Coronavirus live updates:
- South Korea reported 518 new cases as of Friday morning, bringing its total to 6,284 cases. There were seven more deaths, to a total of 42 deaths.
- Australia shut down its first school, after a 16-year-old student in Sydney tested positive for the new coronavirus.
- San Francisco health officials announced the first two cases of COVID-19 in the city, and said they were unable to determine the source of the infections.
- Global cases: At least 95,270, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization
- Global deaths: At least 3,280, according to the latest figures from the WHO
2:35 pm: Two Microsoft employees test positive
A Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC late on Thursday that two employees in Washington state, including one remote employee working on LinkedIn, have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Both employees are located in Puget Sound, the area that includes Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters, a Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC in an email on Thursday evening.
1:25 pm: Japan markets drop more than 3%
Japan markets led losses across Asia as investors continued to fall back amid virus fears.
The Nikkei 225 and the Topix index both fell around 3%. Australian and South Korean stocks also plummeted more than 2%.
Shares of airlines in the region declined on Friday as the outbreak hit air travel. Australia’s Qantas Airways dropped 7.1% while Japan’s ANA Holdings fell 3.76%. Over in South Korea, Korean Air Lines’ stock plummeted 5.58%. Hong Kong-listed shares of China Eastern Airlines also slipped 4.08%.
“One succumbs to the sheer fear of community spread, prospects of deep economic impact from sharp drop off in demand for travel and seizures in supply-chains,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank.
1:05 pm: Taxi rides, ride hailing trips in China plummet 85%
Trips involving taxis and online ride-hailing in China plummeted 85% in February, according to the country’s transport ministry.
Railway, highway and air passenger volume fell nearly 80% in February, it added.
12:40 pm: Facebook tells Bay Area employees to stay home and cancel any trips amid coronavirus outbreak
Facebook is telling employees in the San Francisco Bay Area that they should stay home after the coronavirus outbreak touched down locally. That includes its Menlo Park, California headquarters.
“Based on guidance from Santa Clara County today, we are strongly recommending that all Bay area employees and contingent staff work from home starting tomorrow, Friday, March 6th,” Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison Thursday evening said in a statement to CNBC.
The company has several offices and thousands of employees across the region. It is also scrapping all events in the Bay Area and recommending employees cancel all business travel in and out of the region.
10:50 am: Microsoft will pay hourly workers regularly even if they spend less time on the clock because of coronavirus
Microsoft on Thursday committed to paying normal hourly wages to non-employees providing services to Microsoft workers, like bus drivers and cafeteria workers, who might otherwise receive less pay while many of the company’s employees spend the next few weeks working from home to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.
“We recognize the hardship that lost work can mean for hourly employees,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, wrote in a blog post on Thursday. “As a result, we’ve decided that Microsoft will continue to pay all our vendor hourly service providers their regular pay during this period of reduced service needs. This is independent of whether their full services are needed. This will ensure that, in Puget Sound for example, the 4,500 hourly employees who work in our facilities will continue to receive their regular wages even if their work hours are reduced.”
4:46 pm: San Francisco health officials say COVID-19 is ‘spreading in the community’
San Francisco health officials announced the first two cases of COVID-19 in the city, and said they were unable to determine the source of the infections.
The first patient is a man in his 90s who has underlying health conditions and is in “serious condition,” San Francisco public health director Dr. Grant Colfax told reporters Thursday. The second person is a woman in her 40s who is in “fair” condition.
“We do not know at this point how they were exposed to the virus, which suggests it is spreading in the community,” he said in a statement. “We expected that to happen and are further investigating the circumstances of these patients’ exposure.”
4:27 pm: Almost 300 million kids missing school because of the coronavirus, UNESCO says
The U.N. organization that monitors global education said the number of children missing school globally is unprecedented.
“While temporary school closures as a result of health and other crises are not new unfortunately, the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the right to education,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement.