Oregon Officials Confirm Third Coronavirus Case “Of Unknown Origin”; Risk Of “Community Outbreak” Is High


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Health authorities in Texas and Oregon report 12 new coronavirus cases in US

Zero Hedge – February 29, 2020


  • Health authorities in Texas and Oregon report 12 new coronavirus cases in US
  • US coronavirus case total hits 63, 2nd case ‘of unknown origin’ confirmed
  • US issues travel advisory for Italy
  • Italy says first case discovered in Lazio
  • China, SK release nightly figures
  • Google says employee who visited Zurich office has coronavirus
  • France confirms 57 cases
  • Italy reports 3 deaths in Lombardy; nat’l toll now 21; total cases 821
  • Google employee tests positive for coronavirus after visiting Zurich office
  • British man becomes 6th ‘Diamond Princess’ passenger to die
  • Two Japanese dogs tested positive for coronavirus
  • Mulvaney says school closures, transit disruptions may happen in US
  • Dr. Tedros said Friday that there’s no evidence of ‘community outbreak’
  • Mexico confirms 1st virus case
  • Fauci warns virus could take ‘two years’ to develop
  • Kudlow says “no higher priority” than the “health of the American people
  • Toronto confirms another case
  • WHO says 20 vaccines in development
  • St. Louis Fed’s Bullard pours cold water on market hopes
  • Netherlands confirms 2 more
  • United cuts flights to Japan
  • Advisor to CDC says shortage of tests in US creating a “bottleneck”
  • Nigeria confirms first case in sub-saharan africa
  • SK reports more than 1,000 new cases in under 48 hours
  • Italy cases surpass 700
  • WHO says virus will ‘soon be in all countries’

* * *

James Lyons-Weiler joins The Alex Jones Show with guest host Mike Adams to break down his findings on the origin of the coronavirus.

Update (1100ET): With Washington State health officials expected to brief reporters tonight, we will hopefully have more information about the latest reported coronavirus case in the US – another case that’s believed to be “of unknown origin” – meaning it could be evidence of an emerging community outbreak.

But before we go, we’d like to leave readers with a few thoughts courtesy of Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA director and frequent CNBC contributor.

Remember: This shortage of coronavirus tests won’t last forever.

Sleep well.

* * *

Update (2230ET): China released its final coronavirus numbers late on Friday. They were roughly equivalent to yesterday’s figures.

China’s NHC reported 427 new cases confirmed on Friday on the mainland. Once again,almost all of the cases were in Hubei province. The mainland total now stands at 79,251.

Here’s the NHC press release (with English translation provided by the NHC):

On Feb 28, 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 427 new cases of confirmed infections, 248 new cases of suspected infections, and 47 deaths (45 in Hubei province, 1 in Beijing municipality, and 1 in Henan province). 2,885 patients were released from hospital after being cured. 10,193 people who had had close contact with infected patients were freed from medical observation. Serious cases decreased by 288.

As of 24:00 on Feb 28, the National Health Commission had received 79,251 reports of confirmed cases and 2,835 deaths in 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and in all 39,002 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital. There still remained 37,414 confirmed cases (including 7,664 in serious condition) and 1,418 suspected cases. So far, 658,587 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients. 58,233 are now under medical observation.

On Feb 28, Hubei reported 423 new cases of confirmed infections (including 420 in Wuhan), 159 new cases of suspected infections (including 114 in Wuhan), and 45 deaths (including 37 in Wuhan). 2,492 patients were released from hospital after being cured, including 1,726 in Wuhan.

As of 24:00 on Feb 28, Hubei had reported 66,337 cases of confirmed infections (including 48,557 in Wuhan) and 2,727 deaths (including 2,169 in Wuhan). In all, 28,895 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital, including 17,552 in Wuhan.There still remained 34,715 confirmed cases (including 28,836 in Wuhan), with 7,370 in serious condition (including 6,585 in Wuhan), and 1,171 suspected cases (including 788 in Wuhan).

As of 24:00 on Feb 28, 138 confirmed infections had been reported in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan province: 94 in Hong Kong (2 had been dead and 30 had been cured and discharged from hospital), 10 in Macao (8 had been cured and discharged from hospital) and 34 in Taiwan (1 had been dead and 9 had been cured and discharged from hospital).

