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The WHO still has not put out a global pandemic alert.

However, it's clear the virus is spreading exponentially in many countries and on at least two continents.

Italy Update

  • 11 towns, 50,000 people, placed in lockdown.
  • Armed forces and police forces have been mobilized to form an insurmountable "health belt" around contagion areas. Roadblock violators risk up to a 3 months prison sentence.
  • Schools closed in Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Liguria, and in Trentino Alto Adige regions. Universities closed in Piedmont.
  • Mayor of one of the towns in lockdown says they've run out of coronavirus testing kits.
  • 78 new cases in Italy and 1 new death.
  • Carnival in Venice and all sport and public events in Veneto cancelled.
  • All public and private events, including sport, cultural, and religious events in Lombardy cancelled. Movie theaters closed.
  • More than 40 football matches, including at least 4 Serie A games, postponed.
  • Armani cancels his fashion show today in Milan.
  • Teatro alla Scala in Milan suspends all performances.

Japan Update

  • 12 new cases
  • One new case was a woman in her 50s who works as a part-time school lunch attendant in Hokkaido. She had sore throat on February 15. She wore a mask, a white coat, and gloves, and carried lunches to 194 school children from the serving room to each classroom using a wagon.

South Korea Update

  • President Moon Jae-in raised the alert level to maximum (Level 4: Serious) thus empowering the government to lock down cities and restrict travel. “The coming few days will be a critical time for us” he said in an emergency meeting.
  • 166 new cases and 4 new deaths in South Korea.

South Korea Progression

  1. Feb. 18: 31 cases
  2. Feb. 19: 58 cases
  3. Feb. 20: 111 cases
  4. Feb. 21: 209 cases
  5. Feb. 22: 433 cases
  6. Feb 23: 602 cases
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The above from Worldometers

US Equity Futures

  • S&P 500: -40 Down 1.22%
  • Nasdaq: -159 Down 1.7%

South Korea Kospi Index Plunges 3%

China Race against the Clock

China Lockdown Stats

New Iran Officials Soon Needed

Jim Bianco on South Korea

60% Decline in French Tourists

Iran Schools Closed

Mike "Mish" Shedlock