COVID-19 update: Prowein and Basel events disabled; The visitor market in China could drop by half in 2020; WHO takes risk assessment worldwide to a new level: the Moodie Davitt Report


Baselworld, the leading international watch and jewelery event, was postponed from the original dates of April 30-May 5 until January 28-February 2, 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In a statement, Baselworld said: “For health security reasons and in accordance with the precautionary principle following the bans on large-scale public and private events issued today by the Swiss federal and cantonal authorities, Baselworld announces that it has taken the decision to postpone the show … because of concerns related to Covid-19.

It’s time to postpone: COVID-19 interrupts the 2020 edition of the main world event of watches and jewelery

“Baselworld … made this difficult decision in close consultation with its partners and responsible health authorities, in which Baselworld has full confidence for their experience and recommendations for the benefit of exhibitors, visitors and collaborators. Following today’s official ban of large public gatherings that led to direct repercussions for the show, Baselworld had no choice but to make a decision as all preparations, in particular, the construction of the halls and stands was scheduled for next week (start March).

Michel Loris-Melikoff, CEO of Baselworld, said: “We are deeply sorry that we had to postpone the event as expected due to the coronavirus, in full consideration of the needs of the watch and jewelery sector in order to benefit from the platform for develop your own business.

“This decision has been all the more difficult in light of all the positive aspects that have been achieved through listening and dialogue in recent months, which have led to new concepts and new solutions, which have attracted exhibitors to come back and new ones to sign. We have seen encouraging growth in all sectors; watchmaking, jewelery, trade in precious stones and pearls, as well as in the technical sector.

“By postponing the show to January 2021, we have found a solution that allows the sector and all our customers to avoid losing a whole year and at the same time restore their calendars for the beginning of the year, a favorable period for presenting their new products, new trends and order taking. This postponement will also allow Baselworld to continue to develop and bring new formats and solutions, as well as improvements to the new concept that we propose. “


European tourism trade agency ETOA released a trade update on Friday, suggesting that the Chinese visitor market could drop by half in 2020 compared to 2019. It said there are three key origin markets of particular interest: China, Japan and North America.

“The Chinese market for 2020 had looked good: the demand for Europe was increasing by + 11% compared to 2019. But we have seen a complete cessation of the activity. In fact there have been no tourist departures since January 27, when we lost nearly 50% of Chinese New Year’s business due to the outbreak. We don’t expect significant numbers to emerge before the end of April. If we include the lost New Year’s deals, this closure of outbound tourism means that almost 30% of the people who would normally come to Europe in a year have not done so.

“The period February – April is an important booking period for the high season months of May, June and July. Although all controls will be eased by May, we must expect a dramatic weakening of deliveries for the following three months: customers will not have had time to plan, book and apply for visas. So it’s fair to anticipate a further softening of the market in this period: maybe half of the people we normally expect will come will.

“Based on the fact that the market is recovering from what is now a zero level, and assuming that many of those who had to cancel the new reservation later this year, we can expect total demand from China in 2020 has decreased by 45-55% against 2019. If so, it is about 1.7 million fewer visitors, with a drop in spending in the region of 2.5 billion euros. “

Reservations in Japan and Southeast Asia for 2020 had recorded + 15% in advance compared to last year before the crisis. Since the epidemic has been reported in Italy, the EPAA said, reservations have stopped and cancellations have begun. “If the situation stabilizes rapidly, operators will be happy with a shortage of -20% compared to last year. Japan in 2019 sent around 3.5 million visitors to Europe, spending around 4 billion euros. “

The demand from the United States to travel in Europe was about + 10% more than last year until the crisis. For European tourism, the United States remains the most important long-haul market of origin, with 19 million visitors in 2019 and around 30 billion euros of expenditure. The outbreak occurred during a low season for travel, but the main booking period for people who come to Europe from North America.

ETOA said: “The outbreak in Italy (which represents an important component in many European trips) has led to a wave of abandoned reserves that is affecting all of Europe. It is too early to provide data on this, but cancellations are coming when we should see reservations.

