchase the food and deliver to the apartment blocks on a weekly basis. 1 member per household comes down, has their temperature checked and allowed to collect the food. All packages are disinfected before collection. All supermarkets have been advised (ordered) not to sell to individual customers.

Wuhan City residents have been advised that the lockdown will continue to at least March 11th at the earliest.

Hubei Province will be on lockdown for the same duration.

Streets and public spaces are being sprayed with disinfectant using sprinkler trucks as well as drones.

A new outbreak has been identified in South Korea in the city of Daegu. 52 new cases have been identified with the virus, most had attended a mass (of about 1000 people) and believed to have been infected by one of the attendees who had the virus. Authorities are looking to test the entire congregation.

Schools & Universities which were scheduled to return on March 1st, have not had this date confirmed. This is likely to be extended.

The global supply chain will start to feel the effect in the next week, if they haven’t already and will likely last 1-2 months.

Further update tomorrow.

Be well.

Coronavirus Update 22nd February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 1677 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 77891.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 113, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2360.

There continues to be a shortage of medics, testing equipment and medical supplies (masks, gloves, goggles). More medics are arriving daily from all parts of China.

A further 15 temporary hospitals are being prepared to increase the beds available to treat patients to over 30,000 beds.

All residents in Wuhan have to rely on general food shopping to be delivered. They are not allowed to go to the supermarket to buy their own groceries. Mainly, this is to ensure there is enough produce to supply all the residents.

Imagine London being completely shut off from the rest of the country (and the world), all roads blocked, all residents confined to their houses, no cars on the roads (except medics, police and food/utilities) no-one working at all, cannot go out to do basic food shopping and restricted to what food will be delivered to your door. This is Wuhan City today, has been for some time and will continue until at least March 11th.

The whole of Hubei Province (same population as the UK) is in a similar situation as above, albeit with restricted movements in some cities.

Guangzhou remains at approximately 10% activity.

News bulletins are portraying that China is getting back to ‘normal’. I can’t see it.

The only factories that have started production (anything of note) are those that are supplying products needed for the current situation (medical supplies, hospital equipment, disinfectant of all kinds . . . .). Other factories, workers are trickling back, but no sign of any meaningful production, certainly not in the Guangdong region.

I am in daily updates with all the factories we work with and only 2 have started minimal production, using the components they had in stock from before CNY holidays.

Total global numbers of those infected with the virus is growing.

S. Korea infected numbers have risen by 87 today alone to take the total to over 500. The government has restricted large gatherings.

Italy has reported its first death and restricted large gatherings in some cities and towns.

Iran has reported a large spike in infected cases.

In Ukraine riots have taken place yesterday after the government repatriated it’s citizens that were living in Wuhan province.

Chinese tourists will not be traveling for some time impacting on the global economy. They account for approximately 12% of global spending.

Will update further tomorrow.

Be well.

Coronavirus Update 23rd February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 733 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 78624.

Total fatalities yesterday were recorded at 99, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2459.

The only way of containing the virus is to stop human interaction and this is what the Hubei government are doing, especially isolating major cities including Wuhan City. It is impossible for residents to leave their homes. Police are guarding entry/exit dates to ensure no-one leaves. This could not happen in any ‘western’ city.

There continues to be talk on China News that the situation is improving. This is not the case. There continues to be fear mixing in confined public spaces and this is only done if it’s absolutely needed to go out.

Global infections continue to rise especially in S. Korea (4 dead, daily growth of infected), Italy (In Lombardy – Shops, offices and schools are closed) and Iran (6 dead, multiple infected) with more deaths reported yesterday as well as cancellation of large gatherings in towns and cities where infections have been recorded.

There will be a growing demand for travel bans between countries where infections are starting to grow and this is being felt in S. Korea with some countries banning some S. Korean travel. S. Korea are considering a full ban on all China travel with officials saying the situation is very grave.

Airlines and Hotel groups (and generally any business relying on tourism) will report huge losses for Q1 & into Q2 and this is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be a huge impact on the global economy with very few countries immune to China coming to a standstill with regards to production output, international spending, as well as very little internal spending.

Businesses trying to switch to alternative countries for supply, will also have problems as many global factories rely on China for their component parts. Moving production to nearby countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia & Myanmar (where many factories are owned and managed by Japanese & Chinese companies) takes time and many Chinese companies have been doing this in the past two years to avoid trade tariffs, especially with USA. These factories will also need to rely on China components as well as in some cases China management.

My view on all the figures being reported is that they are very much understated in provinces other than Hubei, for several reasons. The uppermost being that the China government cannot afford for fear and panic to spread to a higher degree than what it is, as this will mean implementing ‘Wuhan’ style measures in main cities in other provinces. Other reasons include the public not notifying authorities of any symptoms that maybe related to the virus, a lack of testing to the same degree as in Wuhan City & Hubei Province, as well as most cities have yet to have the ‘return’ of their migrant working population, in some cases 70% of their residents.