In South Korea, the total number of coronavirus cases rose to 2,931 on Saturday as 594 new cases were reported.

As we wait to see if we’ll hear from Washington health officials tonight, here’s a copy of a press release from the Oregon Health Authority about Friday night’s press conference:

* * *

Update (2130ET): During the presser – which is still ongoing – Oregon officials confirmed that the case is of “unknown origin”, the third such case in the US. The individual is a Washington County resident, but has spent time at the Forest Hills elementary school in Oswego. The school will inform students and family about the risks.

The case will remain “presumptive” until they get the test result back from Atlanta, though CDC protocols call for treating presumptive cases as legitimate cases. For the record, the Oregon state health lab was able to conduct an initial test, which came back positive.

Amazingly, officials confirmed that the patient is still hospitalized, and has been isolated, but hasn’t been subjected to “quarantine” status. They’re reportedly being treated at a hospital in Hillsborough Oregon run by Kaiser Permanente.

Health officials said they’re scrambling to trace the patient’s movements over the past days and weeks and ferret out anyone who might have come into contact with her during that time.

“The most important thing to do – as mundane as it sounds – cover your face when you sneeze, wash your hands, and if you have any flu-like symptoms, stay home.”

As far as the patient’s condition, officials wouldn’t go into specifics beyond saying that she remains “hospitalized”. Since the patient didn’t travel abroad, the assumption is that the infection was acquired “in the community.”

The officials said they hope Oregonians would “go about their daily lives” and not let the news affect them. We suspect that might be difficult, considering that the patient hasn’t even been quarantined, and is likely only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to infections in the state.

Before we go, we wanted to point out an interesting detail from the press conference: When asked by a reporter about a rumor from earlier in the week about a coronavirus patient at a Kaiser Permanente facility in the state, officials said that they believed that rumor “didn’t refer to this case” – when it’s obvious to anybody with a brain that the rumor was accurate.

Officials insist that they’re conveying the information to the public “just hours” after finding out. But the presence of this rumor seems to contradict that. And if officials did know about the case earlier in the week (their phrasing seemed to imply that the materials for confirmation were sent to the CDC in Atlanta days), why did they wait to tell the public?

* * *

Update (2045ET): Any reporters who were hoping for a quiet night relatively free of coronavirus news, well, those hopes have unfortunately been dashed.

Because in a major bombshell that seriously undercuts President Trump’s ‘everything is under control’ message from his big press conference Wednesday night, state health authorities in Oregon and Texas reported a combined 12 new cases of the virus.

This is in addition to two new cases that were confirmed earlier on Friday, and brings the total number of cases confirmed in the US to 74.

11 new cases have been confirmed by federal officials, according to local media reports.

The new cases include nine from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, one from the Wuhan group of quarantined passengers, and one that was transferred from the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

City officials in San Antonio insisted that the risk of infection remains very low, since the patients have all been under mandatory quarantine. Another 145 people are still quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Ninety Americans evacuated from Wuhan were released after finishing their quarantine without contracting the virus, said the CDC’s Nancy Knight during a Thursday news conference in Austin led by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Meanwhile, state officials in Oregon announced the state’s first “presumptive” case of the virus (“presumptive” since the CDC’s strict protocols often delay – or prevent – testing in at-risk patients, as we discussed earlier, as well as in an update from last night).

State officials are holding a press conference to disclose more details beginning at 9 PM ET.


Outside of the US, Mexico confirmed its second case (though it also hedged by calling it a “presumptive” case), this time in Sinaloa – which is bad news for the drug cartels. Iraqi authorities reported the first case in Baghdad. Also, in South Korea, the number of new cases exploded again on Friday, with authorities warning that the next batch of confirmations will likely bring total cases above 3k.

Once again, China reported only a handful of cases outside Hubei.


Over the past day or so, a series of critical reports knocked the CDC’s strict testing protocols, blaming them for delaying the confirmation of Cali’s second coronavirus case of “unknown origin” by up to a week. Well, one Reddit user posted an anonymous account of their experience after they returned from a week in Japan and reported to a hospital after developing suspicious symptoms.

Since he didn’t display the “most serious” symptoms (like shortness of breath which could signify advanced pneumonia) he wasn’t even allotted a test, and told the individual that they were free to “ride the subway, return to work, do whatever I want” even as their doctor “disagreed” and advised them to stay home in a self-quarantine.