“The United States has become a solid and resistant market, if we see a solution to the crisis, then much of the damage can be contained. No visa is required, Europe is a family destination and there is a substantial air lift. If there is a prolonged movement away from travel in Europe, we may observe shortcomings in arrivals similar to those we expect from Japan. “


The Global Times reports 427 new coronavirus infections and 47 other deaths in mainland China since February 28. The number of infected reached 79,251 in China, with 2,835 deaths.

Click to enlarge


Five new states (Belarus, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Nigeria) have reported COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today. As the number of cases reaches 83,652 worldwide, the organization has increased the COVID-19 risk of spread and impact risk to the highest levels.

South Korea

Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki today presented a comprehensive economy support package worth more than KRW 20,000 billion (US $ 16.5 billion), including the introduction of relief measures for children and medium duty-free retail distributors at airports.

No measures were announced to assist the large duty-free retailers. Airport companies from other countries – Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand in particular – have introduced their own rescue packages for business partners.

The travel retail sector in Korea has witnessed a sharp drop in passenger traffic and duty-free sales caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. According to statistics published by the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Chinese arrivals to Korea decreased by -80.4% on an annual basis in the third week of February and by -72.8% in the period from 1 to 24 February. Duty-free sales decreased -40.4% year-on-year from January to February and are expected to worsen further due to an increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Korea.

For the full story, click here.

China / Thailand

A total of 10,000 masks donated by King Power International for those in the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 have arrived at Chongqing Jiangbei international airport.

It is the latest act of solidarity from the Thai dealer. He recently released a video showing both Thai superstars and the first team players for Leicester City expressing their support for China, with many claiming the refrain: “Come to China, come Wuhan.”

Read the full story here


Israeli scientists are in the process of developing the first COVID-19 vaccine, according to the country’s science and technology minister Ofir Akunis.

“Congratulations to MIGAL [The Galilee Research Institute] on this exciting turnaround, “Akunis said.” I am confident that there will be further rapid progress, which will enable us to provide a necessary response to the serious global threat COVID-19. “

If everything goes according to plan, the vaccine may be ready in a few weeks and available in 90 days.


In its 2019 financial results released yesterday, Lagardère Travel Retail acknowledged that the COVID-19 epidemic will impact its performance by 2020.

The retailer estimated that its exposure to Chinese passenger spending is around 12%. This means that he expects the impact on his EBIT for the first quarter of the year to be around € 20 million (US $ 21.6 million). Corrective actions have already been taken, such as the optimization of opening hours and rent, added Lagardère.

“Undeniably, the COVID-19 health crisis is creating obstacles for all players in our sector, but our three-line strategy and global footprint ensure our model’s resilience to these events,” Dag Rasmussen , President and CEO of Lagardère Travel Retail said.

Read the full story here

South Korea

Incoming Chinese travel to South Korea decreased by -72.8% year-on-year to 109,400 in the period 1-24 February, according to the latest data provided by the Korean Ministry of Justice. In the same period of 2019, 403,000 Chinese visited the country.

On February 24, Chinese arrivals to Korea were 2,070, much lower than the average daily arrival last year between 10-15,000.

For more details, access our story here.


327 confirmed new coronavirus infections and 44 new deaths were reported yesterday in mainland China. 2,788 people died.

Hubei Province reported 318 new cases of COVID-19 with 41 new deaths. 2,682 deaths have been reported in the province, home of Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic.

First the good news: the number of confirmed cases in China continues to decline. The bad news (below) is that COVID-19 is growing faster in the rest of the world. Click to enlarge.


A comparison of the following three-day tables courtesy of John Hopkins University tells the story of how COVID-19 has become a global threat, right on the cusp of being a pandemic.

Source: John Hopkins University (click to enlarge)


The 15th ACI Asia Pacific Regional Assembly, Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for April 21-23, 2020 in Nara, Japan, has been postponed.

ACI Asia-Pacific will announce new dates for the event shortly; they will probably be after the summer of this year, the association noted.

“The Asia-Pacific ACI, together with host Kansai Airports, closely followed the COVID-19 epidemic as it was taking place,” said the association. “The growing public concern and the seriousness of the circumstances surrounding the epidemic have not diminished.

