Epidemic in China on January 17 2020 04:40 AM (UTC).
China reported 11 new coronavirus cases on April 25, compared to 12 on the previous day, with no fatalities, according to official data published on Sunday. Of the total, there were six cases of local transmission, including five in the northeastern border province of Heilongjiang, and one in southeast Guangdong province, which neighbours Hong Kong.The remaining five cases were imported, down from 11 on the previous day, National Health Commission data showed.The commission also reported 30 new asymptomatic cases, up slightly from 29 on the previous day.China has now reported a total of 82,827 confirmed infections, with 4,632 deaths.
The Chinese city where the coronavirus epidemic first broke out, Wuhan, ended a two-month lockdown on Wednesday, but a northern town started restricting the movement of its residents amid concerns of a second wave of infections in mainland China.China sealed off Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, in late January to stop the spread of the virus. Over 50,000 people in Wuhan caught the virus, and more than 2,500 of them died, about 80% of all deaths in China, according to official figures.The virus has since become a global pandemic that has infected over 1.4 million people and killed 82,000, wreaking havoc on the global economy as governments worldwide imposed sweeping lockdowns to rein in its spread.Restrictions in Wuhan have eased in recent days as the capital of Hubei province reported just three new confirmed infections in the past 21 days and only two new infections in the past fortnight.But even as people leave the city, new imported cases in the northern province of Heilongjiang surged to a daily high of 25, fuelled by an influx of infected travellers arriving from Russia, which shares a land border with the province.Suifenhe City in Heilongjiang restricted the movement of its citizens on Wednesday in a similar fashion to that of Wuhan.Residents must stay in residential compounds and one person from a family can leave once every three days to buy necessities and must return on the same day, said state-run CCTV.In Jiaozhou City in the eastern province of Shandong the risk level had risen from low to medium, according to a post on an official website, but it gave no further details.A county in central China with a population of about 600,000 went into a partial lockdown on April 1 following several new infections, including at least two asymptomatic cases.Around 55,000 people are expected to leave Wuhan by train on Wednesday. More than 10,000 travellers have left the city by plane so far as flights resume at Wuhan Tianhe airport. Flights to Beijing and international locations have not been restored.
"I'm very happy, I'm going home today," migrant worker Liu Xiaomin told Reuters as she stood with her suitcases inside Wuhan's Hankou railway station, bound for Xiangyang city.Still, Wuhan residents have been urged not to leave the province, their city or even their neighbourhood unless absolutely necessary.People from Wuhan arriving in the Chinese capital Beijing will have to undergo two rounds of testing for the virus.China is maintaining strict screening protocols, concerned about any resurgence in domestic transmissions due to virus carriers who exhibit no symptoms and infected travellers arriving from overseas.Authorities are chiefly concerned with imported infections and asymptomatic cases, people who have been infected with the virus but do not show any symptoms such as fever or a cough.Mainland China's new coronavirus cases doubled over the past 24 hours as the number of infected overseas travellers surged, while new asymptomatic infections more than quadrupled.New confirmed cases rose to 62 on Tuesday from 32 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said, the highest since March 25. New imported infections accounted for 59 of the cases.The number of new asymptomatic cases rose to 137 from 30 a day earlier, the health authority said on Wednesday, with incoming travellers accounting for 102 of the latest batch.Chinese authorities do not count asymptomatic cases as part of its tally of confirmed coronavirus infections until patients show symptoms such as a fever or a cough.As of Tuesday, 1,095 asymptomatic patients were under medical observation in China, with 358 of them travellers arriving from abroad.To stem infections from outside its borders, China has slashed the number of international flights and denied entry to virtually all foreigners. It also started testing all international arrivals for the virus this month.Screening of travellers arriving overland was also recently tightened.As of Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China stood at 81,802, including 3,333 fatalities, the National Health Commission said.
The number of novel coronavirus cases in China risen by 34 in the past 24 hours, no new cases were reported in the disease's epicenter of Wuhan, China's National Health Commission said on Thursday.Eight people died of the infection in the reported period, while 819 people recovered.About 6,900 infected persons remain in hospitals in the central Chinese province of Hubei, where the disease first broke out in late 2019.According to the country's authorities, the overall number of those infected reached about 80,900 people. Some 70,400 of them recovered and 3,245 died. According to the official statistics, the current mortality rate of the novel coronavirus is 4%.
Mainland China had 13 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the country's National Health Commission said, down from 21 cases a day earlier.That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,894, the health authority said in a statement on Wednesday.The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 3,237 as of the end of Tuesday, up by 11 from the previous day.In the central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak in China, there were 11 new deaths, with the provincial capital of Wuhan accounting for 10 of the fatalities.The number of imported cases of the virus in mainland China reached 155 as of Tuesday, up 12 from a day earlier.
China's health authorities on Monday reported 16 additional cases of novel coronavirus infection on the mainland, mostly among people arriving from abroad, and 14 more deaths linked to the virus.Of the newly confirmed infections, four were in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus in the central Chinese province of Hubei, with the remaining 12 detected in people who entered the country, according to the National Health Commission.The entrants had come to such cities as Beijing and Shanghai from places like Italy and Spain.In order to curb the number of imported cases, the Beijing municipal government has announced that it will begin on Monday quarantining all travelers arriving in the capital from abroad at designated facilities for 14 days at their own expense.That means those with residence in Beijing no longer have the option to self-quarantine in their own homes.The mainland tally of confirmed cases, which includes people who have recovered from the coronavirus, as well as deaths, now stands at 80,860. The number of imported cases is 123.All but one of the 14 latest fatalities, reported over a one-day period to the end of Sunday, occurred in Wuhan. The death toll for the mainland came to 3,213.
China reported an uptick in new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, reversing four straight days of fewer new cases, driven by infected individuals arriving from abroad.Mainland China had 24 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday, up from 19 new cases a day earlier.Of the new infections, 10 were imported cases, bringing the overall cases from abroad to 79.
Beijing on Tuesday saw six new cases involving individuals who traveled from Italy and the United States, while Shanghai had two imported infections, Shandong province one and Gansu province one.Taiwan too has begun reporting an uptick in imported cases. The government said on Wednesday the island's 48th case was a woman in her 30s who had returned from holiday in Britain and had most likely been infected there.As China's efforts to control the spread of the pathogen at home start to payoff, Beijing is turning its focus on overseas cases as the coronavirus expands its footprint across the globe.New infections in central Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, continued to stabilize, with new cases declining for the sixth day.In Wuhan, the provincial capital, just 13 new infections were reported on Tuesday, or all of the new cases in Hubei.President Xi Jinping on Tuesday made his first visit to Wuhan since the coronavirus outbreak forced a lockdown of the city of 11 million people.A few cities in Hubei have started to loosen restrictions on movement of people and goods.Hunan province and the municipality of Chongqing lowered their emergency response level as domestic infections eased across the country.So far, 24 municipalities, regions and provinces have cut their emergency response level from the highest tier previously.The total number of confirmed cases in the mainland so far stood at 80,778 as of Tuesday. The death toll had reached 3,158 as of the end of Tuesday, up by 22 from the previous day.The central province of Hubei accounted for all of the new deaths, including 19 fatalities in the provincial capital of Wuhan.
Mainland China had 19 new cases of coronavirus infections on Monday, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday, down from 40 cases a day earlier.That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,754.The death toll from the outbreak in China reached 3,136 as of the end of Monday, up by 17 from the previous day.The central province of Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 17 new deaths, all of which were in the provincial capital of Wuhan.
China on Sunday reported its lowest number of new coronavirus infections since January, with nearly all the 44 new cases in the outbreak epicenter Wuhan.There were 27 new deaths from the virus, all in Wuhan and the lowest in more than a month, bringing the nationwide toll to 3,097, according to the National Health Commission.Only three cases, all imported from abroad, were reported outside of Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, in Beijing and the northwest province of Gansu.New infections reported from Hubei have been on a downward trend for several weeks and multiple cities in the province have reported zero new cases in recent days.A senior government official hinted on Friday that China may soon lift the lockdown on the province imposed in late January, which has effectively restricted the movement of some 56 million people in Hubei.Nationwide new infections have also been on a downward trend, but confirmed imported cases have prompted fears in recent days that infections could swell as people get infected overseas.
The two cases reported in Beijing on Sunday were arrivals from Italy and Spain, the capital's health commission said.The number of coronavirus cases has risen worldwide to more than 100,000, with 3,500 dead across 95 nations and territories.

China on Thursday reported 139 new coronavirus infection cases for the mainland, most of them in the hard-hit province of Hubei, as the death toll reached over 3,000.Wuhan, Hubei's provincial capital, accounted for 131 of the newly confirmed cases, showing the epidemic persists in the city from which the virus spread across China, amid optimism that the spread outside of Hubei may be coming under control.Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of preventing the spread of the virus in the country's capital on Wednesday, warning of a rebound in the outbreak, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.The epidemic situation remains tough in Hubei and Wuhan, Xi said, adding that the risk of the outbreak is growing in other regions due to an increased movement of people.
Migrant workers who returned to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holidays have been encouraged to return to work as restrictions on movements are eased in major cities. The National Health Commission said the total number of confirmed infections reached 80,409, while the death toll rose by 31 to 3,012. All of the new deaths in the 24 hours through Wednesday occurred in Hubei, with 23 of them in Wuhan.As the virus spreads around the world and as China becomes increasingly concerned about the possibility of another outbreak, the commission began reporting daily "imported cases" on Thursday.The commission said two new such cases were confirmed in Zhejiang Province, south of Shanghai, taking the total number of imported cases to 20.The nationwide virus numbers have been on a steady downward trend, with a total of over 52,000 COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals after completing treatment, according to the health authorities.
Death toll from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) hit 2,946 in China with 80,151 cases of infection across 31 cities and provinces in the country, said the National Health Commission (NHC) Tuesday.There are 125 new reported cases with 31 new confirmed deaths; 114 in the center of the outbreak of Hubei province, with all deaths in the same province, said the Commission.In Hong Kong, there were 100 individuals confirmed infected by the end of Monday, including two deaths, while 10 cases were confirmed in Macau and 41 in Taiwan with one death case.
China's coronavirus death toll climbed to 2,870 with 35 new deaths, while the confirmed cases increased to 79,824 even as the infections outside the worst-hit Hubei province dropped with only three positive cases reported in a single day, continuing the trend of slowdown in the rest of the country, health officials said Sunday.The National Health Commission (NHC) said it received reports of 573 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 35 deaths on Saturday from the Chinese mainland.Among the deaths, 34 were in Hubei and one in Henan Province.COVID-19, which at one time started spreading rapidly all over China, showed a declining trend with three new confirmed cases reported outside Hubei on Saturday.
Of the 573 confirmed cases, 570 were reported from Hubei and its capital Wuhan, which remained a battle ground for the virus ever since it originated from there in December last year.Meanwhile, 132 new suspected cases were reported, it said, adding that the number of severe cases decreased to 7,365.Among the 79,824 confirmed cases, 2,870 people have died, 35,329 patients are still being treated while 41,625 have been discharged after recovery.However, some recovered patients are showing relapse of the virus.The commission added that 851 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus.
The commission said 51,856 close contacts were still under medical observation.By the end of Saturday, 95 confirmed cases including two deaths had been reported in Hong Kong, 10 confirmed cases in Macao and 39 in Taiwan, including one death.Meanwhile, an official report on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) released jointly by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and China's National Health Commission identified the infection as a zoonotic virus, meaning an infectious disease caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that spread from animals to humans.The report, which is based on analysis of data the WHO and Chinese health authorities gathered from February 16-24, said human-to-human transmission is largely occurring in families.The report also found that people with COVID-19 generally show symptoms within five to six days, on average, after contracting the infection, and most people infected have mild symptoms and could recover.However, individuals, including people aged over 60 and those with underlying conditions such as hypertension face the highest risk of severe conditions and even death, the report said.COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets and fomites during close unprotected contact with those who are infected with the virus.Airborne transmission has not been reported for COVID-19 and it is not believed to be a major source of transmission based on available evidence.The lockdown of virus-hit Wuhan and 18 other cities in Hubei with over 50 million people since January 23 has effectively prevented further exportation of infected individuals to the rest of the country, the report said.
China on Saturday reported 47 more deaths from the new coronavirus, raising the death toll in the country to 2,835. The National Health Commission also tallied 427 new cases, an increase from the previous day, bringing the total number of infections to 79,251. One person died in Beijing and another in Henan province, while 45 died in Hubei. All but four of the new cases were in Hubei, and 420 were in its capital, Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated in a market that sold wild animals.While the number of new cases rose from 327 on Friday, they remain in the hundreds, far below the huge, daily increases that China was recording more than 10 days ago. The World Health Organization (WHO) said earlier this week that there were now more daily cases abroad than in China. China has placed no lesser than 56 million people in Hubei under strict quarantine for more than a month and limited crowds across the country in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus. Officials say the country has made progress against the virus but measures remain in place, including the closure of schools. Businesses have slowly started to reopen.