The concern must be if a secondary outbreak occurs when all return travellers embark on their journey back which will be completed in the next 2-3 weeks. An estimated 400 million people are still to complete their travel and this is likely to have some effect, especially as we’ve seen in the past few days in some countries, where one person can transmit the virus to many.

How will China report a (possible) secondary outbreak?

I’ll post another update tomorrow.

Stay safe and be well.

Coronavirus Update 24th February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 528 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 79152.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 11, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2470.

I’m beginning to suspect the latest figures. The same department said that there were 0 new infected cases in Guangdong Province. I find that very hard to believe.

Meanwhile Globally . . . . .

S. Korea seem to be the hardest hit with a total of 763 infected cases. 60% attributed to one meeting of a religious sect of which 9000 members have been quarantined. A further 28,000 suspected cases that will be tested. A flight arriving from S Korea in Israel was not allowed to disembark. The plane was sent back after allowing 11 Israeli citizens to disembark into waiting ambulances.

Italy have had a steep spike in infected, 155 to-date and 3 deaths.. 11 towns in Lombardy have closed schools and public spaces and advised businesses to stay closed affecting 50,000 people. Towns in Veneto have restrictions, Venice Carnival has been closed. Milan has restrictions. 4 Serie A football matches were called off.

UK has only 13 reported cases to-date, but there seems to be a growing concern that this will increase. 4 UK passengers from the cruise ship docked in Japan were sent to Arrowe Park Hospital in Liverpool for quarantine. This is having a concerned affect on the local public. 3 police in Staffordshire are staying at home with fear that they interviewed someone who tested positive. Bicester village (which usually has coach loads of Chinese tourists) is now fairly empty. It seems that locations which are visited by Chinese people are being avoided as this virus spreads throughout other countries.

Heathrow airport still not taking people’s temperature as a precaution.

Iran has also seen a spike and today Pakistan & Turkey have closed borders with Iran.

Beijing have said that they are looking at key industries and allowing those to open first taking into account supply chains connected with each industry. This will still take some time as there is still only a minimal (20% average) amount of workers arrived back to work.

Officially, It’s estimated that 30% of SME’s have returned to work.

Guangzhou is till at 10% activity in the streets, but traffic has increased slightly.

Most factories I’ve spoken with, estimate to resume ‘some time’ in March.

Schools in China are supposed to be returning on March 1st. I can’t see this will happen.

I’ll update further tomorrow.

Let’s hope there are no increases in all the countries mentioned above.

Be well and stay safe.

(Buy a mask)

Coronavirus Update 25th February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 994 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 80146.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 229, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2699.

The trajectory continues to rise (irrespective of the figures coming out of Beijing – who are now trying to limit the impact on it’s economy and I believe their figures are at the lowest possible range with likely numbers being far greater). The figures reported are only those tested. All other provinces, other than Hubei, simply do not have the medics, testing equipment or experience to do anywhere near the required testing. Most of the public will be untested and concealing symptoms for fear of being sent to confined hospitals with other infected patients.

The China public are aware that this virus can be spread without a person showing any symptoms and this is what’s causing fear going to public spaces.

Wuhan City has backtracked from their containment of all citizens. (Not easy containing millions of Chinese in their apartments with limited food and no exercise!) They are now allowing non-residents (only) to leave, albeit within a 2 hour window once a day. 17,000 volunteer workers have been delivering food, medicines and disinfectant to residents in Wuhan.

Medics continue to be on the front line and this is causing serious mental health amongst many doctors and nurses. It should be noted that there have been no further official updates for medics being infected or dead. The last update was on 15th February, showing 1767 infected with 6 deaths. One can only imagine how the figures will have increased in the past 10 days.

Beijing has cancelled its yearly ‘Annual Session’. This is a huge date in the Chinese calendar, where Beijing outlines its targets for the next year.

There is now a ban on wildlife trade including in food markets.

The effect globally is also rising dramatically.

S. Korea has 893 infected, up 130 from yesterday. They are reporting the shares decline in the economy for 5 years. Many factories are running out of component parts (from China) so will have to stop producing. In infected cities and towns, people are choosing to stay indoors. There are now travel restrictions (in and out) in S. Korea. There is no news with infected numbers in N. Korea. (Not that they can be relied upon).

Italy (Lomabardy & Veneto) has 229 infected, up 74 from yesterday (7 deaths). Some towns, including the town of Codogno have come to a standstill with little activity in the streets. Supermarkets are being emptied in some towns (Italians love their food!). There are military police at road checkpoints. Some towns looking to administer a 14 day containment period where infections have been reported. Italy are taking it seriously, as they should.