“Our main priority is the health and well-being of all the participants and workers of the event. Therefore, ACI Asia-Pacific, together with Kansai airports, made the difficult decision to postpone the event. Postponing the event will also allow our airport members and partners to focus on priorities following this outbreak.

“Thoughts and desires for a speedy recovery are with the people affected by the outbreak in our region and beyond.”


Singapore Airlines has suspended in-flight sales on flights to Hong Kong and mainland China as one of several precautionary measures taken to protect staff and customers.

“The safety of our customers and crew is a priority for Singapore Airlines,” said an airline spokesman.

“In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, we have taken several additional measures in our flight services for mainland China and Hong Kong flights.

“This includes demonstrating disposable wet wipes to replace the hot towel service, provide hand sanitizers for both crew and customers, remove cushions from economy class seats, remove magazines and documentation on the backrest, as well as suspend KrisShop sales. “


South Korea today announced 449 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 (February 27), surpassing for the first time the number of new confirmed cases in China (433) since the outbreak.

But the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom, said that the situation will not be declared a pandemic “without careful and clear analysis of the facts”.

Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), said he believed COVID-19 will become a pandemic, warning that the virus is moving “from the initial pandemic to the acceleration phase. “.

The World Health Organization said it would carefully analyze the facts before declaring a global pandemic

According to the US CDC, COVID-19 currently meets two of its three criteria for a pandemic: it spreads among people and kills. It is also approaching the fulfillment of the third criterion: a worldwide spread of the virus. The CDC said “current global circumstances suggest that this virus is likely to cause a pandemic.”

There are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 38 countries, according to the latest WHO statistics.

WHO last reported a global pandemic in June 2009 following the spread of H1N1 flu. This was the first global pandemic since the 1968 Hong Kong flu. There were 30,000 confirmed cases in 74 countries when the WHO announced the 2009 flu epidemic as a global pandemic, with the WHO director general. dr. Margaret Chan stating at the moment that “a feature of the pandemic is their rapid spread to all parts of the world”.


Unifree Duty Free and Gebr Heinemann indefinitely postponed the Unifree Duty Free gala event following the COVID-19 epidemic. The event would take place at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, from April 6 to 7.


Airport operator Fraport introduced a wide range of cost-cutting measures in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, including free unpaid voluntary leave or reduced temporary working hours for operational and administrative staff.

“We are responding decisively to this difficult situation with our timely countermeasures,” said Dr. Stefan Schulte, President of the Fraport Board of Directors.

Click here for all the details.

South Korea

Lotte Duty Free is introducing teleworking (working from home) for staff at its Myeong-dong, Seoul location from tomorrow (February 28) until March 6, in an attempt to prevent his team from capturing or spreading COVID-19 . As reported, South Korea has seen a spike in confirmed cases in the past week. By 9 am this morning in Korea, 1,595 cases had been confirmed, with a 334 day-to-day increase.

The teleworking initiative is the first, albeit unwelcome, for the duty-free sector. All employees of the central office, with the exception of a minimum number necessary for emergency responses, will carry out telework. The initial period can be prolonged if the disease continues to spread.

“Lotte Duty Free is doing its best to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to safeguard the health of our customers and employees,” said Kap Lee, CEO of Lotte Duty Free. “We will extend our response based on authority guidelines and how the spread of the virus continues.” For the full report click here.


The global budget increases as confirmed cases increase in new hotspots in South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran. Source: John Hopkins University (click to enlarge)

South Korea

The outbreak continues to intensify in South Korea, home to the world’s largest duty-free market, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (click to enlarge)


The latest data from the Chinese state-owned Global Times: 433 new coronavirus infections and 29 more deaths on the Chinese mainland. The total number of infections reached 78,497, with 2,744 deaths.

In the Hubei province, the center of the epidemic, there were 409 new cases with 26 new deaths and 2,288 recovery cases.

Recent infection and death statistics from the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China confirm the downward trend of both COVID-19 indicators. But the situation is worsening abroad.


The report Moodie Davitt, senior retail and commercial analyst Min Yong Jung, examined how major travel retail actions and global benchmarks are addressing fears of a wider global spread of COVID-19.

