Tokyo Marathon limited to elite runners due to fears of the coronavirus

Scheduled for March 1st, it is one of the largest marathon events in the world. Over 37,000 people took the starting line for last year’s event.

But after a number of virus cases were registered in Tokyo, the organizers said they could not “launch the event within the initially planned scale”.

Runners start the Tokyo Marathon 2019.

The virus has infected over 71,000 people worldwide with the current death toll of 1,775, including five people outside mainland China.

Registered runners may postpone their registration for the 2021 event, but entrance tickets will not be refunded.

Last week, organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics said the Games remain “on track” take place as expected despite the outbreak of the virus. They also said there were no contingency plans to cancel or move the Games.
Numerous sporting events in Asia have already been postponed, including the Chinese Grand Prix – originally scheduled for April 19 – and the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens tournaments, which were moved from April to October.

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Was Xi Jinping aware of the coronavirus epidemic earlier than initially suggested?

Officials from Hubei, the province at the center of the epidemic, were blamed for minimizing – and potentially even deliberately hiding – the severity of the virus, ignoring the evidence that spread from person to person until it was too late.

Against this account of irresponsibility there was another story that was being told in China, that of a competent central government that had been denied the full picture by local officials, and once understood the true ramifications that occurred to take drastic actions to stop the spread of the virus.

And indeed, there was a big change on January 20, when Chinese President Xi Jinping commented publicly for the first time about the virus and ordered “determined efforts” to control the epidemic. A week later, alongside Xi in Beijing, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded the “seriousness with which China is facing this outbreak” and thanked Beijing for its “transparency”.

Over the weekend, however, a transcript of an internal Communist Party speech seemed to cast doubt on this narrative, revealing that Xi was aware of and directed the response to the virus on January 7, almost two weeks before commenting publicly.

The revelation raises important questions about whether it was the central government, not the Hubei authorities, that chose their answer, allowing the virus to spread to the country and ultimately the world.

He also stressed the difficulty in maintaining Xi’s image – carefully cultivated by state media – as an almost omniscient sovereign who oversees and is aware of everything that is happening in the country. With growing criticism of the inability to contain coronavirus, both at home and abroad, Beijing faced the choice of admitting that Xi ignored the true nature of the crisis until almost a month earlier or that he was aware of and involved in the response. .

By choosing the latter option, however, no matter how much blame can be attributed to provincial officials for not “implementing” Xi’s instructions, the government is admitting that the ultimate responsibility for the epidemic lies with the man at the center.

Who knew?

In the transcript of the speech, published Saturday by the official newspaper of the Communist Party QiushiXi “issued requirements for the prevention and control of the new coronavirus” during a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s most powerful decision-making body on January 7.

He gave further instructions on January 20 and two days later, when he “explicitly asked Hubei province to implement complete and rigorous control over the outflow of people” – essentially putting the province on a blockade.

“I have always monitored the spread of the epidemic and the progress in prevention and control work and continue to issue oral orders and instructions,” according to Xi.

It is the 13-day period between 7 and 20 January that is the most crucial, also because it is when Hubei officials held two Provincial Party meetings and Wuhan invited over 40,000 families to attend a mass banquet in an attempt to set a world record. It’s also when Wuhan and Hubei officials appeared to be minimizing the epidemic, an assessment that has been repeated by state officials: Wang Guangfa, head of a team of researchers sent from Beijing to investigate the situation, said on 11 January that he was under control .

Wang, like others at the forefront of the initial outbreak, was subsequently diagnosed with the virus.

Provincial officials faced intense criticism for how they handled the crisis during this period, coming as it did during the lunar new year’s travel period, in which hundreds of millions of people cross the country. Passenger screening was not implemented in Wuhan – itself a major national and international travel hub – until January 14 and further restrictions beyond a week later.

Wuhan Mayor Zhou Xianwang later admitted that the “city warnings were not enough” and offered to step down.

“We understand that the public is not satisfied with our disclosure of information. On the one hand, we were unable to disclose the relevant information in a timely manner; on the other, we did not make sufficient use of valuable information to improve our work”, Zhou said in an interview with the state-run CCTV broadcaster. “As for late disclosure, I hope the public can understand that it is an infectious disease and that relevant information should be disclosed according to the law. As a local government, we can disclose the information only after being authorized.”

