Australia, Thailand and US report first deaths over weekend

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People wearing face masks walk on the promenade of the Bund along the Huangpu River in Shanghai on February 28, 2020.

Hector Retamal | AFP | Getty Images

10:00 am: Pence says stock market will recover

Vice President Mike Pence is confident the stock market’s weakness last week will recover. “This economy and particularly the stock market that saw some downturns this week, it’ll come back,” Pence said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

The stock market experienced its worst week since the financial crisis as investors worried about the coronavirus denting global economic growth.

“The fundamentals of this economy are strong. We just saw new numbers come out in housing, consumer confidence, business optimism, unemployment’s at a 50 year low,” Pence added. Pence said the Trump administration is focused on the health and safety of the American people. — Fitzgerald

9:33 am: Europe could see other surprise coronavirus outbreaks like Italy’s, WHO chief warns

The World Health Organization’s director-general cautioned Sunday that other countries within the European Union might see coronavirus outbreaks similar to the rapid spread seen in Italy. 

Italy has 1,128 confirmed cases as of Sunday, according to the WHO, which is the largest in Europe and the third largest globally. Infections are now being seen beyond the original epicenter in the north, with cases in Tuscany, Le Marche, Emilia Romagna, Alto Adige, Piedmont, Liguria, Lazio and Sicily, far south of the capital in Rome. 

“Europe may have some surprises like Italy. You know, other developed countries in Europe may have surprises,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble during a panel discussion at the King Salman Humanitarian Aid Center’s International Humanitarian Forum in Riyadh. — Clinch 

9:00 am: England reports 12 new coronavirus cases 

There were 12 new coronavirus cases reported in England on Sunday morning, bringing the total number of cases in the U.K. to 35.

Three of the patients were close contacts of a known case, while one patient — a resident in Essex — had no known travel history. The other cases were patients who had recently traveled from Italy and Iran, according to U.K. health officials. — Newburger 

8:31am: Trump says US will screen travelers from high risk countries upon arrival to US 

President Donald Trump on Sunday morning tweeted that passengers traveling from high risk countries will be screened prior to boarding as well as when they arrive to the U.S. The administration on Saturday expanded travel restrictions against Iran and raised an advisory that Americans refrain from visiting regions of Italy and South Korea impacted by the coronavirus.

“In addition to screening travelers ‘prior to boarding’ from certain designated high risk countries, or areas within those countries, they will also be screened when they arrive in America,” Trump wrote on Twitter. — Newburger 

8:30 am: Australia, Thailand and U.S. report first virus-related deaths over weekend 

Australia, Thailand and the U.S. all reported their first deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend as the outbreak continues to stretch across the globe. 

In the U.S., a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions died in Washington state. There was no evidence that he got the infection through travel or contact with another infected person, raising fears over a local community spread within the U.S. 

In Thailand, a 35-year-old man who was also sick from dengue fever died of the coronavirus. Thailand has reported a total of 42 cases. 

A 78-year-old man also died of the virus in Australia on Sunday. He was one of the evacuated passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off Japan. Australia has confirmed a total of 26 cases. 

“We still need to make the point very clear that there isn’t community spread within Australia,” said Andrew Robertson, chief health officer at the Western Australia Department of Health. “This very tragic case is still related to the Diamond Princess. The public shouldn’t be panicking at this stage.” — Newburger 

6:55 am: Iran’s death toll now at 54, confirmed cases jump to 978 amid suspicions about government reporting

Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus hit 54 on Sunday, its health ministry said, just days after the Iranian government denied 50 deaths from the virus reported by a lawmaker in the city of Qom, the center of the country’s outbreak.

Based on the number of fatalities, health experts believe the number of infected people must be higher than what the government is reporting. — Turak, Kemp

3:06 am: WHO chief says global markets ‘should calm down and try to see the reality’

Market panic over the fast-spreading new coronavirus is uncalled for, the World Health Organization’s director-general said Sunday as governments around the world rush to contain its spread.

“Global markets … should calm down and try to see the reality,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble during a panel discussion at the King Salman Humanitarian Aid Center’s International Humanitarian Forum in Riyadh. “We need to continue to be rational. Irrationality doesn’t help. We need to deal with the facts.”

The comments come after global stocks were slammed in their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow Jones plunged a whopping 3,500 points across the week, more than 12%, its largest weekly point loss ever and biggest percentage drop in 12 years. — Turak 

— CNBC’s Natasha Turak, Ted Kemp and Matt Clinch contributed reporting 

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