Forty four more people have died of the novel coronavirus in China, taking the death toll in the outbreak to 2,788, Chinese health officials said on Friday, amid growing criticism from experts and the public that the epidemic would have been less severe if the authorities acted when the first confirmed case was reported in December.Among the deaths reported on Thursday, 41 were from the epicentre Hubei province and its capital Wuhan, two in Beijing and one in Xinjiang, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.A total of 44 new deaths and 327 confirmed cases were reported on Thursday from all over China, far lower than the earlier days, it said.The overall confirmed cases in the mainland have reached 78,824 by the end of Thursday. In all, 2,788 people have died of the disease so far, it said.As virulence of the disease slowed, criticism of Chinese officials' attempts to hide the outbreak in its early stage was highlighted by the official media on Thursday in a rare public criticism of the system of secrecy in governance.The outbreak first surfaced in December last year until it became severe by middle of January, becoming a full-fledged epidemic causing massive devastation in the country, a report highlighting the shortcomings was published by the state-run Global Times on Thursday.While China's massive response in trying to localise the virus to Hubei province with strong measure like locking over 18 cities including Wuhan with over 50 million people came for praise from the World Health Organisation (WHO), criticism is also growing at home over why it was not nipped in the bud.The situation should have been better if the control measures were taken earlier Zhong Nanshan, said a leading epidemiologist who was also among those in the expert groups dispatched by the central government to the epicentre Wuhan.
Under the scanner is China's famous top down approach under the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) with little power to local officials.
Several top-down authorities, constantly shifting blame on each other for mishandling the outbreak earlier, have now been engulfed in a public opinion crisis, with people calling for an improved decision-making process in the country's healthcare system, the media report said.Zhong said three major coronavirus-related epidemics in the 21st century - SARS, MERS and COVID-19 - had offered a lesson that countries should act quickly to prevent them from spreading further.
"The epidemic would have been much less severe if we took strict control measures in early December, even early January," Zhong said told the media on Thursday."We estimated that numbers of patients would surge to more than 100,000 if we took measures [such as city lockdown] after January 25," he said.Missing the window of opportunity has become a major regret amid the COVID-19 outbreak not only for the veteran medical adviser, but also for many frontline doctors and officials inside the central and regional centres for disease control and prevention (CDC), the report said.A more timely response to the outbreak as soon as the virus had been detected would have led to a different outcome, given the highly contagious disease has caused more than 78,824 infections nationwide and death of 2,788 in China."We have to take immediate action as soon as we detect the virus. This is a lesson we must learn," Zhong said.In China, the CDC system is just a "technical department" with limited standing when he mentioned the shortcomings exposed amid the outbreak, he noted, adding that the CDC should be given more authority and its importance should be further highlighted.It is urgent to figure out how the CDC could play a bigger role in public health matters or have "a bigger say" in alerting the Chinese people about potential epidemic risks and sending out warnings instead of only focusing on doing research or publishing papers in medical journals.After the SARS outbreak from 2002 to 2003 that caused over 5,000 infections and killed 349 nationwide, China set up a top-down direct reporting system on infectious diseases and critical public health events, with reportedly USD 104 million, with the aim of reporting and examining any epidemic quickly after receiving information about the confirmed and suspected patients at hospitals.But it appears to have failed in raising alarm about coronavirus.The first confirmed case of then "unknown pneumonia" occurred on December 8 in Wuhan. The first result of a pathogen sample, collected from a 65-year-old male, proved that the "unknown pneumonia" discovered in the city was caused by a coronavirus, which is 80 per cent similar to the SARS virus, the Global Times report said.Shortly after, Li Wenliang, a local doctor in Wuhan considered the "whistle-blower" of the looming crisis, shared the information about the "SARS-like coronavirus" found in Wuhan hospitals on social media, which became the first warning from the healthcare system to the public in a non-official capacity.Li who was silenced by local police with a stern warning not to spread rumours died of the virus, becoming the 10th medical staffer killed in combating the virus. Officials said over 3000 medical staff have been infected with the virus.
From the first confirmed case in Wuhan to the official warning about human-to-human transmissions of COVID-19, it took over a month before vigorous measures were adopted, the daily's report said.
China reported 433 new cases along with 29 additional deaths. Thursday's updates bring mainland China's totals to 78,497 cases, and 2,744 deaths.
Of the new cases, 383 were in the epicenter of the city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December. Wuhan also accounted for 19 of the new deaths.
Last October, the 2019 Global Health Security Report included a stark warning: "National health security is fundamentally weak around the world. No country is fully prepared for epidemics or pandemics, and every country has important gaps to address." Just a couple of months later, a new coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China - and quickly demonstrated the accuracy of the report's assessment.
The virus, now called COVID-19, was first discovered in China's Wuhan municipality, but was not taken sufficiently seriously by the authorities in the early weeks. Multiple mistakes being made, including the failure to comprehend the virus's speed of transmission, compounded by the delay in informing the public about the outbreak. In fact, some who first warned of the disease - most notably the ophthalmologist Li Wenliang - were reprimanded by local authorities. (Li subsequently died of the disease.)It was not until January 20 that the government acted, after another doctor, Zhong Nanshan - a hero in China's fight against the 2003 outbreak of another coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) - alerted the public of the seriousness of the new virus. Wuhan and neighboring cities in Hubei province - with a total population of some 58.5 million people - are now in complete lockdown. Across China, as many as 700 million people are largely confined to their homes.China's government subsequently mobilized more than 200 medical teams from around the country, including from the military, to help contain the disease. It also built three new hospitals, and nine temporary hospitals, with unprecedented speed. And it gave provincial, municipal, and county-level governments strict instructions on improving public hygiene, isolating possible victims, and sharing experience and expertise.China's unprecedented responses appeared to have slowed the spread of the disease domestically. But densely populated Wuhan is a transportation hub, home to central China's biggest airport, from which roughly 30,000 people, on average, depart daily. This means COVID-19 can and has spread around the world rapidly, testing the public health response capacity of countries far and wide.As of February 25, the World Health Organization reports 80,239 cases in 33 countries, and 2,700 deaths (a 3.4% mortality rate). Hubei province accounted for the most cases, and 95% of the fatalities.South Korea is now second to China for COVID-19 infections, with 1,261 confirmed cases. The government has placed the country on the highest possible alert - a move that allows for lockdowns and other containment measures. The southeastern city of Daegu, where cases are concentrated, has essentially been under a state of emergency. Japan, with 847 cases (around 700 from a single cruise ship) is third on the list.The virus is also gaining ground in Europe, with 325 cases confirmed in Italy. The country has now quarantined more than 50,000 people. Even Iran is facing an uptick in infections. Hopes that a pandemic can be averted are dwindling fast.