Zhou’s reference to the authorization to release information was initially seen as an attempt to cover his back, pushing part of the responsibility on his superiors. But if Xi was directing the answer at this point, then Zhou might really have waited for a guide from Beijing before doing anything, and any blame for his inaction could lie elsewhere.

Xi in the center

Wu Qiang, a Beijing-based political analyst who specialized in analyzing Xi’s speeches, described the recently published address as “unprecedented” during an interview with the South China Morning Post. “He appears to be defending and explaining how he did everything he could to prevent the epidemic,” said Wu.
In recent weeks, there has been an apparent effort to push any blame for the crisis on provincial officials who have deceived Beijing or failed to implement instructions from the Party leadership. This was exemplified by the Chinese ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, who stated in a interview with NPR Saturday that “one cannot speak in very general terms of” government “(in China)”.

“Sometimes the government at a certain level makes some mistakes. This is possible. This is, I think it’s all natural all over the world,” he said. “But it cannot be said that the entire Chinese government is making a mistake. This is not true.”

This was already a sort of embarrassing tale for Xi, who accumulated more power than any Chinese leader from Mao Zedong and severely intensified internal discipline within the Communist Party. By emphasizing his personal involvement in the response from the earliest stages, Xi has potentially further undermined that narrative – you can’t blame local officials for their failures, and thus reveal that you were watching them all the time.

In the end, however, the embarrassment of sharing some of the blame with Hubei officials may be preferable rather than admitting that Xi and those around him were potentially unaware or ill-informed of what was really going on.

CNN’s Nectar Gan contributed to the report.

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Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan confirms 99 new cases of Coronavirus | World News

Dozens of people have tested positive for coronavirus aboard the Princess Diamond cruise ship docked in Japan, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 454.

Confirmation of 99 additional cases on the ship, which remains in quarantine in Yokohama, arises as concerns about possible infections among passengers on another cruise ship that docked in Cambodia last week increase.

On Sunday, it was confirmed that a ship traveler, MS Westerdam, had the virus in Malaysia, days after disembarking along with hundreds of other passengers. It is not clear how many travelers remain in Cambodia, or how many have already traveled to other destinations.

The Cambodian Ministry of Health did not respond to requests for comments. Cruise operator Holland America Line told Reuters that guests who had left Cambodia would be “contacted by their local health department and provided more information.” It is not clear if passengers should be isolated once they return home.

Meanwhile, hundreds of American passengers at the Diamond Princess, where travelers have been mostly confined to their cabins since February 3, have returned to the United States. Fourteen passengers tested positive during the evacuation, the US state department said.

Australia said it would do the same on Wednesday. Both countries have said that citizens will face another two weeks of quarantine after arriving home. Forty American passengers who were diagnosed with the virus have already been transferred to hospitals in Japan.

Some Diamond Princess passengers who are still on the ship face another two weeks in isolation if they have shared a cabin with someone who tests positive.

Graphic guardian.

The total number of infected people worldwide increased to more than 71,000 on Monday, including another 2,048 confirmed cases in China, where the total number of deaths is 1,770. Five people have died outside of China. Of the 105 deaths reported in China on Monday, 100 were in the province of Hubei, the center of the outbreak.

The cities of Hubei have stepped up measures to stop the spread of the virus. The city of Xiaogan, which has a population of almost 5 million people and the second largest number of confirmed cases in China, ordered residents to stay in their homes or face detention for up to 10 days.





The image of a video taken on February 17 shows American passengers who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise on a plane bound for the United States.



The image of a video taken on February 17 shows American passengers who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise on a plane bound for the United States. Photography: AP

Japanese public health experts advising the government defended the decision to isolate passengers and the Diamond Princess crew.

“Many people are positive on the ship, but that is because we are evaluating everyone on board, regardless of their medical condition,” said Shigeru Omi, chief director of the Japan Community Health Care Organization. “And 70% of those who test positive show no symptoms.”

With new cases that arise daily, the Japanese government has advised citizens to avoid mass meetings. On Monday, he canceled the celebrations for the emperor’s birthday, while the organizers of the Tokyo marathon canceled the massive participation race next month, in which 38,000 people were to participate.

Omi said that any interruption in the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer, including the possible cancellation of the Games, will depend on how and if the virus mutates in the coming months, as well as the effectiveness of attempts by the international community to contain the outbreak

“Nobody knows if the virus is under control at the time of the Olympic Games,” he said at a press conference in Tokyo.