Iran has a reported 64 infected (12 deaths) although these figures are questionable with some city officials saying the number is far greater. In Qom, a legislator has said there are over 50 deaths in his city alone attributed to the virus. He suspects the true figures are being covered up. I would not rely on any official figures coming out of Tehran. Schools have been closed and public gatherings are to be restricted. All bordering countries have now closed their borders. Airlines are increasingly cancelling flights, in and out.

USA has 53 reported cases, up from yesterdays total of 35.

Global shares plummet with the spread of the virus throughout other continents.

EU commissioner said countries need to prepare now. Countries with infected patients should act with speed and not be complacent.

W.H.O said yesterday that the growing infected numbers outside of China is very worrying and that given that there is no immunisation against the virus, you can only try to treat the symptoms.

Factory production: There are 3 main hurdles for factories to restart full production. 1. Local authority permits. 2. Supply chain components. 3. Workers.

Factories unable to start for lack of workers are now trying to source local workers (who will not need to adhere to the mandatory 14 day quarantine period) as replacements to workers unable to return. This will cause price increases as well as further delays (staff need training).

Global Sources have yet to announce the cancellation of their April fairs in Hong Kong. HKTDC have officially cancelled, with new dates set for end July. I have been reliably informed that Global Sources are also looking for similar dates, although they are gauging exhibitors response to the close proximity to the October dates.

Has the world become too reliant on one country?

Perhaps this is a wake up call.

I will update again tomorrow.

Be safe and well.

Coronavirus Update 26th February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 859 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 81005.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 63, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2762.

Wuhan: 1900 in critical condition. 30% chance of coming out alive. Reports yesterday that a 29 year old medic died after being infected after treating a patient. To date 20 medics reported to have died from being infected from treating patients.

Factories: Officials have stated that larger orders will probably be first in the pecking order of production starting. Some factories have arranged transport to get their workers back to the factories. factories may be opening, but no meaningful production will be taking place for at least two weeks (exception being key industries) for all supply chains to get back and start producing. I estimate a 2 month gap of no products from the date they should have started to resume after CNY. Sales staff will tell you that everything is OK and they are back in production. Believe what you want to believe. Every industry will be different. For consumer electronics, there will be little to no production.

Globally . . . . .

UK: Anxiety is beginning to set in to the UK, as it should at this stage and an attitude of preparedness should be taken. Heathrow still not taking temperatures from inbound passengers as a precautionary measure and first line of checks to see who may be showing symptoms. A serious misunderstanding of the situation! Health secretary Matt Hancock is said to be very worried and UK is preparing for the inevitable spike in infected numbers. Schools are being closed in some areas where students have gone to countries during half term where infections have been identified. Factories in UK are now beginning to feel the pinch with regards to the components being in short supply (non existent from China) whilst China is not producing. Allowing for shipping times, they are likely to be short for approximately 2 months. Sourcing components elsewhere (where possible) should have already been implemented. The warning was there for all to see by the end of January.

S Korea: 1146 infected, 12 deaths. The government are to take maximum quarantine steps in the SE of the country. Raised alert level to red, schools will not open this week. Secondary infections from unknown people. Some international events have been cancelled

Japan: 852 Infected, 7 deaths. Events being cancelled.

Italy: 323 cases, 11 deaths. Southern Italy has reported new cases. Quarantine and travel bans in the towns where there are infections. Schools will remain closed in infected towns. A meeting scheduled between Italian & French Presidents due to be held in Naples was cancelled due to the virus.

Iran: 95 cases 16 deaths. national crisis. The Deputy Health Minister has contracted the virus and is under quarantine. He was seen sweating and coughing on a national TV appearance. 11 provinces affected, 950 suspected cases. Neighbouring countries including Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Oman all infected with rising numbers.

Hong Kong: 85 infected, 2 deaths have announced that all schools will be closed until at least April 20.

USA: CDC (Central Disease Control) based in Atlanta, have said that the country should brace itself for ‘severe disruption’ to daily life as the numbers of infected starts inevitably starts to rise. DJI plunged 2000 points in 2 sessions. Q1 (and possibly the whole year) will be dented.

Singapore: 91 infected cases, has banned flights from 2 S Korea cities as well as banning people that have visited the 2 cities with the largest outbreaks.

Tenerife: A hotel is under quarantine after an Italian doctor staying there has been confirmed to have the virus. Authorities are trying to contact all people he was in contact with. All hotels and hospitals on the island are being made aware and to take extra precautions.

Croatia & Switzerland are the latest European countries to confirm infections.

W.H.O: No clear link to the cause of infection, or to the original outbreak. Officials told countries to prepare beds, medics. Unsure if it can be contained. Readiness and rapid response needed. Pandemic no longer seen as a far off possibility.

Time to take precautions.

I’ll update further tomorrow.

Be well and stay safe.

Coronavirus Update 27th February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 1159 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 82164.

Total fatalities yesterday alone were recorded at 39, taking the total fatalities recorded to 2801.

