The Genie is out of the bottle.
Update (0825ET): Bahrain has banned its citizens from traveling to Iran as it reports 9 new cases of coronavirus, raising the total cases in the tiny island kingdom to 17 in the span of 24 hours.
Update (0800ET): With his reputation under fire and his popularity slipping, PM Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday that he’s confident that the measures his government has put in place will contain the contagion in the coming days.
This comes after the PM admitted that a hospital in Lombardy inadvertently helped spread the virus by not adhering to certain health-care protocols. The PM has blamed the hospital for the outbreak in the north, raising questions about whether “the European nation is capable of containing the outbreak,” according to CNN. To put things in perspective, Italy now has 3x the number of cases in Hong Kong.
“That certainly contributed to the spread,” Conte said, without naming the institution concerned. The infection has been centered around the town of Codogno, around 35 miles south of Milan. “Obviously we cannot predict the progress of the virus. It is clear that there has been an outbreak and it has spread from there,” Conte told reporters, referring to the hospital.
A team of health experts from the World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control arrived in Italy on Monday to assist local authorities while some 100,000 remain under an effective quarantine.
Over in India, Trump added to his earlier comments by saying a vaccine is “very close”, even though the most generous estimates claim we need another year.
Market experts cited a WSJ report on a possible vaccine as helping market sentiment, though even that report made clear that human tests of the drug are not due until the end of April and results not until July or August.