Omi admitted that tracking down the chain of domestic transmissions unrelated to the Diamond Princes was proving difficult, but denied that Japan, which confirmed 65 cases on the ground, became a second major infection group.

“Our focus now is on community-based preventive action to reduce the speed of virus transmission,” he said. “It is true that there have been silent transmissions, but Japan is certainly not in a state of pandemic.”

The World Health Organization recommends that people take simple precautions to reduce exposure and transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus, for which there is no specific cure or vaccine.

The UN agency advises people to:

  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or warm water and soap
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or handkerchief when you sneeze or cough
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough
  • Seek early medical help if you have a fever, cough and shortness of breath, and share your travel history with health care providers.
  • Avoid direct and unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals when visiting live markets in affected areas
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products and be careful when handling raw meat, milk or animal organs to avoid cross contamination with raw foods.

Despite the increase in sales of facial masks after the outbreak of the coronavirus outbreak, experts are divided on whether they can prevent transmission and infection. There is some evidence that suggests that masks can help prevent mouth-to-mouth transmissions, given the large number of times people touch their faces. The consensus seems to be that wearing a mask can limit, but not eliminate, risks, provided they are used correctly.

The Office of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has advised the citizens of the United Kingdom to leave China whenever possible. He also warns that travelers from Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand who develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath within 14 days of returning to the UK should contact the NHS by phone.

Justin McCurry

A hospital near Tokyo said it was no longer accepting new patients because one of its nurses had tested positive for the virus after treating an infected patient who later died.

A member of the diagnostic team of the Japanese Ministry of Health also tested positive for the disease, the ministry said. The spread of the virus in Japan has prompted calls to the government to speed up the tests and offer clearer advice on when to seek medical help.

Analysts also warned of the potentially “huge” damage to Japan’s economy, saying that the consequences of the virus were damaging production and tourism, undermining growth and risking pushing the country into recession.





Members of the Chongqing medical team before leaving for Xiaogan in Hubei, the last city that ordered residents to stay in their homes, or face detention for up to 10 days.



Members of the Chongqing medical team prepare to travel to Xiaogan in Hubei, the last city to order residents to stay in their homes or be detained for up to 10 days. Photography: Chine Nouvelle / SIPA / REX / Shutterstock

There is also concern about the increasing number of cases reported in Japan involving people who have not visited China recently or who knowingly had direct contact with people who arrived from the country.

“We agreed that the current situation represents the initial stage of a domestic outbreak. This could go even further, “said Takaji Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, after the first meeting of a working group in the prime minister’s office.

Pressure on Japan’s health services increased again on Monday with the arrival in Tokyo of a government-chartered flight carrying 65 Japanese citizens from Wuhan, raising the total number of returnees from the Chinese city in the center of the outbreak at 763.

Japan’s health minister, Katsunobu Kato, urged the public to avoid crowds and “nonessential meetings”, including notoriously full commuter trains and warned that the country was “entering a new phase” in the virus outbreak .


Koji Wada, a professor of public health at the International University of Health and Welfare, told Asahi Shimbun: “There is a possibility that the infection has spread to people far beyond the patient groups that have been identified.”

The government has made available additional funds for emergency countermeasures, which it says will be in effect at the end of March.

Employers in Japan are also beginning to feel the effects of the outbreak. On Monday, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, one of the largest firms in the country, said it was urging its 200,000 group employees to work from home or stagger their journeys.

The agencies contributed to this report

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Chinese small businesses are struggling as coronavirus puts a strain on finances

While some larger companies are reopening their doors after weeks of blockages designed to contain the epidemic, small businesses often fail to meet the stringent health standards now required in many regions and many are unable to let employees work from home.

A survey of 163 companies of all sizes across China found that less than half were able to get back to work this week, according to investment bank China International Capital Corp, which released the results. Even more alarming: a third of the approximately 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises interviewed by academics from Tsinghua University and Peking University last week said they could only survive for a month with the money they have.

This could mean terrible news for Chinese entrepreneurs – and an even worse reality for the country’s economy. About 30 million small and medium-sized enterprises contribute more than 60% of the country’s GDP, according to government statistics released last September. The taxes they pay represent more than half of the government’s income and employ over 80% of Chinese workers.