The World Health Organization said the novel coronavirus outbreak has peaked in China but called on all countries to prepare for a "potential pandemic" as cases continued to mount in other parts of the world.The epidemic in China peaked between Jan. 23 and Feb. 2 and has been declining there since, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva on Monday.
He said the word "pandemic" did yet not fit the facts, adding that the world was not witnessing an uncontained spread or large-scale deaths.But he said: "We must focus on containment while preparing for a potential pandemic.""The key message that should give all countries hope, courage and confidence is that this virus can be contained, indeed there are many countries that have done exactly that," he added.Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO's emergencies program, said it was still possible to contain the virus and that it might appear each year like the flu."The virus may settle down into an endemic pattern of transmission, into a seasonal pattern of transmission, or it could accelerate into a full-blown global pandemic," he told reporters.
"And at this point, it is not possible to say which of those realities is going to happen."The coronavirus-linked death toll climbed to seven in Italy on Monday and several Middle East countries were dealing with their first infections.While health experts have expected limited outbreaks beyond China, the rapid acceleration of cases in Italy going from three on Friday to 220 on Monday is concerning, the health agency said.Just as China put cities on lockdown, Italian authorities sealed off the worst-affected towns, closed schools and halted the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases.Shops are shut, bars are closed and people speak to each other from a safe distance in northern Italy.Markets are nervous that Europe could experience disruptions similar to China, where air traffic has been disrupted and global supply chains rattled for everything from medicine to cars to smartphones.But China's actions, especially in Wuhan - the capital of central China's Hubei province and the epicenter of the outbreak - probably prevented hundreds of thousands of cases, said the head of the WHO delegation in China, Bruce Aylward, as he urged the rest of the world to learn the lesson of acting fast."They're at a point now where the number of cured people coming out of hospitals each day is much more than the sick going in," Aylward said.In the United States, the White House is considering asking lawmakers for emergency funding to ramp up its response to the fast-spreading virus, a White House spokesman and an administration source said on Monday.Politico and the Washington Post had reported the Trump administration may request US$1 billion.Liang Wannian of China's National Health Commission said while the rapid rise had been halted, the situation was still grim. He said over 3,000 medical staff had become infected, most in Hubei, probably due to the lack of protective gear and fatigue.Excluding Hubei, mainland China reported 11 new cases, the lowest since the national health authority started publishing nationwide daily figures on Jan. 20.Overall, China reported 409 new cases on the mainland, down from 648 a day earlier. That took the total number of cases to 77,150, while the death toll rose by 150 to 2,592.There was a measure of relief for the world's second-largest economy as more than 20 province-level jurisdictions, including Beijing and Shanghai, reported zero new infections.Outside mainland China, the outbreak has spread to some 29 countries and territories, with a death toll of about two dozen, according to a Reuters tally.South Korea reported 231 new cases, taking its total to 833. Many are in its fourth-largest city, Daegu, which became more isolated with Asiana Airlines and Korean Air suspending flights there until next month.Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Afghanistan and Iraq reported their first new coronavirus cases, all in people who had been to Iran, where the toll was 12 dead and 61 infected.Most of the Iran infections were in the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Qom.A WHO team is due in Iran on Tuesday.Japan had 773 cases as of late Sunday, mostly on the cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo.
China on Sunday reported a rise in the number of new confirmed cases of coronavirus, but the number of fresh infections and deaths outside of the epicenter of central Hubei province continued to fall.Nationwide, the number of new cases rose to 648 as of Saturday, from 397, the previous day, National Health Commission said.That brought the total number of confirmed cases in China to 76,936.The number of new cases outside of Hubei stood at 18, the lowest since the commission started publishing nationwide data a month ago.The nationwide death toll rose by 97 to 2,442, but only one new death was outside of Hubei.Of the 96 deaths in Hubei, 82 were in the provincial capital, Wuhan, which has been locked down for several weeks in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.The number of new cases in Hubei on Saturday rose to 630, reversing five straight days of declines, driven by a spike in new cases in Wuhan.
The death toll in China's novel coronavirus climbed to 2,345 with 109 more deaths reported, while the confirmed cases rose to 76,288 as a team of WHO experts, currently in the country to investigate the COVID-19 outbreak, is expected to visit the worst-affected Wuhan city Saturday, Chinese health officials said. A total of 397 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported Friday, while 109 deaths were reported from 31 provincial-level regions, Chinese health authority said on Saturday. By the end of Friday, a total of 2,345 people died of the disease and 76,288 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection had been reported from all over the country, a daily report from the National Health Commission (NHC) said Saturday.Among the deaths, 106 were from the Hubei Province, the epicentre of the virus, one each from Hebei province, Shanghai and Xinjiang, it said.Hubei Province reported 366 new confirmed cases and 106 new deaths Friday, the provincial health commission said Saturday.The latest report brought the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 63,454, it said.All over China, 20,659 patients infected with the virus have been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Friday, NHC said.WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told media in Geneva Friday that the WHO-led team of international experts, currently in China to investigate the coronavirus outbreak, will travel Wuhan on Saturday.The 12-member team, which arrived in China on Monday, was initially designated to visit only Beijing, Guangdong and Sichuan provinces, while the worst-affected Hubei province and its capital Wuhan were missing from the list.However, the team was finally given permission to visit Wuhan by the Chinese government.Besides controlling the spread of the virus, a major task of the WHO team along with their Chinese counterparts was to come up with a standard medicine to cure the disease.Tedros said WHO is also working with partners to safeguard the health of the members of the team and take appropriate measures when they return to their countries of origin.The WHO team includes US specialists, according to Chinese officials.Chinese President Xi Jinping warned the ruling Communist party officials Friday that the virus is yet to peak as it has spread to prisons across the country.
The coronavirus epidemic had not reached its peak despite a drop in the daily number of infections, state broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as saying at a meeting of the Communist party's Politburo Friday.He said that the situation in Hubei was still serious."The battles to defend Hubei and Wuhan should be well fought, and measures should be taken to contain the spread of the outbreak," Xi was quoted as saying by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
It is expected that once the virus peaks, it will begin to abate.Also, much to the horror of health officials, the disease has now spread to five Chinese prisons in the provinces of Hubei, Shandong and Zhejiang where 447 cases of the virus have been reported, He Ping, an official in-charge of the Bureau of Prison Administration of the Ministry of Justice told media here Friday.This led to the sacking of officials in nearly a dozen prisons and the justice department, state-run Global Times reported.He pledged all-out efforts to quarantine suspected cases and their close contacts and timely treatment for all of those confirmed of the virus.Prisons across the country were also ordered to step-up monitoring track records of all prison guards and officers to prevent the spread of the virus, He added.Friday, Beijing saw a sudden spike in the cases after the central city hospital reported 36 novel coronavirus infections, a sharp increase from the nine cases two weeks earlier, leading to fears of a potential explosion of number of infection cases in the city, the Global Times reported.Beijing has so far reported 396 cases of novel coronavirus infection, with four deaths.Meanwhile, China has postponed the Boao Forum for Asia, its most prestigious annual meeting held in the picturesque Hainan province where it would invite top world leaders, CEOs to discuss economy, trade and related issues.The forum was expected to take place from March 24-27.China also hinted at postponing the annual parliament session to be held in the first week of March.Plans are also afoot to postpone the National People's Congress - the country's parliament - and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) - China's top political advisory body, official media reported.
China reported a decrease in the number of new deaths and new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, while its central bank predicted a limited short-term economic impact and said the country was confident in winning the fight against the epidemic. Mainland China had 397 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Friday, down from 889 a day earlier, the national health authority said.
But the number of infections continued to rise elsewhere, with outbreaks worsening in South Korea, Italy and Iran and Lebanon. The World Health Organization warned that the window of opportunity to contain the international spread was closing.Concerns about the virus weighed on U.S. stocks and the Nasdaq had its worst daily percentage decline in about three weeks on Friday, driven by an earlier spike in new cases and data showing stalling U.S. business activity in February.
Hundreds of Chinese inmates have been infected with the novel coronavirus as the outbreak spreads to prisons across China.
He Ping, an official at China's Ministry of Justice, told reporters at a daily briefing Friday that officials have been fired after more than 500 cases of the newly discovered virus were diagnosed in five prisons across three Chinese provinces, including Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak. No deaths have been reported, he said.The first cases of the new coronavirus, known officially as COVID-19, emerged back in December in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. Chinese authorities have since placed the city under lockdown, but containment of the illness remains a struggle.As of Friday, China's National Health Commission said it had received 75,465 reports of confirmed cases and 2,236 deaths on the Chinese mainland. An additional 102 confirmed infections have been reported in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao as well as Taiwan, with two deaths in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan.China saw a significant spike in cases last week as the Health Commission of Hubei Province began counting cases without waiting for laboratory tests. But on Thursday, it went back to recording only lab-confirmed positive cases and subtracted some cases where the lab results returned negative.Meanwhile, the virus has continued to spread overseas, with 1,073 confirmed cases in 26 other countries, including the United States. There have been eight deaths reported outside of China, bringing the worldwide death toll to 2,247, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.COVID-19 causes symptoms similar to pneumonia, ranging from the mild, such as a slight cough, to the more severe, including fever and difficulty breathing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no vaccine yet for the virus.A cruise ship quarantined in Japanese waters is the largest center of infection outside China.The Diamond Princess docked at the Japanese port of Yokohama on Feb. 3 and was placed under quarantine two days later, as passengers and crew tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, more than 600 people on board have been infected with the disease and two have died, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.All those aboard the vessel who were infected have been brought ashore for treatment, while the rest were confined to their rooms until the quarantine period ends. Passengers who have tested negative for COVID-19 have been disembarking the ship since Wednesday.Princess Cruises, which operates the cruise ship, has canceled all Diamond Princess voyages through April 20 due to the "prolonged quarantine period." The cruise line is offering a full refund to all 2,666 guests, more than 400 of whom were from the United States.The U.S. government evacuated more than 300 American passengers on two charter flights Monday, including 14 who had tested positive for the new coronavirus before takeoff. Roughly 60 Americans, some who were hospitalized and others who opted to stay on the ship, remain in Japan.
New virus cases in China continued to fall Wednesday, with 1,749 new infections and 136 new deaths announced after China's leader said disease prevention and control was at "a critical time."
The much-criticized quarantine of a cruise ship in Japan to avoid spreading the virus ends later in the day. The 542 cases on the ship were the most in any place outside of China and medical experts have called the quarantine a failure.The updated figures on the COVID-19 illness for mainland China bring the total for cases to 74,185 and deaths to 2,004. New cases have fallen to under 2,000 daily for the past two days.Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about the efforts to control the outbreak in a phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described in state media.Separately, the U.N. secretary-general told The Associated Press that the virus outbreak "is not out of control but it is a very dangerous situation." Antonio Guterres said in an interview in Lahore, Pakistan, that "the risks are enormous and we need to be prepared worldwide for that."China has locked down several cities in central Hubei province where the outbreak hit hardest, halting nearly all transportation and movement except for the quarantine efforts, medical care and delivery of food and basic necessities.China also may postpone its biggest political meeting of the year, the annual congress due to start in March, to avoid having people travel to Beijing while the virus is still spreading. One of the automotive industry's biggest events, China's biannual auto show, was postponed, and many sports and entertainment events have been delayed or canceled.Many countries set up border screenings and airlines canceled flights to and from China to prevent further spread of the disease, which has been detected in around two dozen countries and caused almost 1,000 confirmed cases outside mainland China. Five deaths have been reported outside the mainland, in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and France.
The largest number of cases outside China is the 542 on the Diamond Princess at a port near Tokyo.South Korea evacuated six South Koreans and a Japanese family member from the ship, and they began an additional 14-day quarantine Wednesday. More than 300 American passengers were evacuated earlier and are quarantined in the United States, including at least 14 who had tested positive for the virus.On Tuesday, the U.S. government said the more than 100 American passengers who stayed on the ship or were hospitalized in Japan would have to wait for another two weeks before they could return to the U.S.The U.S. also upgraded its travel advisory for China to Level 4, telling its citizens not to travel to anywhere in the country and advising those currently in China to attempt to depart by commercial means."In the event that?the situation further deteriorates, the ability of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates?to provide assistance to U.S. nationals within China may be limited. The United States is not offering chartered evacuation flights from China," the notice said.
"We strongly urge U.S. citizens remaining in China to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including large gatherings. Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home," the notice said. The U.S. previously flew out scores of its citizens on charter flights from Wuhan but does not have any further plans to do so, it said.Despite, such warnings, the capital Beijing was showing signs of coming back to life this week, with road traffic at around a quarter of usual up from virtually nothing a week ago. While most restaurants, stores and office buildings remained closed, others had reopened. People entering were required to have their temperatures taken and register their contact information.
China reported 1,886 new virus cases and 98 more deaths in its update Tuesday on a disease outbreak that has caused mild illness in most people, an assessment that promoted guarded optimism from global health authorities.The update raised the number of deaths in mainland China to 1,868 and the total confirmed cases to 72,436.On Monday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a study of earlier cases of the disease, finding that more than 80% of people infected had mild illness and the number of new infections seems to be falling since early this month.Monday's report gives the World Health Organization a clearer picture of where the outbreak is headed, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference.But he added it was too early to know if the reported decline would continue. "Every scenario is still on the table," he said.The seeming drop in the number of cases follows a large spike last week after hard-hit Hubei province began counting cases by doctors' diagnoses without waiting for laboratory test results. Health authorities there said the change was meant to get patients treated faster.The disease named COVID-19 emerged in December in Wuhan, Hubei's capital, and the surrounding region has been put under lockdown to try to contain the outbreak. Transportation has been halted, thousands of hospital beds have been added, and military doctors and nurses have been deployed to staff facilities in the overwhelmed local health-care system.State broadcaster CCTV reported that the director of Wuhan's Wuchang Hospital, Liu Zhiming, had died of COVID-19 on Tuesday morning, citing a Beijing medical team sent to help out. No official notice was given and other details were not immediately available.Earlier, public outrage was stirred by the death from the virus of Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang, who had been threatened by police after releasing word of an outbreak of unusual respiratory illness in January before the city was placed under quarantine.China may postpone its upcoming annual congress, the country's biggest political meeting of the year. The standing committee for the National People's Congress will meet Feb. 24 to deliberate postponing the event, which is scheduled to start March 5.China's biannual auto show, one of the industry's biggest international events, has been postponed, and many sports and entertainment events have been delayed or canceled to avoid travel that may spread the virus.The Chinese CDC's study examined 44,672 cases of the disease that were confirmed in China as of Feb. 11. Severe symptoms such as pneumonia occurred in 14% of them and critical illness in 5%. The fatality rate was 2.3% - 2.8% for males versus 1.7% for females.The death rate is lower than for SARS and MERS, diseases caused by coronaviruses related to the one that causes COVID-19. But the new virus ultimately could prove more deadly if it spreads to far more people than the others did. Ordinary flu has a fatality rate of 0.1% yet kills hundreds of thousands because it infects millions each year.The COVID-19 cases include relatively few children, and the risk of death rises with age. It's higher among those with other health problems - more than 10% for those with heart disease, for example, and higher among those in Hubei province versus elsewhere in China.The study warned that while cases seem to have been declining since Feb. 1, that could change as people return to work and school after the Lunar New Year holidays. Beijing sought to forestall that by extending the holiday break, restricting travel and demanding 14-day self-quarantines for anyone returning from outside their immediate region.Travel to and from the worst-hit central China region was associated with the initial cases of COVID-19 confirmed abroad. But Japan, Singapore and South Korea have identified new cases without clear ties to China or previously known patients, raising concern of the virus spreading locally.The largest number of cases outside China is among passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined at a port near Tokyo. The Japanese Health Ministry has tested 1,723 people among the 3,700 initially on board, and 454 have tested positive.The U.S. evacuated 338 American passengers, with most of them placed in a 14-day quarantine at military bases in California and Texas. Thirteen who tested positive for the virus were taken to hospitals in California and Nebraska.Any quarantined passengers who show symptoms of infection will be taken to a hospital off the base "for containment and specialized care," according to a statement from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Scott Pauley. The CDC rather than the Department of Defense is responsible for all parts of the quarantine operation.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in China surpassed 70,000 Monday while two planeloads of quarantined Americans took off from Tokyo for home.Hubei province, the center of the outbreak, reported 100 more deaths, bringing the death toll in China to nearly 1,800. Five deaths outside the mainland have also been confirmed in France, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan.The number of new cases in Hubei is only slightly higher than the number reported Sunday but down from those reported Friday and Saturday. Chinese officials say this is a sign that China has the outbreak under control.Chinese state media Saturday published a speech President Xi Jinping made Feb. 3 that shows Chinese authorities knew more about the seriousness of the coronavirus at least two weeks before it made the dangers known to the public. It wasn't until late January that officials said the virus could spread between humans.In his Jan. 7 speech, Xi ordered the shutdown of the cities most affected by the virus. Those lockdowns began Jan. 23. Meanwhile, two U.S. State Department chartered fights took off from Tokyo early Monday, carrying Americans who had been quarantined for two weeks aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess.More than 355 infected people were diagnosed with coronavirus on board the cruise ship and all of the evacuated passengers will be quarantined for another 14 days in the U.S.Also Sunday, the State Department said it is looking into the case of a U.S. citizen who was diagnosed with the coronavirus after departing the cruise ship Westerdam, whose passengers tested negative for the virus before disembarking in Cambodia.Malaysian medical authorities said the passenger, and 83-year-old woman, twice tested positive for the virus upon arriving in Malaysia after showing signs of a viral infection, a State Department spokesperson said Sunday. She is the first person from the Westerdam to test positive. Her husband tested negative.The spokesperson said U.S. authorities to not have "sufficient evidence to determine when the passenger may have been exposed and where."
The number of cases of the novel coronavirus has risen to over 69,000 worldwide, with the first death from Covid-19 reported in Europe.As of Sunday morning, there were 68,500 cases of the virus recorded in mainland China, an increase of 2,009 on the previous day. Chinese health authorities recorded an additional 142 deaths on Saturday, bringing the global total to 1,669, all but four of which occurred in mainland China.The first death to occur outside of Asia was reported in France on Saturday: an 80-year-old Chinese tourist who had been receiving treatment for Covid-19 since January 25. Deaths have also occurred in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.So far, almost 9,500 patients with the coronavirus have been treated and discharged from hospitals across China, the country's health authorities said.There are concerns, however, that the stringent quarantine measures taken across the country may have not been enough to contain the virus' spread -- several major cities have now been on lockdown for nearly a month. On Saturday, authorities in Beijing ordered a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers returning to the city, with anyone found violating the rules subject to potential legal repercussions.
China's National Health Commission said Saturday that 143 more people had died from the new coronavirus, bringing the death toll to more than 1,500. The commission also confirmed another 2,641 new virus cases, but that represented a drop from higher numbers in recent days. The previous day, China reported 5,090 new infections.
China's government recently changed its methodology for diagnosing and counting new cases, causing a spike in the number of reported cases. Under the new method, doctors can use lung imaging and other analysis to diagnose a patient instead of relying on laboratory testing. China's health commission said Saturday that most of the new deaths were in Hubei's provincial capital of Wuhan, which is where the coronavirus outbreak is believed to have begun. The total number of confirmed cases in the country stood at 66,492 as of Friday night, with the death toll at 1,523, according the commission.
