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Shares of Chinese drugmakers and face mask firms jump as pneumonia concerns mount

An elderly man wears a mask while walking past the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been linked to cases of Coronavirus, on January 17, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Getty Images. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

BEIJING, Jan 20, 2020, CNBC. Shares of Chinese drugmakers and face mask-makers surged on Monday amid rising concerns over an outbreak a new strain of coronavirus that’s spreading to more cities in the country, CNBC reported.

Jiangsu Sihuan Bioengineering, Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical and Shenzhen Neptunus Bioengineering all saw their stocks surge by about 10%, their daily limit.

Meanwhile, shares of face mask firms also got a boost, with Tianjin Teda soaring 9.89% while Shanghai Dragon surged about 10%.

The stocks moves came after authorities in China reported on Monday that 139 new cases of coronavirus had been discovered over the weekend, Reuters reported. Three of the new cases had come from places outside the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first reported.

For its part, China’s National Health Commission said in a release on Sunday that experts have deemed the current situation “still preventable and controllable,” according to CNBC’s translation of the original Chinese text.

“What has been evident by the most recent statistics that have come out overnight … is that it is highly likely that we have this human-to-human transmission occurring,” Alexandra Phelan, faculty instructor at the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University.

“We’re now starting to get a sense that perhaps given the scale we might have more sustained or less-clustered, more efficient human-to-human transmission — and that’s really what we’re looking out for because that is what tells us whether a disease is going to spread more rapidly between people,” Phelan told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Thursday.

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that could cause less-severe diseases such as the common cold, while other could lead to more severe disease such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The SARS outbreak in 2002/2003 resulted in around 800 deaths, with majority of them coming from China and Hong Kong, according to WHO data on the cumulative number of reported probable cases of the disease.

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