China virus hits cruise ships, carmakers, airlines and Airbus

GENEVA/BEIJING (Reuters) – Thousands of passengers and crew on two cruise ships in Asian waters were placed in quarantine for China’s coronavirus on Wednesday as airlines, carmakers and other global companies counted the cost of the fast-spreading outbreak.

Hundreds of experts will gather in Geneva next week, on Feb. 11-12, in an attempt to find a way to fight back against the outbreak by speeding research into drugs and vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. A multinational WHO-led team would go to China “very soon”, it added.

It stressed no known effective treatment existed to combat the virus, dismissing various reports of “drug breakthroughs”.

China said another 65 people had died in the previous 24 hours, in the highest daily total yet, taking the overall toll on the mainland to 490, most in and around the locked-down central city of Wuhan, where the new virus emerged late last year.

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