On Friday, the commission's vice minister, Zeng Yixin, said 1,716 health workers had also been infected by the coronavirus and six had died. A joint mission with China led by the World Health Organization will launch an investigation this weekend into the coronavirus. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Friday in Geneva that he expected a team to arrive in China this weekend and that "particular attention will be paid to understanding transmission of the virus, the severity of the disease and the impact of ongoing measures." Chinese President Xi Jinping called for stronger public health legislation Friday as the country grapples with the outbreak. Xi "stressed the need to strengthen areas of weakness and close loopholes exposed by the current epidemic," according to China Global Television Network. In Beijing, city officials were requiring all people returning to the capital to self-quarantine for 14 days. The state-run Beijing Daily newspaper reported Friday that those who refused to seclude themselves or who violated other containment rules "will be held accountable under the law." Hundreds of passengers aboard the cruise ship Westerdam who were turned away by several Asian countries finally disembarked in Cambodia on Friday after Prime Minister Hun Sen welcomed them. The authoritarian leader, a staunch ally of China's Xi, handed flowers to them as they cheered and walked to buses while waving to other passengers who remained aboard the ship. Hun Sen said all the nearly 1,500 passengers would be allowed to disembark after no cases were found aboard. The outbreak has led to the firing of Jiang Chaoliang as the ruling Communist Party chief in Hubei, days after the province's top two health officials were removed from their posts. The official Xinhua news agency said former Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong would replace Jiang, who had been criticized by the public for his handling of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. The virus is believed to have emerged late last year at a seafood market in Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei. The Vietnamese government ordered the lockdown of a village of 10,000 people Thursday, official media reported, making it the first country other than China to impose a mass quarantine. Checkpoints were established in Son Loi, northwest of the capital, Hanoi. An increase in cases has been reported in Son Loi. In Japan, officials said an 80-year-old woman who died in a hospital on the outskirts of Tokyo was the nation's first coronavirus fatality. She was the third person to die of the virus outside China, with the other fatalities occurring in the Philippines and Hong Kong. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that a 15th case of the coronavirus had been confirmed in the United States. The person, along with other evacuated U.S. citizens, arrived at an Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas, February 7 aboard a State Department-chartered flight from China. The person was being treated at an area hospital. "There will likely be additional cases in the coming days and weeks, including among other people recently returned from Wuhan," the CDC said in a statement. The death toll from the coronavirus is more than twice that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002-03, which is believed to have killed 774 people and sickened nearly 8,100 in China and Hong Kong.
China on Friday reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new virus, as the death toll neared 1,400.The National Health Commission said 121 more people had died and there were 5,090 new confirmed cases.The number of reported cases has been rising more quickly after the hardest-hit province changed its method of counting them Thursday. There are now 63,851 confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died.Hubei province is now including cases based on a physician's diagnosis and before they have been confirmed by lab tests. Of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 fell into that category.The acceleration in the number of cases does not necessarily represent a sudden surge in new infections of the virus that causes COVID-19 as much as a revised methodology.China's health commission has said that the change was aimed at identifying suspected cases in which the patient has pneumonia so they can be treated more quickly and reduce the likelihood of more serious illness or death. It was also seen as a reflection of a chaotic crush of people seeking treatment and the struggle to keep up with a backlog of untested samples.
"Clearly in Wuhan, the health system is under extreme pressure and so the first priority has to be the patient," said Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.
The number of fatalities and new cases from China's coronavirus outbreak soared Thursday, with 242 more deaths and nearly 15,000 extra patients in hard-hit Hubei province as authorities changed their threshold for diagnosis.At least 1,355 people have now died nationwide and nearly 60,000 have been infected after Hubei's health commission reported the new numbers.In its daily update, Hubei's health commission confirmed another 14,840 new cases in the central province, where the outbreak emerged in December.The huge jump came as local officials said they were changing the way they diagnose COVID-19 cases.In a statement, the Hubei health commission said it would now include cases that were 'clinically diagnosed' in its official toll.This means lung imaging on suspected cases can be considered sufficient to diagnose the virus, rather than the standard nucleic acid tests.Of the dramatic jump in figures Thursday, it said the new classification accounted for 13,332 of the cases and just over half the new death toll.Hubei health commission said the change would mean patients could get treatment 'as early as possible' and be 'consistent' with the classification used in other provinces.It said it had made the change "as our understanding of pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus deepens, and as we accumulate experience in diagnosis and treatment".
China on Wednesday reported another drop in the number of new cases of a viral infection and 97 more deaths, pushing the total dead past 1,100 as postal services worldwide said delivery was being affected by the cancellation of many flights to China.The National Health Commission said 2,015 new cases had been reported over the last 24 hours, declining for a second day. The total number of cases in mainland China reached 44,653, although many experts say a large number of others infected have gone uncounted.The additional deaths raised the mainland toll to 1,113. Two people have died elsewhere, one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.
In the port city of Tianjin, just southeast of Beijing, a cluster of cases has been traced to a department store in Baodi district. One-third of Tianjin's 104 confirmed cases are in Baodi, the Xinhua state news agency reported.A salesperson working in the store's small home appliance section became the first individual in the cluster to be diagnosed on Jan. 31, Xinhua said. The store was already closed at that point, then disinfected on Feb. 1. Nevertheless, several more diagnoses soon followed.The next to have their infections confirmed were also salespeople at the store. They had not visited Wuhan recently and, with the exception of one married couple, the patients worked in different sections of the store and did not know one another, according to Xinhua.Japan's Health Ministry said that 39 new cases have been confirmed on a cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama, bringing the total to 174 on the Diamond Princess.
The U.S. Postal Service said that it was "experiencing significant difficulties" in dispatching letters, parcels and express mail to China, including Hong Kong and Macau.Both the U.S. and Singapore Post said in notes to their global counterparts that they are no longer accepting items destined for China, "until sufficient transport capacity becomes available."The Chinese mail service, China Post, said it was disinfecting postal offices, processing centers and vehicles to ensure the virus doesn't spread via the mail and to protect staff.
It said the crisis is also impacting mail that transits China to other destinations including North Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The World Health Organization has named the disease caused by the virus as COVID-19, avoiding any animal or geographic designation to avoid stigmatization and to show the illness comes from a new coronavirus discovered in 2019.The illness was first reported in December and connected to a food market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak has largely been concentrated.
Zhong Nanshan, a leading Chinese epidemiologist, said that while the virus outbreak in China may peak this month, the situation at the center of the crisis remains more challenging."We still need more time of hard working in Wuhan," he said, describing the isolation of infected patients there a priority."We have to stop more people from being infected," he said. "The problem of human-to-human transmission has not yet been resolved."Without enough facilities to handle the number of cases, Wuhan has been building prefabricated hospitals and converting a gym and other large spaces to house patients and try to isolate them from others.China's official media reported Tuesday that the top health officials in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, have been relieved of their duties. No reasons were given, although the province's initial response was deemed slow and ineffective. Speculation that higher-level officials could be sacked has simmered, but doing so could spark political infighting and be a tacit admission of responsibility.The virus outbreak has become the latest political challenge for the party and its leader, Xi Jinping, who despite accruing more political power than any Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, has struggled to handle crises on multiple fronts. These include a sharply slowing domestic economy, the trade war with the U.S. and pushback on China's increasingly aggressive foreign policies.China is struggling to restart its economy after the annual Lunar New Year holiday was extended to try to curb the spread of the virus. About 60 million people are under virtual quarantine and many others are still working at home.In Hong Kong, the diagnosis of four people living in an apartment building prompted worried comparisons with the deadly SARS pandemic of 17 years ago.More than 100 people were evacuated from the building after a 62-year-old woman diagnosed with the virus was found living 10 floors directly below a man who was earlier confirmed with the virus.Health officials called it a precautionary measure and sought to assuage fears of an epidemic, dismissing similarities to the SARS community outbreak at the Amoy Gardens housing estate in 2003.
The death toll in China climbed above 1,000, as the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned that the spread of cases outside of China could be "the spark that becomes a bigger fire" and said the human race must not let the epidemic get out of control.A total of 108 new coronavirus deaths were reported on the mainland on Monday, up from 97 on the previous day, the country's health authority said on Tuesday.The total number of deaths on the mainland has now reached 1,016, the National Health Commission said.There were 2,478 new confirmed cases on the mainland on Feb. 10, down from 3,062 on the previous day, bringing the total to 42,638.There are now over 42,000 confirmed cases in China as well as 319 cases in 24 other countries, according to WHO and Chinese health officials.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship with 3,700 passengers and crew on board remained quarantined in the Japanese port of Yokohama, with 65 more cases detected, taking the number of confirmed cases from the Carnival Corp.-owned vessel to 135.As scientists race to develop tests and treatments, the WHO says 168 labs globally have the right technology to diagnose the virus. Companies have been struggling to find clinical virus samples needed to validate the diagnostic tests they have developed.Worries about the coronavirus kept investors on edge with safe havens like gold rising and the dollar hitting a four-month high against the euro on Monday.In Europe, shares in car companies exposed to China slumped, while prices of oil, iron ore and copper fell on worries over weaker Chinese demand because of the outbreak.Wall Street rose on optimism for corporate earnings and the economy, with the Nasdaq hitting a record high. British Airways canceled all its flights to mainland China until the end of March.
Wu Fan, vice-dean of Shanghai Fudan University Medical school, said there was hope of a turning point in the outbreak. But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday there had been "concerning instances" of transmission from people who had not been to China."It could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire," Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.An advance team of international WHO experts arrived in China to investigate the outbreak. Its death toll has now surpassed that of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed hundreds worldwide in 2002/2003.Chinese cities have become virtual ghost towns after Communist Party rulers ordered lockdowns, canceled flights and closed factories and schools.Ten extra days had been added to the Lunar New Year holidays that had been due to finish at the end of January to help slow the virus' spread. Even on Monday, many workplaces remained closed as people worked from home.Few commuters braved the morning rush-hour on one of Beijing's busiest subway lines. All wore masks.One Beijing government official, Zhang Gewho, said it would be harder to curb the spread of the virus as people returned to work. "The capacity of communities and flow of people will greatly increase the difficulty," he said.Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 103 deaths on Monday - the most in any single day - after 91 deaths on Sunday. But the number of new cases, 2,097, was down from the previous day, when there were 2,618.
It is not the first time new cases have fallen. Hubei reported 2,841 cases on Feb. 7 and 2,147 the next day.A province of 60 million people, Hubei remains in virtual lockdown, with its train stations and airports shut and roads sealed.The Hubei provincial health commission said the province now had confirmed a total of 31,728 cases with 974 deaths by the end of Monday, a fatality rate of 3.07 percentMore than three-quarters of the deaths have been in the provincial capital Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated.The commission said there were still a total of 16,687 suspected but unconfirmed cases in the province.Ma Guoqiang, the Wuhan Communist Party secretary, said the city government would aim to test all remaining suspected cases by Tuesday, amid growing complaints that many patients had not yet been diagnosed or admitted for full-time treatment.China's central bank has taken steps to support the economy, including reducing interest rates and flushing the market with liquidity, and will also now provide special funds for banks to lend to businesses.President Xi Jinping said the government would prevent large-scale layoffs, Chinese state television reported.Xi was shown on television inspecting the work of community leaders in Beijing and wearing a mask as he had his temperature taken. He said China would strive to meet economic and social targets for the year.
One senior economist has said growth may slow to 5 percent or less in the first quarter.More than 300 Chinese firms including Meituan Dianping (03690.HK), China's largest food delivery company, and smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. (01810.HK) were seeking loans totaling at least 57.4 billion yuan (US$8.2 billion), banking sources said.E-commerce firm Alibaba said its affiliate, Ant Financial's MYBank unit, would offer 20 billion yuan (US$2.86 billion) in loans to companies in China, with preferential terms for Hubei firms.Apple's biggest iPhone maker, Foxconn, won approval to resume production in the eastern central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, but only 10 percent of the workforce managed to return, a source said. Foxconn, formally Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., won approval to resume partial production in the southern city of Shenzhen from Tuesday.A prolonged and widespread coronavirus outbreak could hit the Japanese economy, affecting tourism, retail and exports, an International Monetary Fund official said. Canada said the outbreak will hit tourism and its oil industry.
The coronavirus outbreak infected 27 non-Chinese nationals in China and two of them have died, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday. It assured that the country attaches great importance to the health and safety of all foreign citizens.The SARS-like coronavirus outbreak has killed 908 people and at least 40,000 others have been infected by 2019-nCoV, which is believed to have emerged late last year in a market in Wuhan.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang during his online media briefing here said 27 foreign citizens in China were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. Among them, three patients have recovered and discharged from the hospital, he said.Two foreigners - an American woman and a Japanese man - died from the coronavirus Saturday in Wuhan while 22 others are undergoing treatment, Geng said.While China has not given the details of the foreign nationals who contracted the virus, reports from other sources said four Pakistanis and two Australians were being treated for the coronavirus attack.Geng said China provided best treatment to the 60-year-old American woman who died due to the virus."While medical workers were doing the best to treat her in the hospital, the Chinese side has also been in contact with her family in China. We offer the deepest condolences over her passing. We have notified the US through diplomatic channels and will offer necessary assistance to the US side and her family," Geng said. He also expressed condolences to the family of Japanese national who died in Wuhan.Geng said China attaches great importance to the health and safety of all foreign nationals in Hubei province capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak."We have taken effective measures to timely respond to their reasonable concerns and requests. WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also stressed many times that flying out in a rush is not recommended, the best way is being stay put and enhancing self-protection," asserted Geng."We hope that WHO's professional recommendations will be respected. For those countries that wish to take home their nationals, China will make relevant arrangements and offer necessary assistance consistent with international practices and our domestic epidemic control measures," informed the spokesperson.
Mainland China reported another rise in cases early Monday: The number of deaths grew by 97 to 908. China's health ministry said another 3,062 cases had been reported over the previous 24 hours, raising the Chinese mainland's total to at least 40,171. Outside of China, there have been more than 300 confirmed cases. The confirmed deaths surpassed the total number of people who died during the 2003 SARS epidemic, which killed 774 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).All but two of the confirmed deaths have been in mainland China, with one death in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong. As of Sunday, there were 12 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S.The U.S. embassy confirmed over the weekend that an American citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died at Jinyintian Hospital in Wuhan, China. Planes carrying about 300 Americans from the Chinese city at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak arrived at military bases in California and Texas on Friday. Passengers will be under a 14-day quarantine. Japan is scrambling to control 70 cases of coronavirus on the Princes Diamond cruise ship moored off Yokohama. There are at least 13 Americans with coronavirus on board and passengers have been confined to their rooms.China is being criticized for failing to respond to early warnings about the coronavirus. Dr. Li Wenliang, who has since died from the virus, was silenced when he tried to sound the alarm.
The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak soared to 803 in China on Sunday, according to official figures, overtaking the global toll for SARS.With 81 more people dying in Hubei - the province at the centre of the outbreak - the toll is now higher than the 774 killed worldwide by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2002-2003, according to figures released Sunday.The latest data came after the World Health Organisation said numbers were "stabilising" - but warned it was too early to make any predictions about whether the virus might have peaked.Nearly 37,000 people have now been infected by the new coronavirus in China, believed to have emerged last year in a market that sold wild animals in Hubei's capital Wuhan before spreading across China.The epidemic has prompted the government to lock down whole cities, as anger mounts over its handling of the crisis, especially after a whistleblowing doctor fell victim to the virus.A 60-year-old American diagnosed with the virus died on Thursday in Wuhan, according to the US embassy, which gave no further details on the victim.China's foreign ministry said in a statement to AFP that the victim was a US citizen of Chinese origin.
A Japanese man in his 60s with a suspected coronavirus infection also died in hospital in Wuhan, the Japanese foreign ministry said, adding that it was "difficult" to confirm if he had the illness.The only fatalities outside the mainland were a Chinese man in the Philippines and a 39-year-old man in Hong Kong.In Geneva, the World Health Organization said that the number of cases being reported daily in China is "stabilising".WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also warned against misinformation about the virus, saying it made the work of healthcare staff harder."We're not just battling the virus, we're also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response," he said.
Fearing that the virus could cause an economic slowdown in China - the world's leading oil importer and consumer - a committee appointed by the OPEC club of petroleum producing countries recommended cuts in oil output."The coronavirus epidemic has had a negative impact on economic activity, notably in transport, tourism and industry, particularly in China," Mohamed Arkab, president of the conference of OPEC, said in a statement.Hong Kong began enforcing a two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China on Saturday, under threat of both fines and jail terms.Most people will be able to be quarantined at home or in hotels but they will face daily phone calls and spot checks.The financial hub has 25 confirmed cases with one patient who died earlier this week.The virus has revived memories of the SARS outbreak that killed 299 in the semi-autonomous city, saddling residents with a deep distrust of authorities in Beijing who initially covered up the outbreak.
In the last week, Hong Kong has been hit by a wave of panic-buying with supermarket shelves frequently emptied of staple goods such as toilet paper, hand sanitiser, rice and pasta.Similar scenes were seen in Singapore on Saturday as shoppers cleared grocery store shelves after the city-state, which has 33 confirmed cases, raised its alert level over the virus.China has expanded its own measures, with cities far from Hubei telling residents that only one person per household can leave the house every two days to buy supplies.On Saturday, Shanghai became the latest jurisdiction to order residents to wear masks in public places, warning that those who don't cooperate will be "seriously" dealt with according to the law.Anger over the government's handling of the health emergency erupted on social media after the death of a Wuhan doctor who police silenced after he had raised the alarm about the emerging virus threat in December.
The government responded by sending its anti-graft body to Wuhan to launch an investigation after the death of Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist who contracted the disease while treating a patient.Other governments have hardened their defences, with several countries banning arrivals from China while major airlines have suspended flights.New cases have emerged abroad, with five British nationals, including a child, testing positive for the virus after staying at the same ski chalet in France.Asian cruise ships have become a focal point.Sixty-four people on board the Diamond Princess off Japan's coast have tested positive and the ship's passengers have been asked to stay inside their cabins to prevent new infections.
An American woman and a Japanese man became the first foreigners to have died from the new coronavirus in China as the death toll jumped to 723 in the country with the confirmed cases soaring to 34,598, health officials said Saturday.The American citizen died in Wuhan, the US embassy here said Saturday, the first confirmed foreign death from the outbreak."We can confirm that a 60-year-old US citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died at Jinyintang hospital in Wuhan, China on February 6," a US embassy spokesman said.
"We offer sincerest condolences to the family for their loss," Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted the spokesman as saying.The New York Times reported that the person was a woman and had underlying health conditions, citing two people familiar with the matter.The Chinese Foreign Ministry said earlier that 19 foreign nationals in China have been confirmed to have contracted the virus and undergoing treatment in hospitals.Two of them were discharged after recovery, the ministry said without disclosing details. Earlier reports said that four Pakistanis and two Australians contracted the virus.Though the US woman is officially stated to be the first foreigner to have died due to the coronavirus, a Japanese man hospitalised in Wuhan with pneumonia has also died, the Japan's foreign ministry announced in Tokyo.The Ministry citing Chinese medical authorities said on Saturday the man in his 60s, was possibly infected with the coronavirus but due to difficulties in diagnosing the disease his death had been attributed to viral pneumonia.His cause of death was given as viral pneumonia, it added. The man is potentially the first Japanese to have died from coronavirus, it said.Eighty-six deaths were reported in mainland China with 3,399 fresh cases from 31 provincial-level regions, the country's National Health Commission said Saturday.
State-run CGTN television network reported that the death toll has climbed to 723 while confirmed cases jumped to 34,598.Among the deaths, 81 are in Hubei province and its provincial capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, two in Heilongjiang, as well as one in Beijing, Henan and Gansu, the commission said.By the end of Friday, 26 confirmed cases, including one death, have been reported in Hong Kong. Macau reported 10 cases, while Taiwan reported 16 cases, it said.A total of 4,214 new suspected cases were reported and 1,280 patients became seriously ill, and 510 people were discharged from hospital after recovery, according to the commission.