China: Car Industry down 92%. ‘Two Sessions’ meeting cancelled (China’s largest political event with top politicians & legislators). GZ Chief Health Officer: Zhong Nanshan (China’s leading Epidemiologist) believes that patients who develop sufficient IgG antibodies will not be affected again, although this still needs monitoring. They do not have sufficient information to know what specific drugs to use and are still experimenting and observing reactions. Mortality rate is about 60% with a severe condition. Unsure of all the virus characteristics. Expects the virus in China to be controlled by end April.

Globally: Reported Infections now on every continent . . . . . . . .except Antarctica!. 48 countries reporting infections so far. Many countries are not doing any testing with some countries just asking questions to incoming passengers (Relying on answers if they have been to any of the infected countries). Greece & Macedonia the latest European countries reporting infections.

S Korea: 1595 infected, 13 deaths. 17 countries have imposed bans on S Korea visiting their countries.

Japan: 894 infected, 7 deaths (including the cruise ship). NIKKEI hit 4 month closing low. The government have said people can work from home. There is no intention (at the moment) of cancelling the Olympics.

Italy: 453 confirmed cases, 12 deaths. Former Director of the Italian Treasury said that the impact of the virus will likely put Italy into recession.

Iran: 139 infected, 19 dead. Bans public gatherings. Travel to 9 countries stopped.

USA: 60 infected cases reported. CDC say an increase is inevitable. (Trump disagrees!)

Hong Kong: 91 infected, 2 deaths. Civil servants to be allowed to return to work from next Monday after an extended CNY break. I imagine most will work from home.

Africa: Now reporting infections in Algeria & Egypt.

Brazil: Fist case noted in South America. The infected patient is connected to the Italian outbreak.

W.H.O: The world is ‘simply not ready’ for a Pandemic. Average age of the patients in China is 51. It needs a global effort to contain and combat the virus.

I’ll update again tomorrow.

Be safe and well.

Coronavirus Update 28th February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 1225 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 83389.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 57, taking the total deaths recorded to 2858.

China: Wuhan City has 40,000 beds available for infected patients with a further 70,000 beds for quarantined ‘patients’.There is talk that the virus may not have been started in China (What???). A documentary (‘The Lockdown’) has been released recording the past month in Wuhan City. It is eerily like any ‘Contagion’ type film you have seen, but worse. ICU chief nurse said ‘I have never seen such high mortality rates. Mental health is taking it’s toll on both the front line as well as the local population who have been confined for over a month. Guangzhou is slowly increasing with regards to traffic on the roads, approximately 30-40% of normal, while public in the streets remain at about 20% of normal activity. Masks are not being freely sold in shops. You have to register online, then collect from the local pharmacy, showing ID. Geely (One of the big car manufacturers) are offering online ‘contactless’ car purchasing to try to stimulate the auto industry which is currently at a virtual standstill.( I presume there must be a money back guarantee when you eventually take delivery and don’t like it!). Beijing introducing ‘Customised Safety Buses’ which are disinfected very hour and does not allow seating together.

Globally: 56 countries now reporting infections. IMF likely to reduce the global growth aspect for this year. Spring session may be cancelled. Oil prices fall to their lowest this year. The fashion industry is being impacted with international shows being impacted, especially in Milan and Paris. Expecting losses of $40 million. Conferences and exhibitions being cancelled globally. World stocks set for worst week since 2008.

S Korea: 2022 infected, 13 deaths. An increase of 427 infected since yesterday.Seoul is closing many tourist sites. Business sentiment is slumping. Factories are closing due to the dependence on the global supply chain, mainly from China. Estimated 78000 jobs could be affected within the tourism industry alone, should the situation continue for much longer. Outlook growth figures have been decreased from 2.3% from 2.1%.

Italy: 655 confirmed infected, 17 deaths.Confusion that testing should only being carried out on patients showing clear symptoms.Milan has slowed down. Officials stating that the lack of China tourists and general spending will hurt the economy badly. The Pope cancelled a meeting with Roman clergy due to ‘slight indisposition’.

Iran: 270 infected, 26 deaths.

Japan: 214 confirmed cases, 4 deaths (not including the cruise ship figures). Closing schools until ‘early April’. Government encouraging workers to work from home, some companies are not happy with this. Infected patients from the cruise ship being treated in Japan, but this is causing concern amongst local public. The Olympics is again a topic for discussion with an IOC chief saying that they will wait until May as the deadline to assess the situation before cancelling the Olympics. Government being criticised for taking measures too late.

Hong Kong: 93 infected, 2 deaths. Finds infections in pet dogs.

Singapore: 93 infected, no deaths reported.