It is unclear how many of these companies will eventually feel the full impact of the virus. Polls cover only a small part of the sector and the full extent of the consequences of the epidemic is still impossible to determine. But many small companies they were already struggling before the coronavirus began to infect tens of thousands across the country. The second largest economy in the world is slowing down due to an increasing combination of debt, a slump in domestic demand and a trade war with the United States. Now they face each other for weeks and weeks without work.

“Coronavirus could be the drop that breaks the camel’s back,” wrote Zhao Jian, director of the Atlantis Research Institute, based in Shandong province, in a research note earlier this month. He warned that if the epidemic doesn’t end soon, unemployment will likely increase with the closure of businesses, a problem that Beijing had fought hard this year to prevent. Job losses could spur a flood of property foreclosures, Zhao added, compounding the country’s economic problems.

A man wearing a mask rides a bicycle along a deserted road in Beijing on February 12, 2020.

“We will die” without more money

Some entrepreneurs have gone public with their difficult situation. Beijing entrepreneur Wu Hai written on the social media app WeChat this week the outbreak could destroy more than 50 karaoke bars running across the country. The pastime has been suspended as the government keeps popular entertainment venues where “cross-infection risks” are high.

In the mail, Wu complained about the closings and said that the lack of business puts his 1,500 workers at risk of losing their jobs. He wrote that his company, MeiKTV, has around 12 million yuan ($ 1.7 million) in cash, giving him about two months to survive if he is unable to reopen for business.

“This means that we will die in April unless investors continue to give us money,” he wrote.

In 2015, two women outside a karaoke bar in Hunchun, in the northeastern province of Jilin in China.

Shu Congxuan, president of Home Original Chicken, said on Saturday that his fast food chain has closed more than 400 stores since the outbreak began. In one place in Weibo, he warned that his company is in danger of running out of money, since he still has to pay the rent and employees. But he said he would try to make sure his employees kept their jobs, even if he needed to sell houses and cars.

Other companies appear to be taking desperate steps to recover at least some of their losses. Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant, based in Beijing said on Weibo that his employees set up stalls to sell fresh vegetables on the street. While the company did not elaborate on the reason for its decision, a newspaper run by the local government reported that the restaurant had purchased fresh produce for the Lunar New Year holidays, but was unable to use it due to the outbreak.

The result for many companies could be terrible if the situation did not improve rapidly. According to the survey conducted by companies from Tsinghua University and Peking University, 85% of respondents said they would cease operations if the epidemic lasted three months. By the six-month mark, 90% of companies would collapse.

China is struggling to return to work after the coronavirus blockade

Even a recovery in the near future may not be early enough for some. Before the outbreak, Chinese companies were preparing to repay or refinance many debts this year, according to analysts at S&P Global Ratings. Given the increased risk to the economy, it may be more difficult to borrow.

S&P researchers warned in a statement this week that if the public health crisis stabilizes next month, liquidity will still be under pressure for at least the first half of the year. They added that the outbreak will also increase the risk of insolvency for Chinese companies.

The government may need to do more

Beijing already knows that it has a big problem in its hands. Before the outbreak, senior officials had featured the prevention of mass unemployment as a top priority for 2020. Now that the likelihood of mass job losses increases, the country is doing everything to prevent this from happening.
Some of the most important companies in China, for example, welcome the workers moved by the outbreak. JD.com (JD), one of the largest e-commerce companies in China, promised to open over 20,000 new positions earlier this week. Alibaba (BABA) announced a similar plan.
The government is also intervening. Last week, the People’s Bank of China pumped billions of dollars into the money market to support banks’ ability to lend money. The central bank also set up a special fund of 300 billion yuan ($ 43 billion) to provide low cost loans to key companies in preventing the epidemic. Meanwhile, the finance ministry has announced state subsidies to make these loans even cheaper.
JD.com is hiring 20,000 people who cannot work because of the coronavirus

Local governments in Beijing, Shanghai and several provinces have also implemented targeted measures to help small businesses, including offering subsidies to owners so that they can cut their rents and allow small businesses to delay paying contributions or social security taxes.

But it is unclear how useful some of these policies will be.

Wu, the owner of the karaoke bar, wrote in his post on WeChat that his company was still in a “dead end” even with the policies that were offered to him. Social security, for example, is still an important expense for employers. Wu suggested that simply delaying these payments would not help.

“Social Security Office, how generous you are,” Wu commented sarcastically. “Our employees will lose jobs. The company is about to collapse. Not only do you not want to take some money, but you still want to collect money from us – not even a penny less!”