It added that 6,101 patients remained in severe condition, and 27,657 people were suspected of being infected with the virus. As many as 2,050 people have been discharged from hospital after recovery.

Meanwhile, a central government inspection group has arrived in Wuhan to thoroughly investigate issues related to Dr Li Wenliang, the whistleblower who was admonished by police last month when he flagged the coronavirus in his special media.Li, 34, died Thursday, plunging the whole of China into grief and anger over police highhandedness in stifling vital information which resulted in the coronavirus becoming a massive epidemic in China and the world.
The inspection team would probe the issues related to Li, an ophthalmologist with the Central Hospital of Wuhan, who passed away early Friday after being infected with the novel coronavirus, official media reported.Also health authorities in Tibet said on Saturday that medical observation had been lifted for 32 close contacts of the region's only confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, with no symptoms reported.The health commission of Tibet said the 32 people were discharged from their two-week isolated medical observation in cities of Lhasa, Shigatse, Shannan and Naqu. None of them reported fever or other symptoms.Tibet reported its first confirmed case of the new coronavirus January 30. The patient is now in a stable condition, state-run Xinhua news reported.
Pangolins may be an intermediate host of the virus, as indicated by a study led by South China Agricultural University. Researchers found the metagenome sequence of the novel coronavirus strain separated from pangolins to be 99 per cent identical to that from infected people.The commission said 3.45 lakh 'close contacts' have been traced, adding that among them, 26,702 were discharged from medical observation on Friday. Over 1.89 lakh others are still under medical observation.The death toll of the coronavirus cases overseas went up 220 with Japan reporting 86 followed by 33 in Singapore.
Chinese health officials have sent more than 11,000 medics, including the country's best ICU staff, to the city of Wuhan.Among them, over 3,000 doctors and nurses are intensive care specialists, Guo Yanhong, an official with the National Health Commission, told media here.
"We are fully aware of the urgent need for ICU professionals in Wuhan. "We are fully aware of the urgent need for ICU professionals in Wuhan. The current medics have been working for quite a long time and are exhausted both physically and mentally," Guo said.The World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Friday said the world was running out of masks and other protective equipment against the novel coronavirus.
The death toll in China's novel coronavirus outbreak has sharply risen to 722 with 86 new mortalities in a single day, mostly in the worst-affected Hubei province, while the total number of confirmed cases jumped to 34,546, Chinese health officials said Saturday.
Eighty-six deaths were reported in mainland China with 3,399 fresh cases from 31 provincial-level regions, the country's National Health Commission said.Among the deaths, 81 are in Hubei province and its provincial capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, two in Heilongjiang, as well as one in Beijing, Henan and Gansu, the commission said.By the end of Friday, 26 confirmed cases, including one death, have been reported in Hong Kong. Macao reported 10 cases, while Taiwan reported 16 cases, it said.A total of 4,214 new suspected cases were reported and 1,280 patients became seriously ill, and 510 people were discharged from hospital after recovery, according to the commission.It added that 6,101 patients remained in severe condition, and 27,657 people were suspected of being infected with the virus. As many as 2,050 people have been discharged from hospital after recovery.The commission said 3.45 lakh 'close contacts' have been traced, adding that among them, 26,702 were discharged from medical observation on Friday. Over 1.89 lakh others are still under medical observation.The death toll of the coronavirus cases overseas went up 220 with Japan reporting 86 followed by 33 in Singapore.Kerala has reported three cases while 647 evacuated Indians from Wuhan are going through quarantine in Manesar.
Meanwhile, Wuhan began combing communities to ensure every confirmed or suspected patient is located and attended to as a senior official vowed to nail any official deserter "to history's pillar of shame."
A conference on epidemic control on Thursday ordered the megacity with a population of over 11 million to make all-out efforts to locate patients confirmed or suspected to be infected with the virus, close contacts of confirmed cases, as well as patients with fever.Once identified, these people must be treated or placed in quarantine in a timely manner, the conference said, adding that "no family or individual shall be neglected," state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
City officials said checkpoints are being set up outside every community and apartment building to measure residents' body temperatures, while community workers and volunteers are paying house-to-house visits to conduct checks.Fever patients found in the process will be escorted to community clinics, which will decide whether they should be quarantined at home or be sent to other isolation areas. Police will step in if a patient refuses to obey quarantine rules and all persuasion fails, officials said.Chinese health officials have sent more than 11,000 medics, including the country's best ICU staff, to the city of Wuhan.Among them, over 3,000 doctors and nurses are intensive care specialists, Guo Yanhong, an official with the National Health Commission, told media here."We are fully aware of the urgent need for ICU professionals in Wuhan. The current medics have been working for quite a long time and are exhausted both physically and mentally," Guo said.The World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday said the world was running out of masks and other protective equipment against the novel coronavirus.Pangolins could be responsible for the spread of the deadly coronavirus in China, scientists said on Friday after they found the genome sequence separated from the endangered mammals 99 percent identical to that from infected people.
An outbreak of pneumonia, caused by a newly discovered strain of coronavirus, was originally registered in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, and later spread to other regions of the country and also beyond China.The number of people who have died from the novel coronavirus in mainland China has reached 636, over 31,100 have been infected, while 1,540 have been discharged, the National Health Commission said on Friday."As of midnight on 6 February [16:00 GMT Thursday], the National Health Commission received information about 31,161 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by a new type of coronavirus from 31 provinces [regions and municipalities]. 4,821 people are in critical condition, 636 have died, 1,540 people have been discharged from hospitals", the commission said in a statement.In Hubei province, the death toll reached 618, and over 22,100 people have been infected, the regional health committee said in a statement on Thursday.On 6 February, 2,447 new cases were registered in the province, of which 1,501 are in Wuhan, the epicentre of the new virus outbreak."As of 24:00 on 6 February 2020, Hubei Province has reported 22,112 cases of pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus infection, of which 11,618 are in Wuhan. At present, 15,804 cases are still being treated in the hospital. 64,057 are still under medical observation", the statement said.Earlier, Hubei authorities reported 560 lethal cases in the province.Outside China, the virus has spread to more than 20 countries, with at least one fatality registered in the Philippines.Out of precaution, airports around the world have introduced security measures to screen incoming passengers for the disease.A number of countries have been evacuating their citizens from the epicentre in Wuhan recently.
Britain and Germany announced more cases of the Wuhan virus on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed virus cases in Europe to 30.In Germany, all the virus cases have centered on the same company, auto parts supplier Webasto, whose headquarters outside of Munich was visited by a Chinese trainer. On Thursday, Germany's 13th confirmed case of the new coronavirus that emerged from China was the wife of an employee who was previously diagnosed with virus. Two children of company employees are among those infected.British authorities confirmed the country's third case, saying the patient did not contract the virus in the U.K. They did not elaborate. The two other cases are a Chinese student studying at York University in England and a relative of that student.Air France announced it was prolonging by more than a month its suspension of flights to mainland China, which won't now restart before March 16 at the earliest because of the new virus.The company's current suspension of all flights to Shanghai and Beijing was meant to last until this Sunday. Air France and partner airline KLM plan to gradually resume services to China on March 16, together offering one daily flight to both Shanghai and Beijing, either on Air France from Paris or on KLM from Amsterdam.Air France says all of its flights to mainland China should resume beginning on March 29, including to Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic.Spain's national airline Iberia says it has extended its suspension of flights between Madrid and Shanghai until the end of April. Spain's tourism department says there has been a significant slowdown in Chinese tourists visiting Spain and in Spanish travelers going to China.Virgin Atlantic said Thursday that it was suspending its London-Shanghai flights until March 28 because of the outbreak. British Airways has also halted all flights to China, apart from Hong Kong.The Italian health ministry said one of the 56 Italians in quarantine at an Italian military facility after being evacuated from Wuhan this week will be transferred to Rome's Spallanzani infectious disease hospital after test results on Thursday indicated "a suspected case" of the virus.That is the same hospital where a Chinese couple in their 60s were admitted last week with confirmed cases. They are in intensive care with pneumonia.China's ambassador to the U.K. said his country was "fully confident in beating the virus," and urged other nations not to overreact."It is of hope that governments of all countries, including the U.K., should understand and support China's efforts, avoid overreaction, avoid creating panic, and ensure normal co-operation and exchanges between countries," he told reporters in London.As of Thursday, China had 563 virus deaths and 28,018 confirmed cases on the mainland. Two other virus deaths occurred in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Besides Germany, Britain and Italy, other European nations with cases of the virus include France, Russia, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and Spain.
China on Thursday reported 73 more deaths from a new virus, raising its total to 563, as the World Health Organization appealed for more funds to help countries battle the spread of the disease that led health officials in Asia to quarantine two cruise ships with some 5,400 people on board.The ships in Japan and Hong Kong are caught up in a global health emergency that seems to worsen by the day.
The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, asked for $675 million to help countries address the expected spread of the virus. He acknowledged that the sum is a lot, but told a news briefing that "it's much less than the bill we will face if we do not invest in preparedness now."Tedros said that in the last 24 hours, the U.N. health agency has seen the biggest jump in cases since the start of the epidemic. According to the latest figures early Thursday, the number of confirmed cases jumped by 3,694 to 28,018.China has strongly defended its epidemic control measures and called on other nations not to go overboard in their responses. Countries "can assess the epidemic situation in an objective, fair, calm and rational manner, respect authoritative and professional WHO recommendations, understand and support China's epidemic control efforts," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chenying said at an online news conference. "Fear is worse than any virus."As thousands of hospital workers in Hong Kong went on strike to demand the border with mainland China be closed completely, the city announced that all people entering from the mainland, including Hong Kong residents, must be quarantined for 14 days. Tokyo Olympics organizers, meanwhile, said they are increasingly worried about the disruption the virus is causing ahead of the games, which open in less than six months.To reduce the danger of exposure for health workers, Beijing is seeking to develop a robot to administer throat tests. Separately, Shanghai announced that all schools will delay reopening until at least the end of February, rather than the middle of the month as originally planned. The exact date will depend on how the outbreak develops.As examples of anti-Asian discrimination mount, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for "international solidarity" and support for China and other countries hurt by the virus. He urged a stop to any stigmatization of innocent people.
Deaths from the new virus rose to 490 in mainland China Wednesday and the number of new cases increased to 24,324, as China moved patients into newly built or converted hospitals in the hardest-hit city of Wuhan.In Hong Kong, hospitals workers are striking to demand that the border with mainland China be shut completely to ward off the virus that caused its first death in the territory. But four new cases of the virus without known travel to the mainland have been reported, indicating community transmission.The growing caseload in Hong Kong "indicates significant risk of community transmission" and could portend a "large-scale" outbreak, said Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch at the Center for Health Protection.
More than 7,000 health workers joined the strike Tuesday, according to the Hospital Authority Employees' Alliance, the strike organizer. Hospitals said they had to cut some services due to the absences.
Hong Kong was hit hard by the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, a virus from the same family as the current outbreak. Trust in Chinese authorities has plummeted following months of anti-government protests in the Asian financial hub.The territory's beleaguered leader, Carrie Lam, criticized the strike and said the government was doing all it could to limit the flow of people across the border. Almost all land and sea links have been closed, but the striking workers want it shut completely."Important services, critical operations have been affected," including cancer treatment and care for newborns, Lam told reporters. "So I'm appealing to those who are taking part in this action: Let's put the interests of the patients and the entire public health system above all other things."With Wuhan cut-off by rail, air and road, the U.S. government was organizing additional evacuation flights for its citizens still in city Thursday.The mainland China figures indicated an increase of 65 deaths and 3,887 new cases from the previous day's tally. Outside mainland China, at least 180 cases have been confirmed, including two fatalities, the one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.Most deaths have been among the elderly and those with other health problems, Chinese authorities said. More than 80% were over 60 years old, and more than 75% had an underlying disease, Jiao Yahui, a National Health Commission official, told a news conference Tuesday.Dr. David Heymann, who led the World Health Organization's response to the SARS outbreak, said it's too early to tell when the new virus will peak, but that it appears to still be on the increase.He said the spike in China's caseload in recent days is partly attributable to the search being expanded to include milder cases, not only people with pneumonia. He declined to predict whether the virus would ultimately cause a pandemic, or worldwide outbreak. WHO defines a pandemic as sustained transmission of a disease in at least two world regions.Heymann said as the new virus starts to spread beyond China, scientists will gain a better understanding of it. "What we will see is the clearer natural history of the disease," he said, as those exposed to the virus "are being traced and watched very closely," he said.Nevertheless, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries outside China to share more data on infections, saying detailed information has been provided in only 38% of cases.In particular, he said, "some high-income countries are well behind in sharing this vital data with WHO. ... Without better data, it's very hard for us to assess how the outbreak is evolving or what impact it could have and to ensure we're providing the most appropriate recommendations."In Wuhan, patients were being transferred to a new 1,000-bed hospital with prefabricated wards and isolation rooms. A 1,500-bed hospital also specially built is due to open soon. A gymnasium, exhibition hall and cultural center were converted into hospitals with a total of 3,400 beds to treat patients with mild symptoms. The simple beds were placed in tight rows in cavernous rooms without any barriers between them.One man, Fang Bin, said he saw wards so crowded during a visit to the city's No. 5 Hospital on Saturday that some patients were forced to sit on the ground.
"There are too many patients, it's overcrowded," Fang told The Associated Press. He said he was taken from his home and questioned by police after he posted a video of what he saw online.Thailand confirmed six more cases Tuesday, raising its total to 25, the highest outside China. Two were motorcycle taxi drivers who had driven for Chinese tourists. Earlier a Thai taxi driver was also diagnosed with the virus. The cases are concerning because they suggest the virus can spread more easily between people.
The death toll in mainland China from the new type of virus has risen to 425, with the total number of cases now standing at 20,438, officials said Tuesday.The new figures come after the country opened a new hospital built in 10 days, infused cash into tumbling financial markets and further restricted people's movement in hopes of containing the rapidly spreading virus and its escalating impact.
Japanese officials were deciding whether to quarantine more than 3,000 people on a cruise ship that carried a passenger who tested positive for the virus.The latest figures are up from 361 deaths and 17,205 confirmed cases.Other countries are continuing evacuations and restricting the entry of Chinese or people who have recently traveled in the country. In the province at the epicenter of the outbreak, a specialized 1,000-bed hospital started treating patients and a second hospital with 1,500 beds is to open within days.
Other countries continued evacuating citizens from hardest-hit Hubei province and restricted the entry of Chinese or people who recently traveled to the country.The World Health Organization said the number of cases will keep growing because tests are pending on thousands of suspected cases.Chinese President Xi Jinping, presiding over a special meeting of the country's top Communist Party body for the second time since the crisis started, said "we have launched a people's war of prevention of the epidemic."He told the Politburo standing committee that the country must race against time to curb the spread of the virus and that those who neglect their duties will be punished, state broadcaster CCTV reported.Medical teams from the People's Liberation Army were arriving in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, to relieve overwhelmed health workers and to staff the new 1,000-bed hospital, located in the countryside far from the city center.Its prefabricated wards are equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and ventilation systems. A second hospital with 1,500 beds is due to open within days.China's Shanghai Composite stock index plunged nearly 8% on the first day of trading after the Lunar New Year holiday, despite a central bank announcement that it was putting 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) into the markets."We are fully confident in and capable of minimizing the epidemic's impact on the economy," Lian Weiliang, deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a news conference in Beijing.Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, announced that the semi-autonomous territory will shut almost all but two land and sea border crossings with the mainland at midnight to stem the spread of the virus. Only the land checkpoints at Shenzhen Bay and the bridge to Macao and Zhuhai will remain open.More than 2,000 hospital workers went on strike earlier in the day, demanding a complete closure of the border, and their union has threatened a bigger walkout Tuesday.
Hong Kong was hit hard by SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2002-03, an illness from the same family of viruses as the current outbreak and which many believe was intensified by official Chinese secrecy and obfuscation.Chinese scientists said they have more evidence that it likely originated in bats.In a study published in the journal Nature, Shi Zhen-Li and colleagues at the Wuhan Institute of Virology reported that genome sequences from seven patients were 96% identical to a bat coronavirus.SARS is also believed to have originated in bats, although it jumped to civet cats before infecting people.Scientists suspect the latest outbreak began at a seafood market in Wuhan where wild animals were on sale and in contact with people.Meanwhile, Japanese health officials said a passenger on a Japanese-operated cruise ship tested positive for the virus after leaving the vessel in Hong Kong on Jan. 25.The Diamond Princess returned to Yokohama carrying more than 3,000 passengers and crew after making port calls in Vietnam, Taiwan and Okinawa. A team of quarantine officials and medical staff boarded the ship Monday and began medical checks of everyone on board, a health ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with department rules.The passengers and crew members may be quarantined on the ship if the captain agrees to do so, the official said.The ship's captain said Hong Kong's health authorities notified the ship about the passenger's infection on Saturday, six days after he got off the ship after not being caught on thermal screening, according to a recording of the announcement tweeted by a passenger.The patient is currently recovering and is in stable condition, and his traveling companions so far have not been infected, the captain said."I wish we were informed as soon as they found out, then I could have worn a mask or washed hands more carefully," the passenger said. "I was in Hong Kong nine days ago and it seems to be too late now."South Korea, which has 15 confirmed cases, quarantined 800 soldiers who had recently visited China, Hong Kong or Macao or had contact with people who had, defense ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyunsoo said.
The Philippines banned the entry of all non-citizens from China after two cases were confirmed there, including the only death outside China.The US, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia have imposed similar restrictions despite criticism from China and WHO's guidance that such measures were unnecessary.