President Trump better pray this thing dies out soon, because it looks like his administration is already repeating some of the same mistakes made by Japan.

* * *

Update (1730ET): Health officials in Santa Clara County have confirmed the county’s third case of COVID-19, bringing to total case count for the US to 63.

Shortly after officials made the case public, the Washington Post revealed that the female patient is 65 years old and has no known history of travel to countries hit hard by the outbreak, which means she’s the second case “of unknown origin” in the state.

This means that the odds of a more widespread outbreak in California is extremely possible. As Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told WaPo: Two separate cases of community transmission likely means that there are others in the United States, said Jennifer Nuzzo, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“I think there’s a strong possibility that there’s local transmission going in California. In other words, the virus is spreading within California, and I think there’s a possibility other states are in the same boat. They just haven’t recognized that yet,” she said.

Meanwhile, over in Italy, the first case of the coronavirus has been reported in Lazio, a region in central Italy, showing that the virus is spreading across Italy.

The US has issued a travel advisory for Italy, which should encourage some travelers to cancel their trips since many travel and hospitality companies won’t refund an individual’s money without at least a level 3 advisory.

Trump had no problem angering the Chinese by imposing a ban on anybody traveling from China or who had recently visited China. But he has appeared to be more cautious about pissing off his European allies, who have opposed travel bans and border closures in what seems like a misguided commitment to their principles of ‘openness’.

Then again…

Earlier on Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and city health officials said that they were ‘frustrated’ by the CDC’s strict testing protocols which reportedly prevented the city from running its own tests, extending the time it takes to clear a patient by days.

Officials blamed an obscure bureaucratic quirk for the decision, and said the CDC should move to rectify it. De Blasio insisted that city has the resources and facilities, but hasn’t received the OK from the CDC, for some reason.

“We have the facilities; they are underutilized by the CDC,” de Blasio said.

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said this was because of the city’s inability to carry out a final validation step in the testing sequence. However, she said “there are specific procedures in place so every time the test is run, it’s valid…issues were found with the third component.

So it sounds like us like de Blasio trying to blame the Trump Administration for the shortcomings of NYC’s public-health emergency response system.

* * *

Update (1610ET): Another wild market session has ended, cementing the worst run for equities since the financial crisis.

As for virus-related news heading into the close, well, there really wasn’t a ton. CNN reports that Kenya’s High Court has ordered all 239 passengers who recently arrived in Nairobi on a flight from Guangzhou into a mandatory quarantine at a Kenya Defense Forces base, or a guarded medical facility.

Following the cancellation of joint military exercises between the US and South Korea, along with reports that an American serviceman was infected in South Korea, the Pentagon has warned that the coronavirus poses an “Increased threat” in certain areas where US troops are stationed around the world (but…mostly in South Korea). Notably, the warning breaks from the administration’s insistence that “everything is under control.”

The travel industry is the latest to be hit by cancellations as its largest trade group cancelled its annual trade show due to the virus. The event, called ITB Berlin, had been due to attract 160,000 attendees beginning on Wednesday. But it was canceled by city authorities in Berlin.

In other unfortunate news impacting the travel industry, the Global Business Travel Association estimated in a new report that the coronavirus outbreak could cost the industry as much as $46.6 billion per month, which translates to $559.7 billion annually, the Washington Post reports.

A couple of hours after BI revealed that a Google employee had been infected with the coronavirus, media reports are now claiming two employees at Intesa Sanpaolo, the Italian banking group, have also been stricken.

* * *

Update (1350ET): A Google employee who was recently in the company’s Zurich office has tested positive for the coronavirus, Business Insider reports.

In response, Google has instituted travel advisories for all employees. Google said it would take all necessary measures advised by public health officials. So far, all Google offices – including the office in Zurich – remain open.


It’s unclear whether this case was included in the US total, or where that employee is now – if they’ve left Zurich or traveled anywhere, like to the US, for example. Switzerland has fewer than 20 confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, France confirmed that it’s total confirmed cases just climbed to 57 as the French health minister says the virus is now “circulating” in French territory, and that some schools will be kept closed after holiday in the Oise region because of virus-related worries.