Wu did not respond to a request for comment from CNN Business. But in his post on WeChat he also criticized the usefulness of giving subsidies to owners. While he said the policy was “well-intentioned”, he questioned whether landlords would actually reduce the amount paid by their tenants.

He also doubted the effectiveness of the preferential loans established by the central bank.

“We don’t have fixed assets as collateral. We don’t have operational cash flows – because we can’t open for business – as collateral,” Wu wrote. “Tell me, which small and medium-sized business can get bank financing?”

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The coronavirus triggers the largest home work experiment in the world

In major hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore, shops are closed, public facilities are closed and there are few people who roam the usually crowded financial districts.

Instead, millions of people are locked up in their apartments, in what could be the largest home-based work experiment in the world.

In an attempt to limit social contacts to slow the spread of the virus, officially known as Covid-19, millions of employees in China and other affected areas are currently working from home.

For some employees, such as teachers who have taught digitally for weeks, working from home can be a nightmare.

But in other areas, this unexpected experiment has been received so well that employers are considering adopting it as a more permanent measure. For those who support more flexible job options, the past few weeks mark a possible step towards widespread and long-awaited reform.

Frustration and unexpected benefits

In China, the epidemic had an impact on the second largest economy in the world, which had already been struggling due to the U.S. trade war and a slump in domestic demand. Now, the companies have been closed for weeks, raise fears mass layoffs, unemployment and foreclosures.
An estimate warned that the epidemic could cost China $ 62 billion in loss of growth.
With authorities calling on businesses to reopen, employees in China are starting to work from home. More than half of workers in the capital Beijing plan to do it instead of going to the office, according to state newspaper China Daily.

Technology companies including Tencent, Alibaba and Microsoft have told CNN that their staff will be working from home for the next two weeks, citing health and safety concerns.

Working from home, temperature controls and quarantines: how Chinese companies are trying to return to the business world

The governments of Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao have ordered civil servants to work from home and have asked private employers to do so where possible, with only essential personnel or emergency service providers still in the office.

Officials in Hong Kong I have been working at home for weeks, since the lunar New Year holidays ended in late January. A Hong Kong government statement said it “appealed to other employers to make flexible employment arrangements for employees to reduce contact between people.”

Schools in many of these places have been suspended, so teachers are taking lessons through digital learning tools, such as Google Hangouts and other video conferencing software. A Hong Kong school requires students to “check in” digitally and to conduct online lesson activities on an hourly basis, so if students skip a lesson, leave a digital record.

But bringing the classroom online has been frustrating for some educators, especially those who work with children with special learning needs or disabilities.

“We use a lot of practical learning, so it was really difficult to try to make our online learning meaningful for children when we are not in a classroom environment,” said Karen, a special education teacher in Hong Kong, who requested a pseudonym to avoid identifying the school.

Like other schools, Karen and her colleagues have relied on digital tools such as video calls and Google Docs, but the challenges are made more difficult because her students need a lot of support from adults.

“Parents also work from home and must also be teachers – it’s almost an impossible situation,” he said.

Students with special needs often rely on the structure, routine and human interaction provided by the school, which means that remote learning can be disturbing or frustrating.

JD.com is hiring 20,000 people who cannot work because of the coronavirus

But for other digital-based industries, working from home has been surprisingly effective, say employers in the field.

“It’s a test that we haven’t chosen to implement, but we’re quite happy with it,” said Brice Lamarque, sales and accounting director of a web and branding agency in Hong Kong. Most of the agency’s employees have worked from home this month and will continue until the Hong Kong government advises it.

“Before (the epidemic) happened, we weren’t really excited to let our team work from home because we appreciate the collaboration,” said Lamarque. “But this experience actually showed us that the whole team works well enough even if they are not in the same room, so we are trying to add it to the benefits of our employees … maybe two or three weeks a year.”

However, he admitted that much of the success of working from home is due to the digital nature of their company and sector: employees only require a connection to computers and the Internet, which means they can work anywhere.

Joe Hasberry, a Hong Kong employee of an asset management company, also worked from home, but unlike Lamarque, he and other colleagues will return to the office next week. The company needs to meet customers and visitors, which means that it is difficult to continue working from home for a few weeks.

China is struggling to return to work after the coronavirus blockade

“Some guys in my office have more (in) investor relations – it’s a lot more people-centered, so some of the work couldn’t be done from home,” he said.