The performance of our retail and global aviation tracked travel stocks in recent days; Source: Yahoo Finance

Read his report here


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have warned of “negative repercussions on the tourism sector” following any disproportionate restrictions on travel in response to COVID-19.

“UNWTO and WHO are working in close consultation and with other partners to help states ensure the implementation of health measures so as to minimize unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade,” said the organizations in a joint declaration.

They added: “The response of tourism must be measured and coherent, proportionate to the threat to public health and based on local risk assessment, involving every part of the tourism value chain – public bodies, private companies and tourists, in line with the WHO general guide and recommendations.

“UNWTO and WHO are ready to work closely with all those communities and countries affected by the current health emergency to build a better and more resilient future. Travel restrictions that go further can cause unnecessary interference with international traffic, including negative repercussions on the tourism sector. “


Diageo estimated that the COVID-19 outbreak will have a negative impact on organic net sales of between £ 225 million (US $ 286 million) and £ 325 million (US $ 414 million) in the company’s current fiscal year.

The liquor-producing company added that organic operating profit is expected to hit between £ 140 million (US $ 178 million) and £ 200 million (US $ 255 million).

Read the full story here


Royal Jordanian Airlines has suspended flights from Amman to Rome until further notice, in light of the growing number of COVID-19 infections in Italy.

The airline is also consolidating numerous flights from Amman to some Asian countries, as the average number of weekly flight cancellations to the region reaches 50%.

Royal Jordanian President and CEO Stefan Pichler said that decisions were made in the interest of traveler safety and further measures will be implemented if necessary.

Asia Pacific / International

Duty-free, airport and travel behavior is changing dramatically following COVID-19, a new Pi Insight study found.

Based on over 1,000 interviews with regular travelers and duty free shoppers, Pi Insight found that many Asia Pacific passengers were avoiding crowded shopping areas, collecting products while browsing and buying items if they were to queue. There was also a slowdown in time spent in the store and a general decrease in the desire to shop.

Source: Pi Insight. Click to enlarge.

Many travelers also avoid restaurants and cafes and change the general behavior of the airport.

But it is only those who have been able to proceed with their journey. Three-quarters of Asia Pacific travelers on pre-planned trips had their trip interrupted due to the epidemic, while the will to travel is also on the wane.

Click here for a more in-depth look at the results of the Pi Insight study.


A team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has come to Italy to support local authorities.

“COVID-19 is a new virus which we must take very seriously. This mission in Italy is one of the ways in which WHO / Europe supports countries across the region. We are working hard with our Member States to ensure that they are ready for COVID-19, preparing the arrival of cases and any localized spread. It is imperative that we treat patients with dignity and compassion, put in place measures to prevent transmission and protect healthcare professionals, “said Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

Heath authorities in Italy have implemented measures to prevent ongoing broadcasting, including the closure of schools and bars and the cancellation of mass gatherings in the affected areas.

The number of confirmed cases in Italy has now risen to 374 and the country has reported its twelfth death from coronavirus.


The S&P 500 index, a key representation of the US stock market, saw around 1.74 trillion US dollars erosion during a two-day sell-off linked to COVID-19, according to S&P Dow Jones indices. [Source: CNBC]


Fears of a global pandemic rose yesterday as confirmed COVID-19 cases were revealed in five European countries Spain, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and France. They are believed to be linked to a wave of infections in Italy, where confirmed cases rose to 322 on Tuesday, compared to 229 on the previous day. The Italian death toll has risen to ten, from seven.

The latest global epidemic scale at 8.03 (GMT) on February 26, according to John Hopkins University (click to enlarge)

Sky News in the UK is the title that summarizes a growing crisis

I came across

Iran’s deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, was confirmed with COVID-19, just a day after appearing indisposed at a television press conference (see below). At least 16 people died in the Islamic Republic – the highest death toll outside China.

Turkey closed the land border with Iran over the weekend and Turkish Airlines stopped all flights to and from Iran. Other neighboring countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Armenia and Pakistan, have imposed restrictions on travel and trade at border crossings and trade. The Iraqi government announced on Monday that all flights from Iran will be suspended after reporting its first virus case. A family of four returning from Iran was confirmed on Tuesday with COVID-19.

Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates have also confirmed the cases.

The Dubai Gulf News newspaper highlights a growing COVID-19 crisis in neighboring Iran that has serious repercussions for the Middle East region


508 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday in mainland China with 530 other suspected infections. 71 deaths were recorded. Hubei Province has seen 499 new cases (464 of them in Wuhan) with 68 deaths.


Principal health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, said: “It’s no longer about knowing if this will happen again, but rather about knowing exactly when it will happen.”

The CDC is also warning on its website that more cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States.


Total passenger movements at Singapore Changi airport declined by more than -25% year-on-year in the first two weeks of February with traffic between Singapore and China falling by more than -85% for the period.

As of February 14, there were approximately 40 weekly services from Changi to less than ten cities in mainland China, a -90% decrease from the approximately 400 weekly services that connected the airport to 36 previously Chinese destinations.

More information in the regularly updated Moodie Davitt Pax index


An example of the operational challenges posed to airlines since the outbreak of COVID-19, and in particular the impact of entry restrictions imposed by some countries, comes today in a Qatar Airways statement. The Doha-based carrier said it is temporarily suspending and planning adjustments to its operations in South Korea and Iran until further notice. It will periodically review operations with the intention of restoring flights as soon as the restrictions are lifted, he added.

“With travel restrictions on recent visitors to these countries, the airline is in a logistically demanding position to schedule the crew on certain routes, limiting its ability to maintain scheduled operations elsewhere. As a result, the airline will temporarily reorganize its services to South Korea and Iran from February 26, “said Qatar Airways.

Flights to and from South Korea to Doha are temporarily adequate to operate on a smaller plane, while only passengers with subsequent connections through Hamad International Airport are allowed to travel from Incheon Airport. For Iran, Qatar Airways scheduled passenger frequencies will be temporarily on hold, effective from February 26 for two weeks until March 14. This will affect flights to and from Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan.

South Korea

The sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea is deterring buyers, including Chinese retailers (crucial in particular for the duty-free cosmetics market) to visit the country. As reported, South Korea is subject to travel restrictions from an increasing number of countries due to the new increase in coronavirus.

In a special report, Chinese state media Global Times spoke to a reseller and several agents who manage reseller activities.

He cited Crystal, a Chinese buyer based in Hebei province who has been a professional purchasing agent for years.

Crystal said: “I usually go to South Korea once a month to buy cosmetics, but this annoying coronavirus has kept us at home. My current stocks would be exhausted in a few days. “She said that purchases in Korea, resold in China, would earn her around 20,000 yuan (US $ 2,844) each month.

“We can’t get out of China right now and I’m also afraid of getting infected in South Korea,” another shopping agent told the Global Times.

Group travel to South Korea was banned in January, and FIT travel also declined sharply as the situation in South Korea is worrying, tourism agencies reported in the Global Times.


DFS Group will manage its T Fondaco dei Tedeschi shop in Venice part-time from March 2, against the background of the COVID-19 epidemic in northern Italy. From that date, the shop will open from 10 to 19 every day.

DFS Group said: “We maintain close contacts with the Veneto Region to ensure that we are aligned with any contingency plans that may be needed.”

In addition, the retailer will maintain the temporary closure of two stores in Hong Kong until March 16th.

For the full story, click here.


The latest scale of the global epidemic according to John Hopkins University shows that the number of cases in South Korea has increased since the nightly update of the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (click to enlarge)

South Korea

As China gradually begins to overcome the COVID-19 epidemic, the focus is increasingly on other countries. South Korea, home to the world’s largest duty-free market, confirmed 60 additional cases overnight, bringing the total to 893, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a press release. .

Source: Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (click to enlarge)

Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are providing daily updates on the growing COVID-19 crisis


508 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday in mainland China with 71 new deaths. Most infections and deaths remain confined to the epicenter of Hubei province, which reported 499 new cases and 68 new deaths.

Fonte: Commissione nazionale per la salute della Repubblica popolare cinese. Clicca per ingrandire.


Il direttore generale dell’Organizzazione mondiale della sanità (OMS), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, ha rivelato i risultati della missione dell’OMS in Cina.

“Hanno scoperto che l’epidemia ha raggiunto il picco e ha raggiunto il plateau [in China] tra il 23 gennaio e il 2 febbraio, e da allora è in costante calo “, ha detto.

Ghebreyesus ha aggiunto che non ci sono stati cambiamenti significativi nel DNA dei virus in Cina e che il tasso di mortalità era del 2-4% a Wuhan e dello 0,7% altrove.

“Dr Bruce Aylward, [the head of the delegation], fornirà maggiori dettagli domani a nome del team congiunto “, ha continuato. “Ma il messaggio chiave che dovrebbe dare a tutti i paesi speranza, coraggio e fiducia è che questo virus può essere contenuto.”

Discutendo di ciò che ha definito l’aumento “profondamente preoccupante” in casi in Italia, Iran e Corea del Sud, Ghebreyesus ha affermato che l’epidemia è ancora un’emergenza di sanità pubblica di interesse internazionale e non ancora una pandemia.

“Ogni paese deve effettuare la propria valutazione del rischio per il proprio contesto. L’OMS sta anche continuando a fare la propria valutazione del rischio e sta monitorando l’evoluzione dell’epidemia tutto il giorno “, ha aggiunto.


Il Ministero della Cultura e del Turismo cinese ha emesso oggi un avviso di sicurezza in merito ai turisti cinesi per evitare di recarsi negli Stati Uniti, citando “motivi di sicurezza”. La Cina ha criticato la risposta degli Stati Uniti alla crisi COVID-19, affermando che i suoi turisti sono stati trattati ingiustamente a causa delle eccessive misure di prevenzione introdotte lì. [Xinhua, Global Times]

Cina (Hong Kong)

L’autorità aeroportuale di Hong Kong è diventata l’ultimo operatore aeroportuale a introdurre misure di soccorso per i suoi partner aeroportuali alla luce della grave flessione del traffico passeggeri causata dal nuovo focolaio di coronavirus.

Leggi di più qui


409 nuove infezioni da coronavirus e 150 nuovi decessi sono stati segnalati ieri (23 febbraio) nel continente cinese. Il numero totale di casi confermati ha raggiunto 77.150, con 2.592 morti. La provincia di Hubei, epicentro dell’epidemia, ha riportato 398 nuovi casi con 149 nuovi decessi.

Questo grafico mostra come i numeri dei casi sono scesi in Cina e nell’epicentro COVID-19 della provincia di Hubei. Ma la rapida diffusione della malattia all’estero ora si presenta come una grande sfida.


Oggi Qatar Airways ha affermato che tutti i viaggiatori che arrivano a Doha dall’Iran e dalla Corea del Sud dovrebbero isolarsi a casa o in una struttura di quarantena per 14 giorni.

“I passeggeri che arrivano da quei paesi che manifestano sintomi verranno trasferiti al centro per le malattie trasmissibili presso la Hamad Medical Corporation”, ha dichiarato la compagnia aerea in una nota. “Ringraziamo i nostri passeggeri per la loro collaborazione in materia.”


L’Italia ha assunto lo status indesiderato del paese più colpito d’Europa da COVID-19 con il numero di casi confermati che salgono a 157. Il picco dell’Italia, principalmente nel nord, segna il più grande focolaio al di fuori dell’Asia. Nel corso del fine settimana sono state attuate severe misure di emergenza, incluso il divieto di eventi pubblici in dieci comuni.

Il famoso Carnevale di Venezia era chiuso domenica, due giorni prima del previsto. Two of the region’s 25 cases occurred in Venice, a hugely popular tourist destination and home to the acclaimed T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS. That business stands to be heavily affected by an expected prolonged downturn in Chinese visitors caused by COVID-19.

Our latest update from John Hopkins University shows a growing number of cases in Italy and Iran (click to enlarge)

South Korea

President Moon Jae-in today put the country on the highest possible Level 4 alert in its fight against COVID-19. The move empowers Moon’s government to lock down cities and take other drastic measures to contain the disease.