USA: 60 infected.First case of a patient who has not previously visited a country with infected people. No known connections. US Public Health officials warn the virus will spread. Dow Jones & SNP500 & NASDAQ have had their biggest daily losses since the financial crisis in 2008, falling up to 10% during the day. Banks, financials, energy, travel, oil and government bonds all affected. US likely to impose further travel bans where outbreaks are occurring. Lifting sanctions on Iran to allow medical and humanitarian aid in to the country.

Germany: 19 new cases reported yesterday taking the total infected to 48.

UK: 16 reported infections. (BBC say 15). 30 schools including Burbage Primary School in Derbyshire have been closed until Monday. The hotel in Tenerife wants all guests to be repatriated immediately. However airlines are not keen to transport them until after they have finished their 14 day quarantine period. £152 Billion wiped off of the FTSE in the last 4 days.

S Arabia: No reported infections. Closing holy sites including Mecca & Medina to all foreign pilgrims, where millions visit during the holy months.

Factories: Most factories I have spoken with are looking to ‘open’ within 2 weeks. They do not know when there will be ‘normal’ production as they are all reliant on their supply chains as well as all workers returning (currently at max 50%). Sales staff have been told (ordered) to say that everything is fine and orders are being produced as of this week. Believe what you want to believe. It’s not happening in mainstream factories.

Your feedback: I would be interested to know from readers/members of UKBF who are buying from China (direct from bona fide factories), if you have received confirmed shipment dates for new orders. (Rather than the usual sales staff saying, ‘we are in production’, ‘everything is back to normal’. . . . . .). This will add further information to get a wider picture of the current situation.

I’ll update further tomorrow.

Be safe and well.

Coronavirus Update 29th February:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 1792 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 85181.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 62, taking the total deaths recorded to 2920.

China: China’s Top Health Official: Battle remains grim & complex’. Wuhan City: Reports that up to 14% of infected patients were re-infected, this is being checked. Wuhan City official – current severe cases 22%, Fatality rate 4.4%. Shopping malls (which are now deserted) are being proactive on promoting online sales via phone apps, as shoppers shun the malls. Hubei Province: Colour codes now being introduced (Green, Orange, Red) in order to prepare the public to ease into ‘normal life’. Green means allowed to leave apartments and travel within the province, albeit with restrictions, Orange means stay inside. Red means isolated quarantine. Tencent (China tech giant) has developed an APP where you can take your temperature and show to the guards (currently mandatory in all public buildings) to allow entry into the office/factory/restaurant/shopping mall. Guangzhou street activity the same as past few days, people are avoiding to venture outside unless necessary.

Globally: 60 countries now reported to have infections. Many Chinese retail community areas and businesses are being avoided as well as tourist areas.

S Korea: 2931 infected (up 909 from yesterday), 13 deaths. Struggling to cope with rising numbers and the effect on the economy. Factories slowing down as components are in short supply.

Italy: 899 infected (up 184 from yesterday), 21 deaths (up 4 from yesterday). prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte saying there is an unjustified reaction which is affecting normal life. 11 towns still in lockdown accept supermarkets, pharmacies and post offices. Italy’s neighbour, Switzerland has banned all public events with more than 1,000 people for at least 2 weeks, including the Geneva International Motor Show. Some airlines are suspending flights to and from Bologna and Milan.

Iran: 388 infected, 34 deaths. Vice president (1 of 7 officials) infected. Banned Friday prayers yesterday. Authorities ordered to close schools.

Japan: 234 infected, 5 deaths (not including the cruise ship). Economists say it’s heading for recession (world’s 3rd largest economy). Hokkaido declares a ‘state of emergency’ and requires 3 weeks isolation in some areas. Schools nationwide ordered to close. Sporting events cancelled, Tokyo marathon restricted to elite runners only.

USA: 64 infected, no deaths. Stocks nosedive. Worst month since 2008. FDA confirms shortage of drugs starting to happen (those being manufactured in China), they have not disclosed details of the drugs.

UK: 20 infected, 1 death (UK citizen in Japan from the cruise ship). Chief Medical Officer: Schools may have to close for 2 months. Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney: UK should prepare itself for a market downgrade. John Osborne: Ministers should go on a ‘war footing’. FTSE down 210 Billion since the start of this week. British Airways down 20%. Tourist sites have been hit during this half-term, many being avoided. A GP in Surrey is being tested of fear of having the virus, has treated scores of patients before falling ill. Public Health England: Risk raised from Low to Moderate. Returning travellers to England: ‘Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital’ if you think you have symptoms. Call 111 or check the 111 online service. Health chiefs drawing up a “battle plan”, which will say that hospital operations could be cancelled, and treatment restricted, in order to contain the spread of the virus.

Abu Dhabl: 2 Hotels on lockdown after 2 Italians were tested positive for the virus.

Israel: Reports claimed to be close to a vaccination which could be ready within months.