Meanwhile, some people are facing social pressure from employers to go to the office despite government guidelines to work from home. Employees in customer service industries or front-of-house roles often don’t have the ability to work remotely.

In China, factory workers also don’t have this choice – instead, those who are able to return must face stringent health and safety measures every day, such as having body temperature checked and disinfecting their hands before entering the workplace. , second media run by the Xinhua state.

Hong Kong employees told CNN they were frustrated that the deal could put them at greater risk of infection, heightened by memories of the acute respiratory syndrome epidemic (2003) that devastated the city.

Is this the future of work?

Although digital-based industries may be better suited to work from home, advocates have been pushing for years make work more flexible, claiming that it can be done with the right infrastructure, for the benefit of both employees and employers.
The last decade has seen expanding distance job opportunities and increasing distance job offers – e this shift is largely due to new technologies and to changing family demographics.
The movement has been embraced by many parents who claim that the ability to work from home facilitates dexterity in childcare and careers. Many families who cannot afford nannies or nurseries have to make a difficult decision when they have a child, with one of the parents – often the woman – who must sacrifice career advancement take care of your child.

The option to work from home not only empowers women, but also makes it easier for working fathers to take on that role, in a step towards gender equality for the benefit of all parties.

These employers don't care when or where you work

Technological advances have also made work from home more accessible in all areas.

“Nowadays, compared to 10 years ago, it is much easier to access e-mail remotely, cloud-based archiving, dial-in for calls and remote videoconferencing,” said Marie Swarbreck, founder of FLEXImums, a Hong Kong company that connects candidates to remote or flexible job opportunities. “Technology and software are available to allow people to work remotely.”

He acknowledged that the current working situation from home in Hong Kong has produced “extra challenges that are beyond our control” – for example, working parents must take care of children whose classes have been suspended. The empty, silent and perfect houses for working remotely on a typical day are now full of people and distractions.

But these are extraordinary circumstances – not the norm, he said. The current challenges do not mean that working from home is ineffective or that it should not be implemented more widely beyond the epidemic.

“Being able to create a workplace that welcomes and encourages working from home, remotely, in a flexible way, is certainly, in my opinion, the way in which regular daily life will become more and more”.

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Tokyo actions continue to fall due to concerns about the coronavirus

Tokyo shares fell further on Monday, as concerns about the serious economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak increased.

The Nikkei 225 average dropped 164.35 points, or 0.69 percent, to finish at 23,523.24. On Friday, the key market indicator fell 140.14 points.

Topix, which covers all the topics of the first section on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 15.10 points, or 0.89 percent, to 1,687.77, after losing 10.21 points on Friday.

Shares plummeted as soon as the market opened and quickly extended losses, with the Nikkei yielding more than 350 points in the first 15 minutes.

An avalanche of media reports about a steady increase in the number of carriers of the mysterious coronavirus around the world fueled investors’ fears of a resulting global economic downturn, brokers said.

The government announcement further cooled the sentiment before the opening bell that the real gross domestic product adjusted for the price of Japan fell 6.3 percent quarterly quarterly in October-December, marking the first negative growth in five quarters .

But after the massive sale in the morning, the market showed some resistance thanks to purchases induced by increases in the shares of Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The initial decline accelerated with the scheduled sale “automatically activated by the worst number of GDP than expected,” said Hirohumi Yamamoto, a strategist at Toyo Securities Co.

“The thin trade with the participation of few non-residents during the three-day weekend in the United States for President’s Day on Monday helped the Tokyo market sink further.”

Still, the market was able to avoid large losses thanks to the stability of the dollar-yen pair, said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Capital Partners Securities Co.

In the first section, the descending problems exceeded the growing 1,819 to 294, while 47 problems did not change. The volume decreased to 1,165 billion shares of 1,351 billion on Friday.

Financiers, such as the Mitsubishi UFJ megabank group and the Tokyo Marine insurer, met with a drop in US long-term interest rates. UU.

Toyota, Nissan and other automakers were abandoned due to the sad reading of GDP that ignited concerns about their sales in the October-December quarter.

Other losers included the Fast Retailing clothing store chain and technology and entertainment giant Sony.

Meanwhile, Idemitsu oil wholesaler attracted purchases thanks to better than expected earnings from April to December.

Also on the positive side were the industrial robot producer Fanuc and the technology investor SoftBank Group.

Coronavirus flag

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