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China urges countries to restore ties for sake of the global economy as coronavirus deaths pass 1,000

As deaths from the coronavirus topped 1,000 - nearly all of them in China - Beijing on Tuesday, Feb. 11, urged countries that have enacted travel restrictions aimed at curbing the outbreak to restore normal ties for the sake of the global economy.

The appeal from China's Foreign Ministry underscored the economic dangers posed by the unprecedented shutdown of much of the world's second-largest economy, as well as the ruling Communist Party's concerns about the outbreak's capacity to fuel domestic instability.

In the United States, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress that he does not see any signs of a recession on the horizon and that he expects growth to remain solid, although he said the coronavirus is a major unknown for the economy.

"Some of the uncertainties around trade have diminished recently, but risks to the outlook remain. In particular, we are closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus, which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy," Powell said.

In a speech Monday in Ireland, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly was also careful to lower concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy.

"For now I'm watching the coronavirus carefully to see if it has any longer-term effects on the economy or deeper effects than we've penciled in right now," Daly said. "But to date, none of those have materialized."

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Monday that the negative impacts on China were "something to watch."

The U.S. economy is heavily driven by consumer spending, which remains healthy. Other economies are more dependent on trade, which is starting to be impacted by the shutdown of many factories in China.

The State Department triggered authorized departure of non-emergency U.S. personnel and their families from Hong Kong, as concerns grow over the coronavirus outbreak.

The policy provides employees and their families "the option to depart if they wish," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. "Departure is not required."


The spokesperson said that the change in the departure authorization was made out of "an abundance of caution related to uncertainties associated with the [coronavirus] outbreak and to ensure the safety and security of U.S. Government personnel and family members."

The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong will remain open and operational, the statement said.

In China, authorities in the virus-hit city of Wuhan have announced fresh restrictions on residents, making millions of people virtual prisoners in their own homes. Officials there are allowing just one member of a household to make one shopping trip every three days and placing entire buildings under quarantine.

Two provincial health bosses have been fired as the Communist Party struggles to contain widespread anger over the spread of the virus.

There are two new names associated with the epidemic unfolding in China and in two dozen countries around the world.

The "novel coronavirus" will be designated "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2," or more simply "SARS-CoV-2."

The disease it causes is "covid-19."

The name of the disease was announced by the director general of the World Health Organization on Tuesday at a news conference. The naming of the virus came from a committee of experts who published a paper on a biology preprint site that described their research and rationale for giving the new virus a derivative name.

"It will be like HIV and AIDS - different names for virus and disease," said Benjamin Neuman, a virologist at Texas A&M University-Texarkana and a co-author of the paper.

The naming of the virus came after close study of its genetic makeup by a dozen scientists, including Neuman, who form the Coronavirus Study Group, part of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.

Neuman said the new virus is the same species as the virus that caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China in 2002-2003.

"Same species, but different member of the species," Neuman said.

This article was written by Simon Denyer, Rick Noack and Siobhán O'Grady, reporters for The Washington Post.