The first group of U.S. citizens to be evacuated from Wuhan, China, have completed a 14-day quarantine and are expected to go home today, according to an official for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
None of the 195 repatriated individuals, who have been housed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, Calif., have tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has sickened more than 43,000 people and killed at least 1,018. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday named the virus COVID-19.
Federal officials have quarantined individuals returning to the U.S. from Hubei Province for 14 days. Other U.S. citizens returning from mainland China are being told to self-monitor for 14 days, as well. Although it is unclear at this time how long the incubation period is for the virus, the CDCenters for Disease Control and Prevention has said it believes the virus’ symptoms present within two to 14 days following infection.
The CDC on Tuesday confirmed that there are now 13 confirmed coronavirus cases in six states in the U.S., with the most recent case in San Diego. A passenger who was repatriated from Wuhan, on a U.S. flight and has been in quarantine in San Diego is the latest individual in the U.S. to test positive for the coronavirus, according to media reports. The individual had reportedly initially tested negative for the virus but later developed symptoms, like a cough.
In total, there are 43,101 confirmed cases in 25 countries and at least 1,018 deaths, according to remarks made by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyes, WHO’s director-general. About 75% of the infections are in people in Hubei Province, which is home to Wuhan, widely considered to be the epicenter of the outbreak since the virus was first identified there in December. Outside of China, there are 393 confirmed cases.
The WHO is holding a two-day forum to develop a “global research agenda” for COVID-19. There are still many unknowns about the virus, including how it is transmitted, the incubation period, and the best way to treat severe cases of the disease, Tedros said in a statement.
There are no approved therapeutics and vaccines for the virus. A test developed by the CDC was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Administration last week. Tedros told forum attendees that “the first vaccine could be ready in 18 months.”
However, a number of primarily clinical-stage companies that have publicly said they are working on medical products in response to the outbreak are also trying to raise money. This includes Moderna Inc.
which is collaborating with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) on a vaccine. The company announced Monday an underwritten public offering of $500 million of common stock. Co-Diagnostics Inc.
said Tuesday it has entered into definitive agreements to sell 3,324,676 shares of its common stock, at a purchase price per share of $3.08, on Feb. 13. On Monday, it said it is selling a research-only version of a coronavirus test. (The test hasn’t been approved or cleared by the FDA.)
A mix of legacy drugmakers and clinical-stage companies are collaborating with CEPI on the development of vaccines and therapeutic studies. Gilead Sciences Inc.’s
experimental treatment remdesivir is in clinical trials in China, while AbbVie Inc.
donated Aluvia to China on an investigational basis. CureVac AG, GlaxoSmithKline PLC
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.
and the University of Queensland are also working with CEPI on vaccine development for the virus.
Companies detail coronavirus impact:
• Daimler AG
has “started up slowly our factories again in Beijing yesterday and will gradually ramp up both on the production side and on the retail side,” according to remarks made by Björn Scheib, the auto maker’s head of investor relations, on an earnings call. Most factories in China, including those in the hard-hit Hubei Province, had closed for the Lunar New Year, which was later extended by the government through Feb. 9.
• Callaway Golf Co.
told investors Monday that it anticipates a $25 million impact on sales and $13 million on Ebitda in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus. “We believe it will certainly have an impact on our supply chain, near-term demand for our products in China as well as potential demand in the markets outside of China, particularly neighboring markets,” CEO Oliver Brewer said, according to a FactSet transcript of an earnings call.
• Shiseido Company Ltd.
said it expects up to 80% of its stores in China to begin reopening. In recent weeks, only 40% of Shiseido’s stores or counters were open in China. CEO Masahiko Uotani also told investors that the luxury cosmetics brand employs about 200 people in Wuhan, including “some people who are infected as well.” The only items currently selling in department stores and drugstores are masks, he said.
• The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
said its Goodyear-Pulandian plant, located in Liaoning Province, restarted operations on a limited basis on Feb. 10 after a nine-day closure. Staff are working remotely through at least Feb. 17. “It is not clear what the full impact of the coronavirus disruption will be,” Goodyear said in a statement. – Ciara Linnane
• Under Armour Inc.
said it expects to lose between $50 million and $60 million in sales from the coronavirus outbreak. – Tonya Garcia
• Aéroports de Paris SA told investors that each year it receives approximately two million passengers from China, who make up 15% of airport sales. “If it continues in April and May, this is going to affect us and we will have to draw the conclusions from that in our forecast,” CEO Augustin Pascal de Romanet de Beaune said during an earnings call.
• Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
said on a post-earnings conference call that about 150 hotels, totaling approximately 33,000 rooms, are closed in China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. – Tomi Kilgore
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