* * *

Update (1330ET): In a company-wide memo, Amazon instructed all of its employees to avoid ‘nonessential’ travel within the US. Though many companies have been cancelling events and conferences while issuing travel warnings, this is one of the more extreme warnings we’ve seen, CNBC reports.

Perhaps Jeff Bezos’ animosity toward Trump has something to do with it?

As President Trump insists that investors are more worried about Bernie Sanders’ and his ‘democratic’ Communist Revolution, here’s a chart that might offer some insights on what’s inspiring the market’s mentality.

* * *

Update (1240ET): The CDC’s Dr. Messonier announced two new cases of the coronavirusin the US on Friday afternoon, confirming that the number of Americans infected aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’ has climbed to 44.

It’s just the latest sign how bad the shortage of coronavirus tests has gotten. Addressing the issue, Dr. Messonier admitted that the situation with the tests has been suboptimal, but that the CDC hopes to have it cleared up by early next week.

So expect the ‘official’ US total to shoot higher after that.

* * *

Update (1210ET): Italian health authorities just confirmed three more deaths in Lombardy, bringing the national death toll to 21, while the number of confirmed cases rises by nearly 200 to 821.

Italy now has the third-largest death toll, behind only Iran and mainland China.

* * *

Update (1145ET): Reports are claiming a vote on the emergency spending bill to combat the virus could come as soon as next week, which is earlier than the week of March 9, as was previously reported.

* * *

Update (1130ET): The People’s Daily reports that Beijing is tightening its “entrant management” – which we believe means it’s once again restricting who can and cannot enter the city – as the government continues to implement measures to suppress outbreaks even as Beijing insists the virus has finally been ‘contained’.

* * *

Update (1120ET): Infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci, who has been one of the federal government’s main spokespeople on the timeline for developing a vaccine, said Friday that it could take “up to two years” for a vaccine to be market-ready, according to Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Dem of Illinois. Notably, that’s a longer timeline than the 1 year to 18 months that Fauci and HHS Secretary Alex Azar shared earlier in the week.

* * *

Update (1115ET): Ontario has confirmed another coronavirus case in Toronto, the first since an Iranian passenger aboard an Air Canada flight to Montreal tested positive earlier this week.

* * *

Update (1100ET): As the left attacks the Trump Administration’s virus response, Trump has dispatched one of his top TV defenders, top economic advisor Larry Kudlow, to drive home the message that the White House has “no higher priority” than “the health of the American people.”

Kudlow added that 6 of the 15 coronavirus patients in the US have been released.

His statement follows a barrage of criticism from Trump’s political opponents claiming his decision to task Mike Pence and Alex Azar with leading the containment effort suggests the president is m ore concerned about the economic fallout, and protecting his own image.

Speaking to the press corp., Kudlow sounded less like he was trying to jawbone the markets higher and more like he was trying to understand why the selloff has become so ‘overdone’, as he sees it.

The WHO said in a report published Friday morning that the global community “is not yet ready to implement measures that have contianed the coronavirus in China,” while Dr. Tedros reiterated his view that the “window of opportunity” for stopping a ‘pandemic’ is narrowing every day.

More importantly, Kudlow insisted that the outbreak wouldn’t have much of a long-term impact on the market.

“I just don’t think at this point that it’s going to have much of an impact,” Kudlow said.

Asked what advice he would give a friend planning a cruise, Kudlow responded “stay home.”

Questions about yesterday’s Trump news presser prompted Kudlow to praise the president – saying “the way he is handling this” will help his reelection. He also said he’s not expecting any “precipitous action” on China tariffs.

As for complaints about Pence asking all CDC officials to route all decisions and every through his office, Kudlow insisted that the administration wasn’t trying to “stifle” or cover up anyone.

“No one is being stifled, no one is being told what to say…we are all ears we want to hear what they have to say,” Kudlow said. “I think you have to coordinate.”

Countries need to understand that they must contain the virus, even if it requires seemingly draconian measures, and while coronavirus cases might increase in the US, it’s unlikely that they will “skyrocket.”

Finally, the WHO has raised its global alert rating to “Very High” from “High” as it continues to do and say everything that would suggest COVID-19 has become a global pandemic, if if the WHO refuses to acknowledge it (with reason). “Very high” is the last level of the WHO risk assessment short of “pandemic.”

