Apple Contractor Tells Employees to Stay Home as Coronavirus Cases Nearly Triple


Coronavirus infections continue to grow. From last night to this morning, Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracking website recorded 3,173 new cases of the disease — a 10% increase. Compared to a week ago, today’s 31,526 confirmed cases represent a 179% increase in infections.  

A total of 638 people have died from the coronavirus, and 1,764 patients have fully recovered.

Blue world map with China in red, word CORONAVIRUS and vectors leading away from China

Image source: Getty Images.

Business in China, the origin place of the illness and the country most affected by coronavirus today (99% of all cases reported), is starting to feel serious effects.

In Shenzen for example, Bloomberg reports Foxconn, Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) primary contractor for production of iPhones and other electronic devices, has instructed employees to not return to work at the end of their Lunar New Year holiday on Feb.10.  

At least two companies, Canada Goose (NYSE:GOOS) and Burberry (OTC:BURBY), have blamed coronavirus concerns for reductions in their forward earnings guidance. A third clothier, VF Corp (NYSE:VFC), says it’s closing 60% of its stores in China temporarily in response to the health crisis.

And coronavirus concerns are starting to be felt even outside of China. Citing fears of infection, two major tech companies, Sweden’s Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and South Korea’s LG Electronics, have pulled out of the upcoming MWC Barcelona 2020 tech conference. A third tech giant, Finland’s Nokia (NYSE:NOK), is mulling a similar move.

And closer to home, the Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) cruise ship Anthem of the Seas was boarded by officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the port of Bayonne, New Jersey who screened 27 passengers for coronavirus and removed four from the vessel for evaluation at a local hospital.  

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Royal Caribbean shares are down 3.3% as of 11 a.m. EST this morning in response to the news.





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