World Sports: In Italy, football games being played behind closed doors in order to avoid mass movement of fans travelling. 6 Nations Rugby fixtures postponed including Ireland v Italy. Other games involving Italy are in doubt. Newcastle United have banned shaking hands at the raining ground. F1 Shanghai cancelled, other races in doubt. China Super league (football) due to have started Feb 22, delayed until further notice. Many sporting events in the Far East scheduled for March & April have been cancelled. Olympics likely to be put under pressure as more and more countries ban large gatherings. Eurosport (who have the rights to the Olympic games) are said to be checking their insurance.

W.H.O: The window of opportunity to contain and preventing an epidemic is closing. Anyone and everyone can be infected. Cases outside of China the biggest concern now.

Factories: Waiting for workers and supply chains to start. Any production is minimal and is based on components left over from before CNY closures. Most sales staff in factories still saying that China has ‘conquered the virus’ and everything is fine and back to normal (!!).

A further update tomorrow.

Stay safe and well.

Coronavirus Update March 1st:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 1802 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 86983.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 58, taking the total deaths recorded to 2978.

China schools were due back today (from the original date of 10 Feb). Zero chance of that happening. Students are being given online work to do at home. I expect that the delay for primary school children will not be before April. Universities and Secondary schools may be back sooner. This will depend on infected numbers in the next two weeks.

I am sceptical on current figures coming out of China for infected numbers outside of Hubei Province.

I wouldn’t rule out a secondary outbreak in China when all migrant workers return to work and start mingling with the local population. (I’m not being pessimistic)

Guangzhou street activity – people 10%, vehicles 30%.

Factories no further updates.

Globally:

South Korea showing the biggest daily increase of infected. Total infected increases to 3526.

Italy infected increases to 1128.

Iran infected increases to 593. Kissing their shrines (everybody in the same spot) doesn’t help. Nazanin-Zhagari Ratcliffe may have contracted the virus, according to reports by her husband.

Germany infected increases to 79. International Trade fair cancelled.

France Infected increases to 100. banning any events with over 5000 people.

USA infected increases to 71, has reported it’s first death.

UK 23 infected. Heathrow & Gatwick still not taking ANY precautions.

Many people will start relying on supermarket deliveries, rather than going and mingling with people coughing etc etc. (In Wuhan City, they don’t have the choice – all food gets delivered to every resident. (Who needs Ocado – probably more efficient as well).

Jaguar-Land Rover (UK’s biggest car manufacturer) report running our of component parts from China, so production will slow. They are sending parts from China in suitcases in a bid to keep production going. JCB have already restricted working days due to lack of parts.

John Ashton (Public Health Director) who has gone to Bahrain to help with the Coronavirus said there may be ‘gross under-reporting’ of the figures infected.

UK has currently 4000 ICU beds. Lets hope they are not needed.

More sporting events being cancelled every day.

The Global stock market slump in the last few days is equal to the whole of Japan’s GDP ($6 trillion in market value).

Global Aviation and tourism related businesses will struggle for next 2 months. Some pilots (United Airlines) told to take a month off.

Buy disinfectant and keep a packet of sterilising wipes (must contain at least 60% alcohol to have any affect on the virus) in your bag/briefcase/rucksack.

I’ll update further tomorrow.

Stay safe and keep well.

Coronavirus Update March 2nd:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 2089 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 89072.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 66, taking the total deaths recorded to 3044.

China: Wuhan City – reliable reports that apartment blocks have alarms installed and triggered if front door is open. A police response happens immediately. (Make your own assumptions).

The narrative on China News is that they have conquered the virus, all number are coming down with ‘record’ lows of infections & deaths. Emphasis on growing number of infections and deaths outside of China. (Meanwhile the population in Wuhan City are effectively held prisoner.)

Schools across China have not started and they won’t for some time.Many schools rolling out online lessons to primary and secondary schools, 6 x 30 minute lessons per day.

Mask production has increased to 110 million per day (enough for China as well as sending to ‘highly’ infected countries if requested). N95 masks are at 1.66 million per day. Sale of masks is restricted across China.

Daily updates of ‘Do’s & Dont’s’ being sent to all mobile phones.

Factories reporting cost increases across the supply chain.

S Korea: 4212 infected, 22 deaths. Soeul Mayor reportedly sueing the leaders of the Shincheonji religious sect who have been accused of spreading the virus in the city.

Italy: 1694 infected, 34 deaths. Churches closed in infected towns. Sports events cancelled. Venice is reportedly like a ‘ghost town’. Pope Francis was shown on TV repeatedly coughing during yesterday’s Sunday sermon and has cancelled a 6 day religious meeting to Southern Italy.

Iran: 978 infected, 54 deaths. Kissing their shrines on the same spot doesn’t help.

Japan: 256 infected, 6 deaths (not including the cruise ship). Increasing talk of Olympic games being in danger of cancellation.

Germany: 130 infected (doubled in one day), no reported deaths. Supermarket chains (Including Lidl) report ‘increased’ buying of long-lasting and canned foods.