“The coming few days will be a critical time for us,” President Moon said. “This will be a momentous time when the central government, local governments, health officials and medical personnel and the entire people must wage an all-out, concerted response to the problem.”

South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed today that 12 countries have banned or strengthened their entry procedures from Korea due to concerns over the country’s surge in COVID-19 cases.

Israel, for example, has banned visitors from Korea. It sent back approximately 130 Korean passengers on Korean Air KE957, which arrived in Tel Aviv last night. Bahrain has introduced similar measures.

“The spike of cases in South Korea and a rising death toll in Iran have added to fears that the window to avert a global pandemic is narrowing,” the New York Times wrote. “The World Health Organization warned African leaders of the urgent need to prepare for the virus; it identified 13 African countries as priorities because of their direct links to China.”


The National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China announced that on 22 February, 648 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Mainland China with 97 deaths. The death toll on the Mainland has now reached 2,422 out of 76,936 cases.

Hubei Province, home to COVID-19’s epicentre of Wuhan, reported 630 new confirmed cases and 96 deaths.

Source: The National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China

South Korea

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to soar in South Korea – home to the world biggest duty free market. The total has reached 556 with five deaths, according to the country’s leading media agency Yonhap News. The potentially fatal illness has been identified in many regions, including South Korea’s 17 major provinces and cities, the report said.

On Friday, the government declared Daegu – epicentre of the Korean outbreak – and its adjacent county Cheongdo as “special care zones”.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun yesterday called the situation “grave”.

[Click on the YouTube icon above to watch The Moodie Davitt Report’s video snapshot of this week’s major developments from the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis]


Italy’s Health Ministry this morning confirmed the country’s first death from COVID-19, as a man in Padua passed away after contracting the virus. A second death was later reported in Lombardy by news agencies.

Health authorities have reported 15 cases of the virus in the northern region of Lombardy and two in Veneto where Padua is located.


Global Times reports 397 new coronavirus infections and a further 109 deaths in Mainland China. This takes the death toll to 2,345, with case numbers at 76,288.

In encouraging news from China, 18 provinces reported no new cases, offering hope that containment measures inside the country are working. As of Friday, the number of daily reported infections in regions outside Hubei dropped to 31, the lowest in a month, according to China’s National Health Commission.


The China Duty Free Group-run Sanya International Duty Free City (CDF Mall) has celebrated its reopening with record daily ecommerce sales of more than CNY44.28 million (US$6.3 million).

As reported, China Duty Free Group (CDFG) reopened its main duty free stores on Hainan Island, including the flagship CDF Mall in Sanya, on 20 February. The stores had been closed since 27 January due to the COVID-19 crisis. For full story, click here.

Back with a bang: Responsible retailing combined with a renewed focus on online shopping led to an encouraging reopening for the CDF Mall

China’s domestic tourism revenue (including Hainan Province, home to China’s offshore duty free industry) is expected to plummet by -69% in the first quarter due to the COVID-19 epidemic, according to China Tourism Academy. Given a recovery later in the year, full-year revenue is set to fall about -21% the organisation said. [Source: Global Times]

As revealed by The Moodie Davitt Report yesterday, China Duty Free Group has reopened its main stores on Hainan Island.

Back in business: CDF Mall in Haitang Bay reopened yesterday, an important boost for Hainan Province’s beleagured offshore duty free sector

South Korea

South Korea, home to the world’s biggest duty free market, is now also home to the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 after China and the Diamond Princess cruise ship following a surge in the infection rate over recent days. The country’s leading news agency, Yonhap, reported that 48 more cases have been reported today, bringing the total to 204.

The number of cases in South Korea has surged even since our latest daily update from John Hopkins University (click to enlarge)


The National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China announced that on 20 February, 889 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Mainland China with 118 deaths. The death toll on the Mainland has now reached 2,236 out of 75,465 cases.

Hubei Province, home to COVID-19’s epicentre of Wuhan, reported 631 new confirmed cases (319 in Wuhan) and 115 deaths (including 99 in Wuhan).

Source: National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China


Leave a Comment