* * *

Update (1030ET): WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, better known as Dr. Tedros, said Friday that the WHO has seen no evidence of the type of “community transmission” that the CDC warned about. There’s no evidence that the virus is spreading freely in communities, even though seven countries have reported their first cases over the last 24 hours.

He added that there are more than 20 vaccines in development, and that several therapeutics are in clinical trials. The first results are expected in a few weeks, Dr. Tedros said. The spread from both Italy (which has spread cases across Europe) and Iran (which has leaked the virus to its Persian Gulf neighbors) is “concerning”. The WHO added that it has found “no evidence” that the virus will react differently in different climates.

CDC Director Redfield then added that risks from the virus across the US remain “low.”

As the market awaits some kind of coordinated central-bank response, perhaps Sunday evening around the time futures open, the Fed’s Jim Bullard said the adjustment to US GDP growth expectations “doesn’t look that severe”, but that he would be willing to act if he saw evidence of a “very severe” economic hit. In other words, Bullard is pouring cold water on the market’s only source of optimism with the Dow off by 1,000 points intraday for the third time this week.

Fortunately, Bullard won’t have a vote on the FOMC until 2022 (though it’s telling that even the doves at the Fed are skeptical of an ’emergency’ rate cut).

* * *

Update (1020ET): CNBC’s Eunice Yoon sent a handful of informative tweets, reminding the world that the outbreak in China isn’t over yet (while suggesting that two more patients reported re-infection in China).

Yoon has been reporting from Beijing this entire time, and her feed has been a source of some of the best reporting from the capital.

* * *

Update (1014ET): Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged on Friday that the coronavirus outbreak is likely to disrupt everyday life in the US, with possible school closures and public transit disruptions included on the list of potential annoyances.

“Are you going to see some schools shut down? Probably. Maybe see impacts on public transportation? Sure, but we do this. We know how to handle this,” Mulvaney said Friday during an appearance at CPAC, which, notably, did not cancel for fear of the outbreak.

If you want to read more about how the US outbreak might impact schools, the New York Times wrote a story about what the outbreak might mean for US schools yesterday.

The CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier stressed the need for companies and schools to develop strategies for keeping employees and students at home during a presser a few days ago.

* * *

Update (0950ET): Nigeria’s top public health official said Friday that the country is “more than capable” of dealing with the outbreak.

“Nigeria is ready,” Chikwe Ihekweazu said. “We successfully managed Ebola and we manage outbreaks all the time and are currently managing Lassa fever. We have a strong team that is used to doing this.”

United Airlines announced plans to change its flight schedule to Japan now that coronavirus fears are impacting travel and tourism to the world’s third-largest economy.

Here are the specific flights affected:

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo canceled March 8 until April 24
  • Chicago to Tokyo canceled March 8 to March 27, then switches to Chicago to Haneda on March 28
  • Haneda schedule is not affected
  • Newark to Tokyo reduction to 5 times weekly for April (from daily)
  • Honolulu to Tokyo down-gauged from 777-200 to 787-8 for April
  • San Francisco to Kansai reduction to 5 times weekly in April (from daily)
  • San Francisco to Singapore reduction to 1 time daily for March 8 until April 24 (from 2 times daily)
  • San Francisco- to Incheon reduction to 3 times weekly for March 8 until April 30 (from 1 time daily in March and 2 times daily in April)
  • San Francisco to Taiwan down-gauged from 777-300 to 787-9 for March and April.

In the US, a longtime advisor to the CDC told CNN that the shortage of COVID-19 tests in the US has created a “bottleneck.”

“We haven’t been able to test more broadly as many of my colleagues in infectious disease would like,” Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, told CNN on Friday.

* * *

Update (0925ET): Japanese TV news network NHK has reported that a British man has died after becoming infected with the coronavirus aboard the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”, which was home to the largest COVID-19 outbreak outside mainland China until this week, when South Korea assumed the mantle.

Moreover, CNN reported that the Japanese Health Ministry confirmed the death of a 79-year-old woman, who it said was the fifth passenger to die from a case of the virus contracted aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’. 10 have died from the virus in Japan.

The man is the first Brit to die from the virus, and the first foreign passenger to die from a case linked to the Diamond Princess, and the sixth death linked to the cruise ship.