France: 130 infected, 2 deaths. The Louvre closed due to staff concerns. Marathon cancelled. Gatherings over 5000 banned.

Hong Kong: 98 infected, 2 deaths.Schools delayed opening until April 24th.

USA: 86 infected, reported it’s second death. Trump says ‘no need for panic at all’.

UK: 36 reported infections. All countries within the UK have now reported infections.

My take on the current situation: People should wear masks in public if they have flu like symptoms. I can see this being a ‘normal’ requirement in years (or months) to come. Currently in China, you cannot enter any building (office, shopping mall, bank, restaurant, factory, etc etc without wearing a face mask). There is a guard outside every building.

What’s your current level of concern?:

1. Not concerned at all

2. Concerned

3. Worried

I’ll update further tomorrow.

Keep safe and well.

Coronavirus Update March 3rd:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 1864 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 90936.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 73, taking the total deaths recorded to 3117.

China: Narrative continuing with infected figures down in every province and the rest of the world is seeing increases.(Implying that it is no longer a solely Chinese virus). Continued talk that most factories are now open (but the majority aren’t producing!!). They are looking to give the world a sense that China is back to normal. (This will take 6 months and there will be many business casualties).

Many factories who are reliant on their supply chain factories are struggling to get back to production. Workers still struggling to get back. Talk increasing of component supply shortage and price increases inevitable. Shipment dates are not reliable.

Globally: More exhibitions and events being cancelled daily for dates into April.

S Korea: 4812 infected (up 600 from yesterday), 28 deaths.

Italy: 2036 infected (up 342 from yesterday), 52 deaths. Most major tourist sites hit.

Iran: 1501 infected (up 523 from yesterday), 66 deaths. An advisor to the Supreme Leader has reportedly died of the virus.

Japan: 274 infected, 6 deaths. (Not including the cruise ship).

France: 191 infected (up 61 from yesterday), 3 deaths.

Germany: 165 infected (up 35 from yesterday), no deaths reported.

Spain: 120 infected, no deaths reported.

USA: 102 infected, 6 deaths.

UK: 39 infected. Basic equipment and hand sanitisers reportedly sold out in many shops.

European numbers rising steadily in virtually every country and will be interesting to note the preventive/containment actions taken by each country.

I’ll update further tomorrow.

Keep safe and well.

Coronavirus Update March 4th:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 2222 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 93158.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 81, taking the total deaths recorded to 3198.

China: Saying that they have found 75 cases ‘IMPORTED’ into China from overseas travelers. Again implying that this is not a ‘China’ virus and that China is now suffering from travelers bringing the virus into China (Italians arriving into Hangzhou among other cities). Every ‘main spreader’ outside of China had connections to China. Make up your own minds.

Factories: Slow progress.

S Korea: Infected total 5328, 28 deaths. Categorising each patient after a full analysis and treating higher category patients in hospitals with ICU’s. Carrying out 7500 tests per day. Still a backlog. Looking at alternative testing equipment to speed up results after testing.

Italy: 2502 infected, 79 deaths. Highest death rate outside of China.

Iran: 2336 infected, 77 deaths. Still kissing their shrines.

Japan: 293 infected, 6 deaths. Say Olympics will definitely go ahead. I’m not so sure.

France: 212 infected, 4 deaths.

Germany: 203 infected, no deaths reported.

Spain: 165 infected, first death reported.

USA: 125 infected, 8 deaths.

UK: 51 infected. Given that test results are taking an average of 3 days, the 51 have been allowed to mingle with family, workers and public. Chair of BMA, Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the Covid-19 virus has increased infectious potential and can penetrate cells. Mortality running at about 3% (Flu average is 0.1%) and carries a much greater threat for high risk category patients. There has to be preventive measures to contain the virus.

Are any UK airports taking any measures?

I’ll further update tomorrow.

Stay safe and keep well.

Coronavirus Update March 5th:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 2258 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 95416.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 87, taking the total deaths recorded to 3285.

China: Figures still going up. They claim they have conquered the virus and everything is now back to normal. ONE new infection in the whole of Eastern China. (Believe that?)

Factories still reporting 30-50% of workers returned, most still waiting for supply chains to start, hopefully by mid March. Guangzhou approximately 60% back to ‘normal’.

Far East: S Korea still leads the way of highest infected figures. The head of the Church that was accused of spreading the virus in Deagu City was tested and found not to have the virus.

Middle East: Iran still leads the way with most infections and deaths. Leaders and government officials infected.

Africa: Figures going up. Do they have sufficient testing equipment in all countries?

Americas: Figures going up. USA now 159 infected, 11 deaths. Trump says everything is fine.

Europe: Italy still with highest numbers with 3089 infected and (worryingly) 97 deaths. Closed all schools and universities. Other countries report increased infected figures.