China on Monday reported 361 have died on the mainland from the new virus, with an additional 2,829 new cases over the last 24 hours bringing the Chinese total to 17,205.The latest figures Monday come a day after the first death from the illness was recorded outside China, in the Philippines, as countries around the world evacuated hundreds of their citizens from the infection zone.Chinese authorities completed a new, rapidly constructed 1,000-bed hospital for victims of the outbreak and delayed the reopening of schools in the hardest-hit province. Restrictions were tightened still further in one city by allowing only one family member to venture out to buy supplies every other day.The Philippine Health Department said a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, the city at the center of the crisis, was hospitalized Jan. 25 with a fever, cough and sore throat and died after developing severe pneumonia. The man's 38-year-old female companion, also from Wuhan, tested positive for the virus as well and remained hospitalized in isolation in Manila.Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved a ban on the entry of all non-citizens from China. The U.S., Japan, Singapore and Australia have imposed similar restrictions despite criticism from China and an assessment from the World Health Organization that such measures were unnecessarily hurting trade and travel.The vast majority of those infected are in China; about 150 cases have been reported in two dozen other countries.The U.S. on Sunday reported its ninth case, this one involving a woman in the San Francisco Bay Area's Santa Clara County who arrived in the U.S. to visit family after recently traveling to Wuhan.A hospital specially built to handle coronavirus patients in Wuhan is expected to open on Monday, just 10 days after construction began. A second hospital is set to open soon after.
Also, six officials in the city of Huanggang, next to Wuhan in Hubei province, were fired over "poor performance" in handling the outbreak, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It cited the mayor as saying the city's "capabilities to treat the patients remained inadequate and there is a severe shortage in medical supplies such as protective suits and medical masks."The trading and manufacturing center of Wenzhou, with nearly 10 million people in coastal Zhejiang province, confined people to their homes, allowing only one family member to venture out every other day to buy necessary supplies. Huanggang, home to 7 million people, imposed similar measures on Saturday.
With no end in sight to the outbreak, authorities in Hubei and elsewhere have extended the Lunar New Year holiday break, due to end this week, well into February to try to keep people at home and reduce the spread of the virus. All Hubei schools are postponing the start of the new semester until further notice.The crisis is the latest to confront Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who has been beset by months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, the re-election of Taiwan's pro-independence president and criticism over human rights violations in the traditionally Muslim territory of Xinjiang. Meanwhile, the domestic economy continues to slow, weighed down by slowing demand and the trade war with Washington.New Zealand announced Sunday it is temporarily barring travelers from China to protect the South Pacific region from the virus. The 14-day ban applies to foreigners leaving China but not to New Zealand residents. New Zealand also raised its travel advice for China to "Do not travel," the highest level.Qatar Airways joined the growing number of airlines suspending flights to mainland China. Indonesia and Oman also halted flights, as did Saudi Arabia's flagship national carrier, Saudia.
Saudi Arabia's state-run media reported that 10 Saudi students were evacuated from Wuhan on a special flight. It said the students would be screened on arrival and quarantined for 14 days.Over the weekend, South Korea and India flew hundreds of their citizens out of Wuhan. A Turkish military transport plane carrying 42 people arrived in Ankara on Saturday night. A French-chartered plane made its way toward France on Sunday with 300 evacuees from a multitude of European and African countries. And Morocco flew home 167 of its people, mostly students.Indonesia flew back 241 citizens from Wuhan on Sunday and quarantined them on the remote Natuna Islands for two weeks. Several hundred residents protested the move.

The Philippines has reported the first death related to a new virus outside of China.The Department of Health says a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was admitted on Jan. 25 after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat.He developed severe pneumonia, and in his last few days, "the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise," the health department said.
China's death toll from a new virus increased to 304 on Sunday amid warnings from the World Health Organization that other countries need to prepare in the event the disease spreads among their populations as more nations report local infections.Meanwhile, six officials in the city of Huanggang, neighboring the epicenter of Wuhan in Hubei province, have been fired over "poor performance" in handling the outbreak, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
It cited the mayor as saying the city's "capabilities to treat the patients remained inadequate and there is a severe shortage in medical supplies such as protective suits and medical masks."Figures from the National Health Commission showed an increase of 45 in the death toll and 2,590 in the number of cases for a total of 14,380, well above the number of those infected in in the 2002-03 outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which broke out in southern China before spreading worldwide.With the outbreak showing little sign of abating, authorities in Hubei and elsewhere have extended the Lunar New Year holiday, due to end this week, well into February. The annual travel crunch of millions of people returning from their hometowns to the cities is thought to pose a major threat of secondary infection at a time when authorities are encouraging people to avoid public gatherings.All Hubei schools will postpone the opening of the new semester until further notice and students from elsewhere who visited over the holiday will also be excused from classes.Far away on China's southeast coast, the manufacturing hub of Wenzhou put off the opening of government offices until Feb. 9, private businesses until Feb. 17 and schools until March 1.With nearly 10 million people, Wenzhou has reported 241 confirmed cases of the virus, accounting for one of the highest levels outside Hubei. Similar measures have been announced in the provinces and cities of Heilongjiang, Shandong, Guizhou, Hebei and Hunan, while the major cities of Shanghai and Beijing were on indefinite leave pending developments.Despite imposing drastic travel restrictions at home, China has chafed at those imposed by foreign governments, criticizing Washington's order barring entry to most non-citizens who visited China in the past two weeks. Apart from dinging China's international reputation, such steps could worsen a domestic economic already growing at its lowest rate in decades.The crisis is just the latest to confront Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who has been beset by months of anti-government protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong, the reelection of Taiwan's pro-independence president and criticism over human rights violations in the traditionally Muslim northwestern territory of Xinjiang. Economically, Xi faces lagging demand and dramatically slower growth at home while the tariff war with the U.S. remains largely unresolved.Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced similar travel measures Saturday, following Japan and Singapore.
South Korea and India flew hundreds of their citizens out of Wuhan, the city at the center of an area where some 50 million people are prevented from leaving in a sweeping anti-virus effort. The evacuees went into a two-week quarantine. Indonesia also sent a plane.
On Sunday, South Korea reported three more cases for a total of 15. They include an evacuee, a Chinese relative of a man who tested positive and a man who returned from Wuhan.The virus' rapid spread in two months prompted the World Health Organization on Thursday to declare it a global emergency.That declaration "flipped the switch" from a cautious attitude to recommending governments prepare for the possibility the virus might spread, said the WHO representative in Beijing, Gauden Galea. Most cases reported so far have been people who visited China or their family members.The agency acted out of concern for poorer countries that might not be equipped to respond, said Galea. Such a declaration calls for a coordinated international response and can bring more money and resources.WHO said it was especially concerned that some cases abroad involved human-to-human transmission."Countries need to get ready for possible importation in order to identify cases as early as possible and in order to be ready for a domestic outbreak control, if that happens," Galea told The Associated Press.Australia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Vietnam all reported new cases Saturday. Spain confirmed its first case - a German man who had close contact with an infected person in Germany and then traveled to the Canary Islands with friends. Four friends who were hospitalized with him have not shown symptoms.Both the new virus and SARS are from the coronavirus family, which also includes those that cause the common cold.The death rate in China is falling, but the number of confirmed cases will keep growing because thousands of specimens from suspected cases have yet to be tested, Galea said."The case fatality ratio is settling out at a much lower level than we were reporting three, now four, weeks ago," he said.
Although scientists expect to see limited transmission of the virus between people with family or other close contact, they are concerned about cases of infection spreading to people who might have less exposure.

China faced deepening isolation over its coronavirus epidemic on Saturday as the death toll soared to 259, with the United States leading a growing list of nations to impose extraordinary Chinese travel bans.With Britain, Russia and Sweden among the countries confirming their first infections, the virus has now spread to more than two dozen nations, sending governments scurrying to limit their exposure.The United States toughened its stance Friday by declaring a national emergency, temporarily barring entry to foreigners who had been in China within the past two weeks."Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of US citizens and permanent residents, who have travelled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States for this time," Health Secretary Alex Azar said.
That follows similar steps by countries including Italy, Singapore, and China's northern neighbour Mongolia.The United States, Japan, Britain, Germany and other nations already had advised their citizens .
Beijing, which insists it can contain the virus, began to show impatience over the growing ostracism, with the foreign ministry calling Washington's earlier advice against travel to China "unkind".
"Certainly it is not a gesture of goodwill," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.The US emergency declaration also requires Americans returning from the ground zero Chinese province of Hubei to be placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine, and health screening for US citizens coming from other parts of China.The virus emerged in early December and has been traced to a market in Hubei's capital Wuhan that sold wild animals.It then jumped to humans and spread globally on the wings of a Lunar New Year holiday rush that sees hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel domestically and overseas.With public anger mounting in China, Wuhan's top official admitted late Friday that authorities there had acted too slowly."If strict control measures had been taken earlier the result would have been better than now," Ma Guoqiang, the Communist Party chief for Wuhan, told state media.Ma said he was "in a state of guilt, remorse and self-reproach."Wuhan officials have been criticised online for withholding information about the outbreak until late December despite knowing of it weeks earlier.China finally lurched into action more than a week ago, effectively quarantining whole cities in Hubei and tens of millions of people.The rest of the country has been essentially put on a war footing.The unprecedented safeguards imposed nationwide include extending the holiday, postponing school restarts and tight health screening on travellers nationwide.But the toll keeps mounting at an ever-increasing pace, with health authorities on Saturday saying 46 more people had died in the preceding 24 hours, all but one in Hubei.Another 2,102 new infections also were confirmed, bringing the total to nearly 12,000 - far higher than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak of 2002-03.SARS, which is similar to the new coronavirus and also originated in China, killed 774 people worldwide, most in China or Hong Kong.The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency on Thursday but did not advise international trade or travel restrictions.It warned Friday that closing borders was probably ineffective in halting transmission and could accelerate the virus's spread.But authorities around the world pressed ahead with preventive measures.Citing a likely "sharper rise" in infections, Singapore on Friday barred arrivals and transit passengers from mainland China.Mongolia on Saturday toughened earlier restrictions by implementing a ban on any arrivals from its huge southern neighbour until March 2.Impoverished Papua New Guinea went so far as to bar all visitors from "Asian ports" last week.Adding to concerns over combatting the contagion, Thai health officials on Friday said a taxi driver became the kingdom's first case of human-to-human transmission.Thailand joins China, Germany, Japan, France and the United States with confirmed domestic infections.The health crisis has dented China's international image, putting Chinese nationals in difficult positions abroad, amid complaints of racism.In one striking example, more than 40,000 workers at a vast Chinese-controlled industrial park in Indonesia - which also employs 5,000 staff from China - were put under quarantine, the facility said on Friday.No one can enter or leave with out permission, said Pt Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park on Sulawesi island.World markets tumbled again on Friday due to the uncertainty hovering over the world's second-largest economy, a key driver of global growth.
Growing numbers of major airlines have suspended or reduced China flights, while corporate names ranging from Toyota to McDonald's and Starbucks have shut down Chinese stores or production lines.Countries have scrambled to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan, with hundreds of US, Japanese, British, French, South Korean, and Indian citizens evacuated so far, and more countries planning airlifts.Russia said it would evacuate more than 2,500 of its citizens holidaying on China's Hainan island, far from the epicentre.
The new coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China."The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems.Meanwhile, the US has told its citizens not to travel to China.The State Department issued a level four warning - having previously urged Americans to "reconsider" travel to China - and said any citizens in China "should consider departing using commercial means".At least 213 people have died in China - mostly in Hubei province where the virus emerged - with almost 10,000 cases nationally.The WHO said there had been 98 cases in 18 other countries, but no deaths.Most international cases are in people who had been to the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei.However, there have been eight cases of human-to-human infection - in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the United States.
Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Dr Tedros described the virus as an "unprecedented outbreak" that has been met with an "unprecedented response".He praised the "extraordinary measures" Chinese authorities had taken, and said there was no reason to limit trade or travel to China."Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China," he said.But various countries have taken steps to close borders or cancel flights, and companies like Google, Ikea, Starbucks and Tesla have closed their shops or stopped operations.The US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, has said the outbreak could "accelerate the return of jobs to North America".What happens if this virus finds its way into a country that cannot cope?
Many low- and middle-income countries simply lack the tools to spot or contain it. The fear is it could spread uncontrollably and that it may go unnoticed for some time.Remember this is a disease which emerged only last month - and yet there are already almost 10,000 confirmed cases in China.The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa - the largest in human history - showed how easily poorer countries can be overwhelmed by such outbreaks.And if novel coronavirus gets a significant foothold in such places, then it would be incredibly difficult to contain.We are not at that stage yet - 99% of cases are in China and the WHO is convinced the country can control the outbreak there.
But declaring a global emergency allows the WHO to support lower- and middle-income countries to strengthen their disease surveillance - and prepare them for cases.The WHO declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern when there is "an extraordinary event which is determined... to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease".

