Dow drops 400 points on coronavirus fears

Worries about the coronavirus outbreak and its economic impact are weighing on the stock market, dragging the Dow more than 400 points lower.

China is the engine of the global economy and investors are worried a slowdown there could have a knock-on effect around the world.

Italy, France to arrange repatriation flights

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

France and Italy are both sending planes to repatriate citizens from Wuhan, the city in central China where the novel coronavirus was first detected in December and which is now in lockdown.

Italy is sending a military flight in the early hours of Monday to repatriate 70 Italians, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in a press conference Friday.

The flight to Wuhan will carry some sanitary equipment requested by the Chinese authorities, Di Maio said. The returning passengers will be quarantined in a military facility for 14 days.

Italy’s government declared a state of emergency Friday morning a day after its first two cases of coronavirus – two Chinese tourists – were confirmed. Five million euros ($5,500) have been allocated to use if needed to help fight the spread.

Di Maio added that Chinese aircrafts currently on Italian soil have until Sunday to leave, and that it was coordinating with the Chinese embassy in Rome regarding any Chinese citizens who wanted to return home from Italy.

Meanwhile, France said it was working on sending a second repatriation flight after a first one arrived on Friday.

The French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said in a press conference in Marseille that the French government is “doing everything [they] can to do organize a second plane.”

Buzyn said that countries who lack the “logistical capacity” of France have asked for their help in repatriating citizens. Buzyn stated that “the idea is to bring in this plane all the nationalities who ask for our help and also the French that we can pick up.”

Buzyn said that the plane will fly to France and that it will be “up to other the countries to come and collect their citizens.

Delta Airlines to temporarily suspend all US-China flights over coronavirus

Delta Airlines plane
Delta Airlines plane

Delta has decided to temporarily suspend all flights from the US to China from February 6 through April 30, due to ongoing concerns related to the Wuhan coronavirus, the airline said in a statement on Friday. 

Between now and February 5, Delta will continue to operate flights to ensure customers looking to leave China have options to do so, according to the airline. 

Coronavirus in China
WUHAN, CHINA – JANUARY 17: WUHAN, CHINA – JANUARY 17: (CHINA OUT) Medical staff transfer patients to Jin Yintan hospital on January 17, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. Local authorities have confirmed that a second person in the city has died of a pneumonia-like virus since the outbreak started in December. (Photo by Getty Images)

The last China-bound flight departing the US will leave on Monday, February 3, with the final return flight back to the US departing China on February 5. The airline will continue to monitor the situation closely and may make additional adjustments as the situation evolves. 

Delta currently operates 42 weekly flights between the US and China, including daily service connecting Beijing and Detroit and Seattle, and Shanghai and Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle.

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