UK: 85 infected. Still no signs of temperature checking/preparedness WHATSOEVER at any of the major airports. A DISGRACE! Boris and his advice to ‘Sing Happy Birthday twice’ to wash your hands correctly, is about as much of a ‘preparedness’ situation we will get at the moment in UK
.

Countries lagging behind in ‘getting prepared’ will eventually follow the methods employed by China (I don’t mean closing whole cities), S Korea & Italy.

Governments are now looking to ban exports of medical equipment which are needed to protect their own population as infections grow in their country. A wise move.

Stay safe, keep well and take precautions.

Coronavirus Update March 6th:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 2969 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 98385.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 98, taking the total deaths recorded to 3383. Mortality rate is (according to me) at 4.18% based on ‘official’ figures.

The ‘abridged’ version:

China infections and death increases rising at lower rates daily. (So they say). Factories still struggling to get 50% of workers back. Wuhan City have patients who have been re-infected. Continued talk of ‘imported cases’ into China. (Suggesting it’s nothing to do with China!)

Europe figures up by over 30% from yesterday. UK in one of their ‘phases’, not sure anyone knows or understands which one. France has requisitioned all masks. Italy are taking it seriously.

USA figures up by 30%. Trump is (currently) a non-believer. The last thing he wants is a hit on the US economy in the run up to the election.

We live in a polarised world. (As if we didn’t know)

Be well, stay safe and take precautions.

Coronavirus Update March 7th:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 3803 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 102188.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 108, taking the total deaths recorded to 3491.

China infections and death increases rising at lower rates daily. (Be sceptical). Factories still struggling to get 50% of workers back. Life has changed . . . . . for the time being.

Japan & S Korea ban each other’s citizens (Their political spat has been going on for months). Both rely on each other for component parts. This will add to global economic woes. As if we didn’t have enough problems!

Europe figures up by an average 30% from yesterday.

USA figures up by nearly 50%. Florida & California report deaths. Schools and campuses begin to close. Cruise ship off the coast of California starting to test all passengers, 21 infected so far. Trump allocating $4.8 billion to combat the virus using different measures.

UK 161 infected, 2 deaths. Figures will probably begin to spike in the next 2 weeks (if correct figures are given out). Let’s hope the NHS are getting prepared. The fact that there have been zero checks at main points of entry into the UK, as well as all airlines allowed to arrive from known infected areas seems folly. When will those that can take action wake up? Can they see what’s been going on in other countries? NHS Chief Medical Officer . . . .Epidemic (slim to nil that we won’t get it) will last 12 weeks.

Economy first? Yes and understandable, but there has to be a balance.

Be well, stay safe and take precautions.

Coronavirus Update March 8th:

Official figures for those tested: An additional 3977 infected with the virus yesterday, taking the total tested and infected to 106165.

Total deaths yesterday alone were recorded at 103, taking the total deaths recorded to 3594.

This will be my last ‘Coronavirus Update’ as I feel that the emphasis now is no longer on China figures, factories and economy, but rather on European figures and economy which you will have news at first hand.

China: As usual, the narrative from the Beijing government is figures down, ‘imported’ (travelers coming from outside of China) figures up and everything is back to normal in China. I simply do not believe their figures anymore, since the Wuhan government leaders were sacked a few weeks back for ‘giving out false information’. The Beijing news conferences are cold (much like the Chinese) and zero emotion (again, much like the Chinese) with ‘economy damage limitations’ at the forefront of their figures, news and agenda. Those that understand China may be sceptical. I’m expecting a secondary outbreak when all migrant workers return (still no sign of that happening – 200 million still restricted), but doubt that we will get any figures if this happens. (Let’s prey and hope that it doesn’t). The medical staff cannot be faulted and my heart and respect goes out to all of them.

Europe: All countries with increased figures. Italy (the most proactive in containing this virus) lockdowns the whole of Lombardy, including Milan. A brave decision. UK still dithering between phases. A total joke. Let’s hope tomorrow’s Cobra meeting leads to some proactive action.

USA: Figures of infected and deaths up. Cruise ship docked at Oakland has infected, also has British passengers on board. Trump now taking it seriously. This could (very possible) affect the election result, based on how he is seen to be tackling this situation.

UK: Numbers up and still not screening at airports. The more infections and deaths that are recorded in the UK, the bigger impact this will have on the economy and the longer it will take to recover. Being complacent at this stage will not help the situation.

The virus doesn’t just infect Chinese, S Koreans, Italians . . . . . . .Life in UK will change for the next 6 months.

The model in China where sons and daughters look after their parents, could probably be useful to follow in Western countries (where there is much talk about ‘who will look after the elderly’). It’s a general comment and not the solution for some, but will help in the current situation.

Be well and stay safe.

Daily Coronavirus Updates provided by My Office In China – UK Management With Offices In China

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