It has previously declared five global public health emergencies:

Swine flu, 2009 -The H1N1 virus spread across the world in 2009, killing more than 200,000 people
Polio, 2014 - Although closer than ever to eradication in 2012, polio numbers rose in 2013
Zika, 2016 - The WHO declared Zika a public health emergency in 2016 after the disease spread rapidly through the Americas
Ebola, 2014 and 2019 - The first emergency over the virus lasted from August 2014 to March 2016 as almost 30,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 died in West Africa. A second emergency was declared last year as an outbreak spread in DR Congo
A confirmed case in Tibet means the virus has reached every region in mainland China. According to the country's National Health Commission, 9,692 cases have tested positive.

The central province of Hubei, where nearly all deaths have occurred, is in a state of lockdown. The province of 60 million people is home to Wuhan, the heart of the outbreak.The city has effectively been sealed off and China has put numerous transport restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus.People who have been in Hubei are also being told to work from home until it is considered safe for them to return.
The virus is affecting China's economy, the world's second-largest, with a growing number of countries advising their citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to the country.Voluntary evacuations of hundreds of foreign nationals from Wuhan are under way.The UK, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand are expected to quarantine all evacuees for two weeks to monitor them for symptoms and avoid contagion.Australia plans to quarantine its evacuees on Christmas Island, 2,000km (1,200 miles) from the mainland in a detention centre that has been used to house asylum seekers.
In other recent developments:
Italy suspended flights to China after two Chinese tourists in Rome were diagnosed with the virus; earlier 6,000 people on board a cruise ship were temporarily barred from disembarking
In the US, Chicago health officials have reported the first US case of human-to-human transmission. Around 200 US citizens have been flown out of Wuhan and are being isolated at a Californian military base for at least 72 hours
Russia has decided to close its 4,300km (2,670-mile) far-eastern border with China
Two flights to Japan have already landed in Tokyo. Japan has now raised its infectious disease advisory level for China
Some 250 French nationals have been evacuated from Wuhan
India has confirmed its first case of the virus - a student in the southern state of Kerala who was studying in Wuhan
Israel has barred all flight connections with China
Papua New Guinea has banned all visitors from "Asian ports"
More than 7,800 cases of a viral outbreak have been confirmed worldwide, most of them in central China. The virus has caused 170 deaths, mostly in Hubei province. Experts are especially concerned that new cases outside China may be spreading person-to-person. The virus comes from the coronavirus family, which includes the common cold but also more severe illnesses, such as SARS and MERS.

WHAT'S NEW:

- China's latest figures show an increase of 38 deaths and 1,737 new cases for a total of 7,711 cases. The 170 deaths have mostly been in Hubei province.

- The World Health Organization convened its coronavirus expert committee to assess whether the outbreak warrants being declared a global emergency. The committee last week had advised the U.N. health agency it was too early to make that pronouncement.

- The United States evacuated 195 Americans from Wuhan who are being tested and monitored at a Southern California military base. The European Union, South Korea and Singapore had flights en route, and other countries are working on similar plans.

- Chinese officials say they're ensuring supplies of daily necessities to Wuhan and other areas that have been cordoned off.