A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises, which operates the Diamond Princess, issued a statement: “All of us at Princess Cruises, including the crew of the Diamond Princess, offer our sincere condolences to family members and friends for their loss. Our dedicated care team are on hand to provide support.”

Speaking on CNBC Friday morning, host Jim Cramer went on an interesting rant about China deliberately infecting people to test its vaccine, before slamming the WHO for kowtowing the China, a criticism that has been widely shared. A spokesperson for the giant NGO said Friday that the virus would likely make it to most, if not all, countries.

* * *

Update (0900ET): Spain reported 18 new cases Friday afternoon, bringing its total to 32, although 29 of them have direct links to ‘risk zones’ abroad (including Italy in particular).

Still, Spanish doctors and epidemiologists haven’t been able to trace the origins of 3 cases, contributing to anxieties that the outbreak might be much larger than presently detected.

Some 130 guests at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerifem the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, will be allowed to leave Friday after several days on lockdown. Four hotel guests have tested positive so far, as Spain’s Health Ministry tested every guest.

With China’s economy humming at less than 50% capacity, the Communist Party has decided to offer another 300 billion yuan (roughly $43 billion) in emergency loans to Chinese companies, particularly the SMEs who are in the most dire need of funding.


* * *

Update (0820ET): After several scares, Mexico has finally confirmed its first case of coronavirus, according to Mexico’s deputy health minister.

According to Reuters, the patient recently traveled to Italy and came up positive on the initial test. His case is only the second confirmed in Latin America, outside Brazil. The patient is said to be “not in a serious condition.”

In corporate news, following Facebook, Goldman Sachs and a host of other companies, Kraft Heinz has taken the precautionary step of postponing its March conference in Chicago. The conference was supposed to host 250 of the troubled packaged-food company’s best managers.

* * *

On Wednesday, the coronavirus outbreak reached a new milestone when the number of new cases confirmed in the world ex-China finally surpassed the number being confirmed on the mainland. Two days later, and we’re almost at the point where the number of Thursday new cases confirmed by Iran was roughly half the total coming out of Wuhan.

As of Friday morning, the number of confirmed cases worldwide had passed 83,000, while the number of deaths topped 2,800.

Since yesterday, we we first noted this chart, the number of cases outside China has soared, particularly in South Korea and across Europe, as the number of new cases in mainland China (but outside Wuhan) dropped into the single digits. Vietnam joined the group of countries restricting South Koreans from entry, announcing Friday that it would stop issuing visas for South Koreans, according to CNN.

Of course, China still had nearly two months of lead time over the rest of the world, and it has been home to the bulk of cases so far.

Here’s a rundown of deaths outside mainland China:

Iran: 34
Italy 17
South Korea: 14
Japan: 10
Hong Kong and France: 2 each
The Philippines and Taiwan: 1 each

A WHO Spokesman said Friday that the coronavirus outbreak is ‘getting bigger’, and that the possibility of it reaching some ‘if not all countries’ is something that we have warned about for a while.

Every Brooklyn hipster who’s been living in blissful ignorance of the pandemic unfolding all around them – dismissing every new warning as ‘racist right-wing alarmism’ – is about to start paying attention: The dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong has been found to carry a “low level” of the deadly virus, according to a statement from the region’s government.

You will find more infographics at Statista

According to the New York Post, researchers tested the dog’s nasal cavities and swabbed its mouth on Wednesday, and soon discovered that a test returned a “weak positive” for the samples.

“At present, the [Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department] does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people,” Hong Kong’s government said in a press release.

Don’t worry, dog lovers: The animal is being quarantined in a animal shelter holding no other animals. The pooch will remain under quarantine until it tests negative. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be showing symptoms.

South Korea has confirmed an additional 571 cases of the novel coronavirus so far on Friday, bringing its total to 2,337, making it the largest outbreak outside of mainland China.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with more than 200 million people, reported the first case in Sub-Saharan Africa late Thursday night (ET). On Friday, Nigerian Health Minister Osagie Ehanire told reporters in Lagos that his government has contacted the airline on which the country’s ‘patient zero’ traveled to try and trace people he came in contact with. Lagos Health Commissioner Akin Abayomi said the patient traveled to Nigeria on Turkish Airlines flight.

“We are not panicking,” Ehanire says. “We are not banning airlines. We have not seen the need. We are also not profiling and stigmatizing.”

Nigerian officials offered some more details about their first case on Friday, according to Al Jazeera.

The first confirmed case was not detected at the airport, allowing them to travel through densely populated Lagos before becoming ill and visiting a hospital, the country’s health minister said.

The Italian man, who authorities said arrived in Nigeria from Milan on the evening of Feb. 24, had no symptoms when their plane landed.

Authorities are now working to “meet and observe” all those who were on the flight with him, and are also identifying all the people he met and places he visited in Lagos, a giant city of 20 million.

Perhaps the most shocking development overnight was the surge of new cases in Germany, confirming the dire warnings of health officials. Europe’s largest economy has now quarantined about 1,000 people and affirmed “about 60” cases of coronavirus across the country.

Mexico’s streak of being the only country in North America to have rebuffed the coronavirus is about to end: The country just reported its first preliminary positive test on Friday morning, according to Bloomberg.

as the number of confirmed cases in Switzerland slowly grows, one of the most important events for the global auto industry, the Geneva International Motor Show, has been canceled now that Swiss authorities have banned major public events.

In Iran, authorities have nearly caught up to a lawmaker’s warning about 50 deaths  in the city of Qom earlier this week: The Islamic Republic reported 143 new cases overnight, raising the countrywide total to 388. It also reported 8 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 34.

“Iran expects an upward trajectory in confirmed coronavirus cases in the next few days,” the health minister said.

Singapore has become the latest country to crack down on the South Korean Christian cult at the center of that country’s outbreak.

Moving over the commonwealth of independent states, Azerbaijan confirmed its first case on Friday, while a second case was confirmed in Georgia. Another case has been confirmed in Thailand after a long period of calm, raising the total to 41.

German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said on Friday that the central bank’s official forecasts for 2020 growth were probably a little too optimistic, given the supply-side shock rocking Europe’s export powerhouse. Authorities in Germany’s Heinsberg, which is situated near the Dutch border, asked people who came into contact with a married couple with the disease to stay at home. Over in the UK, the first case was reported in Wales, following the first case in Northern Ireland last night. The tally for the four-country kingdom was 19 as of Friday morning in the US.

An update on the hotel in Tenerife where an Italian doctor was diagnosed with the virus and hundreds of guests have been quarantined: The first 9 guests of about 700 who have been isolated since Tuesday have been allowed to leave.

In Italy, cases soared to 650 on Thursday from 400 a day earlier, bringing the European total to more than 700. France has confirmed another 20 cases, according to the Washington Post, while Charles de Gaulle airport is suspected as a source.

Offering a picture of political unity to millions of terrified South Koreans, President Moon Jae-in joined with the leaders of rival parties to speak about the necessity for “bold and swift extraordinary measures,” including some deficit-widening fiscal stimulus, to combat the outbreak and revitalize economy, Yonhap News reported, citing a joint statement from South Korea’s parties. Meanwhile, in Japan, the Northern Island of Hokkaido has declared a “State of Emergency” following an outbreak.

Following the confirmation of the 60th case on US soil, the New York Times blasted the White House Task Force on Thursday for reportedly requiring that all statements and public appearances be coordinated through the office of the VP, a move that the NYT fretted might ‘rob’ Americans of sober, scientific advice. We suspect this isn’t really that major of a violation of norms (otherwise, what’s the point of having someone like Pence in charge of coordinating everything), and the NYT is joining its Democratic partners in slinging mud at the Trump Administration.

As if that weren’t enough, the NYT quickly pivoted to bashing Pence for selecting a trained scientist as the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, a position that will report to him. The NYT blasted Pence, saying the appointment confused the public about who will be speaking for the administration.

Last night, President Trump bashed the press coverage of the outbreak in the US during an event celebrating Black History Month at the White House.

“15 people is almost, I would say, a miracle,” Trump bragged.

While PM Shinzo Abe tries to quell speculation about the possible cancellation of the Olympics, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi said Friday that President Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to Tokyo would go ahead as planned.

Heading into the weekend, stock futures in the US are in the red once again as virtually nobody seems to want to be caught holding risk moving into the weekend.

Dear reader, if you’re wondering why global equities are once again in the red on Friday, CNBC’s Eunice Yoon has got you covered:

What a relief to see China getting back to work!

Remember, it’s not a matter of IF you’ll need storable food, but WHEN!