- Australia's government defended its plan to send evacuees to Christmas Island, which has been used to banish asylum seekers and convicted criminals. Critics warn that some Australians would prefer to stay in China rather than go there.
The death toll rose to 170 in the new virus outbreak in China on Thursday as foreign evacuees from the worst-hit region begin returning home under close observation and world health officials expressed "great concern" that the disease is starting to spread between people outside of China.Thursday's figures cover the previous 24 hours and represent an increase of 38 deaths and 1,737 cases for a total of 7,711. Of the new deaths, 37 were in the epicenter of the outbreak in Hubei province and one in the southwestern province of Sichuan.The news comes as the 195 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, the Hubei province city of 11 million where the outbreak originated, are undergoing three days of testing and monitoring at a Southern California military base to make sure they do not show signs of the virus.A group of 210 Japanese evacuees from Wuhan landed Thursday at Tokyo's Haneda airport on a second government chartered flight, according to the foreign ministry. Reports said nine of those aboard the flight showed signs of cough and fever. Three of the 206 Japanese who returned on Wednesday tested positive for the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a parliamentary session. Two of them showed no symptoms of the disease.France, New Zealand, Australia and other countries are also pulling out their citizens or making plans to do so.The World Health Organization emergencies chief said the few cases of human-to-human spread of the virus outside China - in Japan, Germany, Canada and Vietnam - were of "great concern" and were part of the reason the U.N. health agency's director-general was reconvening a committee of experts on Thursday to assess whether the outbreak should be declared a global emergency.The new virus has now infected more people in China than were sickened there during the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak.Dr. Michael Ryan spoke at a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday after returning from a trip to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior government leaders. He said China was taking "extraordinary measures in the face of an extraordinary challenge" posed by the outbreak.To date, about 99% of the cases are in China. Ryan estimated the death rate of the new virus at 2%, but said the figure was very preliminary. With fluctuating numbers of cases and deaths, scientists are only able to produce a rough estimate of the fatality rate and it's likely many milder cases of the virus are being missed.In comparison, the SARS virus killed about 10% of people who caught it. The new virus is from the coronavirus family, which includes those that can cause the common cold as well as more serious illnesses such as SARS and MERS.Scientists say there are many questions to be answered about the new virus, including just how easily it spreads and how severe it is.In a report published Wednesday, Chinese researchers suggested that person-to-person spread among close contacts occurred as early as mid-December."Considerable efforts" will be needed to control the spread if this ratio holds up elsewhere, researchers wrote in the report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.More than half of the cases in which symptoms began before Jan. 1 were tied to a seafood market, but only 8% of cases after that have been, researchers found. They reported the average incubation period was five days.
Coronavirus has claimed 132 lives in China even as confirmed infections rose to nearly 6,000, health officials in China said.The deadly virus continues to wreak havoc in China with 25 new fatalities reported from central Hubei province. Health experts warned that the epidemic may reach its peak in the next 10 days.The Chinese health authorities announced on Wednesday that 5,974 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in 31regions. China's National Health Commission said in its daily report that 1,239 patients remained in critical condition and 9,239 people were suspected to be infected with the virus.
China has reported 24 more deaths from coronavirus epidemic, taking the number of fatalities to 106 as the confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the outbreak stand at 4,515, the health authorities announced on Tuesday.Barring Tibet, all Chinese provinces have reported the virus cases, posing a major challenge for the health authorities to contain it.Overseas confirmed cases have been reported in Thailand (7), Japan (3), South Korea (3), the United States (3), Vietnam (2), Singapore (4), Malaysia (3), Nepal (1), France (3), Australia (4) and Sri Lanka (1).The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed, authorities said Tuesday.The provincial authorities in the virus epicentre of Hubei province, of which Wuhan city is the capital, said 24 more people had died from the virus with 1,291 more infections.By the end of Monday, a total of 4,515 cumulative confirmed cases of the new pneumonia had been reported in Hubei, while 2,567 patients are hospitalised, with 563 in severe conditions and 127 in critical conditions, the Hubei Provincial Health Commission said on Tuesday.Hospitals across the province received 31,934 fever patients on Monday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.As of now, 4,200 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported from China.China's top cities of Beijing and Shanghai reported their first deaths on late Monday first from the novel coronavirus.The health commissions in both Beijing and Shanghai reported.A 50-year-old male died of respiratory failure in Beijing on Monday. He was diagnosed on January 22, and was in Wuhan City from January 8 to 15.Shanghai authorities have yet to release details of the deceased patient, state-run CGTN reported.As of Monday night, Beijing had eight more confirmed cases of the disease, bringing the total number to 80.Two patients have been discharged from hospitals after treatment, while 63 patients were in stable condition. Shanghai had 66 confirmed cases as of Monday night, aged between seven and 88 years old.A sense of disquiet prevailed in Beijing as officials announced the capital's first death from the deadly virus, a grim reminder that the epidemic has begun to take toll outside Hubei province.On Monday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Wuhan, the first such trip by a top leader to the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, to boost the morale of millions of beleaguered people and medical staff.The World Health Organisation on Monday admitted an error in its assessment of the global risk of a deadly virus in China, saying it was "high" and not "moderate", reports said.The Geneva-based WHO in its latest situation report said the risk was "very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level."
The organisation attached to UN admitted that it had stated "incorrectly" in its previous reports that the global risk was "moderate".WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is currently visiting Beijing to discuss how to contain the outbreak. He was quoted as saying on Thursday that "this is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency".Meanwhile, the train and bus services between Beijing and neighbouring Tianjin have been suspended.China has also extended the New Year Festival holidays till February 2 to prevent reverse migration of millions of migrants works to return to their work from holidays.Universities, primary and middle schools and kindergartens across the country will postpone the opening of the spring semester until further notice.The government is focussing efforts to prevent mass gatherings and mass travel to ensure the virus is not spread fast.Beijing has also launched temperature detection at 55 subway stations, including stops at railway stations and Beijing airport. Passengers with abnormal body temperatures will be sent to hospital.
While China's response to the new coronavirus outbreak is being praised in comparison to its handling of the SARS epidemic, some are suggesting officials may have gone too far by ordering a quarantine of the city of Wuhan.Meanwhile, reports that the virus can spread before symptoms are evident - making it much more difficult to contain - means the international community must beef up its screening process at airports, says one leading expert in infectious diseases.The latest figures reported Sunday reveal more than 2,700 infections. Canada has said it discovered its first case, a man in his 50s who was in Wuhan before flying to Toronto. The U.S. has confirmed cases in Washington state, Chicago, Southern California and Arizona. And small numbers of cases have been found in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, France and Australia. But nearly all the cases come from China.The epidemic has revived memories of the SARS outbreak that originated in China and killed nearly 800 as it spread around the world in 2002 and 2003. But the response this time, in terms of information sharing, is being hailed as a significant improvement."Their response is vastly different to this virus compared to its response to SARS almost 20 years ago, when they were somewhat secretive about their data," said Aileen Marty, a professor of infectious diseases at the Florida International University. "They are openly sharing their data."As for their public health response, they have obviously taken "extreme measures" by planning to build new hospitals within weeks and quarantine millions of people in Wuhan, said Kristian Andersen, director of infectious disease genomics at the Scripps Research Translational Institute.Wuhan, the city at the centre of the crisis, remains on lockdown with no flights, trains or buses in or out.Howard Markel, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, and author of Quarantine! and When Germs Travel, believes Chinese officials maybe doing more harm than good with these actions."Having spent my medical and academic career studying these issues, I am astounded by what is already the single largest quarantine in recorded history," Markel wrote in an op-ed piece for The Washington Post."As a historian of quarantines and epidemics - one who has read, seen or written similar sad stories too many times - I am not terribly optimistic it will turn out well."In an interview with CBC News, Markel said that making such a decision is incredibly difficult, as officials don't want to react too early or too late. Still, he said, he wouldn't necessarily have closed off or locked down cities because the very word "quarantine" causes panic."It does prevent the movement of goods in and out of those places - food, water, medicines, health-care people."As well, ultimately, the fatality rates may reveal that the deaths caused by the virus aren't that much greater than those caused by the seasonal flu. Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease physician at Toronto General Hospital, agreed that the scale in which the quarantine has been implemented is unprecedented."What it tells me and what it tells the global community is that clearly ... senior officials are recognizing this as a major problem within China. And that they will go to any result, they will go to all ends to get this under control," he said."Whether or not this will be effective is one of the bigger questions. People have these very strong opinions saying, you know, 'well, travel bans have never worked in the past.' And I don't disagree with that one bit. But in the same sentence, we've never seen a travel ban like this ever implemented before."Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, tweeted that he had "serious concern that large scale quarantine for nCoV will be ineffective and could have big negative consequences."He said such quarantines could hurt diagnosis and isolation efforts, make people less confident in the overall response and less likely to want to self report their illness. But Marty, who spent 31 days in Nigeria leading an international team helping to combat the Ebola outbreak, said what's more alarming to her is the fact that new studies have revealed people are spreading the virus before they manifest symptoms. "Somebody who doesn't know that they're exposed and is not symptomatic, looks and feels great, may already be shedding virus to their neighbours," she said.What that means for the international community, she said, is a more robust screening process at airports.Airports in several countries are already using scanners to take the temperature of passengers arriving from China. But Marty said it's more important to ask questions of passengers."What we have to do is the other things we do at point of entries, which is, talk to [the passengers]. 'Where have you been? Who have you been with?' Because that's our best clue you may be an at-risk person," Marty said."And then each country has to instigate measures to follow people whose answers are concerning. And one thing we're not yet doing ... we need to screen every airport that has direct flights from China."
In December, an outbreak of previously unknown pneumonia, later identified to be caused by a new strain of coronavirus, was registered in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei province.Hubei Province reported 371 new cases of coronavirus and 24 new deaths on January 26 local time, the total infection cases in the province rose to 1,423, with 76 deaths and 44 recovered, the Global Times reported.According to the South China Morning Post, the number of people who have died from coronavirus in China has reached 80. A total of 2,454 coronavirus cases have been registered in China, according to the outlet. Overall, 2,504 coronavirus cases have been registered worldwide, the newspaper's live count shows.Earlier, China's National Health Commission director Ma Xiaowei told reporters that the spread of the virus appears to be accelerating despite mitigation efforts.
Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Nepal, France, the United States, Malaysia, Australia and Canada have confirmed cases of infection in recent days. The fifth case of coronavirus in the United States was confirmed in Maricopa County, Arizona on Sunday.
The death toll in the deadly new coronavirus in China rose to 56 Sunday with confirmed cases of viral affliction reaching 1,975 and 324 of them being critical, Chinese health authorities said.
The new type of pneumonia, officially being described as 2019-nCoV, has resulted in 56 deaths, the National Health Commission said.
A total of 2,684 suspected cases have also been reported so far, it said.While Wuhan and 17 others cities in Hubei province remained the epicentre of the viral disease outbreak with most of the deaths having taken place there, the cases have started rising steadily in most of the Chinese provinces and cities, including Beijing.Hubei province added 323 new confirmed cases of infection Jan 25. It also reported 13 new deaths.A total of 1,052 cases of coronavirus were reported till Jan 25 in the province, with 129 being critical, besides 52 deaths, state run Global Times reported.Ten new coronavirus afflictions were reported till Saturday in Beijing, taking the number of cases to 51 in the city, the report said.Shanghai, China's biggest city has reported 40 cases so far, it added.Amid the situation becoming grim, Chinese President Xi Jinping Saturday said China is facing a 'grave situation' but he exuded confidence that the country would 'win the battle' against the coronavirus epidemic.Stepping up all-round efforts to contain the fast spreading SARS-like virus, China on Saturday announced it would build another 1,300-bed makeshift hospital in Wuhan in the next 15 days in addition to another 1,000-bed hospital being built presently in the city and expected to be completed in 10 days, to treat more cases of the deadly virus.The feverish pace at which the hospitals are being built indicates China is preparing to treat far more patients, considering the speed at which the virus is spreading.The virus has spread to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Nepal, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the US as of Thursday. Japan on Friday had reported a second confirmed case.The confirmed cases in China crossed the 1,000-mark for the first time Friday, rising sharply to 1,287 with 237 people reported critical, the Commission had said Saturday.
China's Communist Party has set up a leading group to manage the coronavirus epidemic, state media reported on Saturday.The decision was made at a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee - the party's top leadership tier - chaired by President Xi.In the meeting, Xi said people from different ethnic groups and sectors should work together to support efforts to contain the spread of the deadly virus. The country is facing a "grave situation", he was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post."As long as the nation has strong confidence and makes joint efforts with scientific and targeted measures, the battle of the prevention and control of the contagion will be won," Xi said, chairing meeting on the day of the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year.Xi also called for all-out efforts to prevent and control the coronavirus-related pneumonia and extended his heartfelt gratitude to the frontline medical staff, struggling to control the outbreak.He also called for strengthening the protection of medical staff, ensuring the steady supply of requisite materials and intensifying disclosure of related information to guide the public opinion and mobilise social forces to uphold the overall stability of society.The CPC meeting urged concrete efforts to ensure access to adequate supplies of materials to Wuhan.The participants of the meeting also urged to ensure all-out efforts to treat patients, and disclose disease-related information in an accurate, open and transparent manner to address concerns from both at home and abroad, it said.
- Health authorities said the number of confirmed cases in China rose to more than 1,200 and the death toll climbed to 41.
- Australia and Malaysia reported their first cases and Japan identified a third one.
- Wuhan will ban vehicle use in downtown areas starting Sunday to try to restrict people from moving around. Taxis have been assigned to neighbourhood committees to help those who need to get somewhere.
- Most of China's provinces and cities declared a Level 1 public health alert, the highest emergency level.
- Hong Kong declared an emergency and announced a two-week school closure on top of the Lunar New Year break. Schools will reopen on Feb. 17.
China's most festive holiday began in the shadow of a worrying new virus Saturday as the death toll surpassed 40, an unprecedented lockdown kept 36 million people from traveling and authorities cancelled a host of Lunar New Year events.The National Health Commission reported a jump in the number of people infected with the virus to 1,287 with 41 deaths. The latest tally comes from 29 provinces across China, including 237 patients in serious condition. All 41 deaths have been in China, including 39 in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, one in Hebei and one in Heilongjiang.
Meanwhile, Australia announced its first case Saturday, a Chinese man in his 50s who last week returned from China. Malaysia said three people, relatives of a father and son from Wuhan who were earlier diagnosed with the virus in neighboring Singapore, tested positive on Saturday.France said that three people had fallen ill with the virus - the disease's first appearance in Europe. And the United States reported its second case, involving a Chicago woman in her 60s who was hospitalized in isolation after returning from China.
On Wall Street, stocks slumped amid fears over the widening crisis, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 170 points and the S and P 500 posting its worst day in three months. Health care companies suffered losses, along with financial institutions, airlines and other tourism and travel industry businesses.Transportation was shut down in Wuhan, the city of 11 million where the outbreak originated, and in at least 12 other cities in central Hubei province, encompassing a population bigger than that of New York, London, Paris and Moscow combined.Hospitals in Wuhan grappled with a flood of patients and a lack of supplies. Videos circulating online showed throngs of frantic people in masks lined up for examinations, and some complained that family members had been turned away at hospitals that were at capacity.Authorities in Wuhan and elsewhere put out calls for medicine, disinfection equipment, masks, goggles, gowns and other protective gear.Wuhan officials said they are rapidly constructing a new 1,000-bed hospital to deal with the crisis, to be completed Feb. 3. It will be modeled on a SARS hospital that was built in Beijing in just six days during the 2003 SARS outbreak.The seriousness of the crisis was still an open question.The new virus comes from a large family of what are known as coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a cold.But it is not clear just how lethal this coronavirus is, or even whether it is as dangerous as ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the U.S. alone. Scientists say it is also not clear if it spreads as easily as SARS, its genetic cousin, which also originated in China and killed about 800 people.The rapid increase in reported deaths and illnesses does not necessarily mean the crisis is getting worse. It could instead reflect better monitoring and reporting of the newly discovered virus, which can cause cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough, fever and shortness of breath, but can worsen to pneumonia."It's still too early to draw conclusions about how severe the virus is because at the beginning of any outbreak you would focus more on the severe cases," said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization in Geneva. "And then maybe we are missing some mild cases because people will just be a little bit sick and will not have it tested. And they will recover."In France, Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said that two infected patients had traveled in China and that France should brace for more such cases. A third case was announced in a statement from her ministry about three hours later."We see how difficult it is in today's world to close the frontiers. In reality, it's not possible," she said. Buzyn said authorities are seeking to reach anyone who might have come in contact with the patients: "It's important to control the fire as quickly as possible."In the U.S., the latest person confirmed to have the disease was reported to be doing well. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention likewise said it is expecting more Americans to be diagnosed with the virus.Still, "CDC believes that the immediate risk to the American public continues to be low at this time, but the situation continues to evolve rapidly," said the agency's Dr. Nancy Messonnier.With Chinese authorities afraid that public gatherings will hasten the spread of the virus, the outbreak put a damper on Lunar New Year. Temples locked their doors, Beijing's Forbidden City, Shanghai Disneyland and other major tourist destinations closed, and people canceled restaurant reservations ahead of the holiday, normally a time of family reunions, sightseeing trips, fireworks displays and other festivities in the country of 1.4 billion people.Wuhan's usually bustling streets, malls and other public spaces were unnervingly quiet and masks were mandatory in public. Shoppers emptied store shelves, stocking up for what could be an extended period of isolation. Karaoke bars, movie theaters and internet cafes around the region were shut down.While most of the deaths have been older patients, a 36-year-old man in Hubei died on Thursday.The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan or involved people who visited the city or had personal connections to those infected. About two dozen cases in all have been confirmed outside mainland China, nearly all of them in Asia: Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Nepal, Australia and Malaysia.Recalling the government's initial cover-up of SARS, many Chinese are suspicious of the case numbers reported by officials. Authorities have promised transparency.China's cabinet, the State Council, announced it will be collecting information on government departments that have failed in their response to the outbreak, including "delays, concealment and under-reporting of the epidemic."
China expanded its lockdown against the deadly new virus to an unprecedented 36 million people and rushed to build a prefabricated, 1,000-bed hospital for victims Friday as the outbreak cast a pall over Lunar New Year, the country's biggest, most festive holiday.The number of confirmed cases around the world climbed sharply to more than 850, with at least 26 deaths, all of them in China.Meanwhile, France announced that three people had fallen ill with the virus - the disease's first appearance in Europe. And the United States reported its second case, involving a Chicago woman in her 60s who was hospitalized in isolation after returning from China.On Wall Street, stocks slumped amid fears over the widening crisis, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 170 points and the S and P 500 posting its worst day in three months. Health care companies suffered losses, along with financial institutions, airlines and other tourism and travel industry businesses.Transportation was shut down in Wuhan, the city of 11 million at the epicenter of the outbreak, and in at least 12 other cities in central China's Hubei province, encompassing a population bigger than that of New York, London, Paris and Moscow combined.And authorities in Beijing and other cities canceled many public celebrations and other events marking Lunar New Year, which falls on Saturday.Hospitals in Wuhan grappled with a flood of patients and a lack of supplies. Videos circulating online showed throngs of frantic people in masks lined up for examinations, and some complained that family members had been turned away at hospitals that were at capacity.Authorities in Wuhan and elsewhere put out calls for medicine, disinfection equipment, masks, goggles, gowns and other protective gear.Wuhan officials said they are rapidly constructing a new hospital to deal with the crisis, to be completed Feb. 3. It will be modeled on a SARS hospital that was built in Beijing in just six days during the SARS outbreak.The seriousness of the crisis was still an open question.The new virus comes from a large family of what are known as coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a cold.But it is not clear just how lethal this coronavirus is, or even whether it is as dangerous as ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the U.S. alone. Scientists say it is also not clear if it spreads as easily as SARS, its genetic cousin, which also originated in China and killed about 800 people in 2002-03.The rapid increase in reported deaths and illnesses does not necessarily mean the crisis is getting worse. It could instead reflect better monitoring and reporting of the newly discovered virus, which can cause cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough, fever and shortness of breath, but can worsen to pneumonia."It's still too early to draw conclusions about how severe the virus is because at the beginning of any outbreak you would focus more on the severe cases," said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization in Geneva. "And then maybe we are missing some mild cases because people will just be a little bit sick and will not have it tested. And they will recover."In France, Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said that two infected patients had traveled in China and that France should brace for more such cases. A third case was announced in a statement from her ministry about three hours later."We see how difficult it is in today's world to close the frontiers. In reality, it's not possible," she said. Buzyn said authorities are seeking to reach anyone who might have come in contact with the patients: "It's important to control the fire as quickly as possible."In the U.S., the latest person confirmed to have the disease was reported to be doing well. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention likewise said it is expecting more Americans to be diagnosed with the virus.Still, "CDC believes that the immediate risk to the American public continues to be low at this time, but the situation continues to evolve rapidly," said the agency's Dr. Nancy Messonnier.With Chinese authorities afraid that public gatherings will hasten the spread of the virus, the outbreak put a damper on Lunar New Year. Temples locked their doors, Beijing's Forbidden City, Shanghai Disneyland and other major tourist destinations closed, and people canceled restaurant reservations ahead of the holiday, normally a time of family reunions, sightseeing trips, fireworks displays and other festivities in the country of 1.4 billion people.Wuhan's usually bustling streets, malls and other public spaces were unnervingly quiet on Day Two of its lockdown, and masks were mandatory in public. Shoppers emptied store shelves, stocking up for what could be an extended period of isolation. Karaoke bars, movie theaters and internet cafes around the region were shut down.While most of the deaths have been older patients, a 36-year-old man in Hubei died on Thursday.The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan or involved people who visited the city or had personal connections to those infected. About two dozen cases in all have been confirmed outside mainland China, nearly all of them in Asia: Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Nepal.Many countries are screening travelers from China and isolating anyone with symptoms.
Chinese officials have not said how long the shutdowns of the cities will last.Recalling the government's initial cover-up of SARS, many Chinese are suspicious of the case numbers reported by officials. Authorities have promised transparency.China's cabinet, the State Council, announced it will be collecting information on government departments that have failed in their response to the outbreak, including "delays, concealment and under-reporting of the epidemic."The state broadcaster CCTV's annual Spring Festival Gala program, which attracted more than 1 billion viewers last year, paid tribute to the medical workers fighting the outbreak."Please believe in China," the hosts said. "With the most transparent public information ... on the battlefront of the epidemic, we will definitely win."
A new coronavirus has killed 25 people in China and infected more than 800, the government said on Friday, as the World Health Organization declared it an emergency but stopped short of declaring the epidemic of international concern.China's National Health Commission said 830 cases had been confirmed so far and 25 people had died as of Thursday. Most of the cases are in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated late last year.Non-fatal cases have been found in at least seven other countries.Health officials fear the transmission rate could accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.Nonetheless, it was a "bit too early" to consider the outbreak a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern," WHO Emergency Committee panel chair Didier Houssin said after the body met in Geneva. Such a designation would have required countries to step up the international response."Make no mistake, though, this is an emergency in China," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus."It has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one," he said.Scrambling to contain the outbreak, the local government in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in Hubei province, suspended most transport on Thursday, including outgoing flights, and people were told not to leave. Hours later, neighboring Huanggang, a city of about 7 million people, announced similar measures."The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history," said Gauden Galea, the WHO's representative in Beijing.The organization said, however, that it was not yet recommending any broader restrictions on travel or trade.The previously unknown virus strain is believed to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at an animal market in Wuhan.It has created alarm because there are a number of unknowns surrounding it. It is too early to know just how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people.There is no vaccine for the virus, which can spread through respiratory transmission. Symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing and coughing.
China closed off a city of more than 11 million people Thursday, halting transportation and warning against public gatherings, to try to stop the spread of a deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush.Police, SWAT teams and paramilitary troops stood guard at entrances to Wuhan's train station. Travelers were arriving up to the last minute, with only those holding tickets for the last trains allowed to enter. Virtually everyone at the scene was wearing masks, news website The Paper's live broadcast showed.At exactly 10 a.m., metal barriers were placed over entrances while helpless would- be travellers milled in front. People who were booked on trains beyond the deadline were turned away, with some complaining they weren't notified and now had nowhere to go.City residents appeared to be going about their daily business, while taking preventive measures. People lined up to buy face masks, with pharmacies limited sales to one package per customer. Medical workers wore protective suits outside Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, where some patients with the viral respiratory illness are being treated.Local authorities have demanded all residents wear masks in public places and urged government staff to wear them at work and for shopkeepers to post signs for their visitors, Xinhua quoted a government notice as saying."Those who disregard the warning will be punished according to relevant laws and regulations," the notice said.Virtually no one would be allowed to leave Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub in central China's Hubei province. Train stations, the airport, subways, ferries and long-distance shuttle buses were closed. The official Xinhua News Agency. It cited the city's anti-virus task force as saying the measures were taken in an attempt to "effectively cut off the virus spread, resolutely curb the outbreak and guarantee the people's health and safety."Li Bin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, had warned people in Wuhan on Wednesday to avoid crowds and public gatherings.The illnesses from a newly identified coronavirus first appeared last month in Wuhan, and the vast majority of mainland China's 571 cases have been in the city. Other cases have been reported in the Thailand, the United States, Japan and South Korea. One case was confirmed in the southern Chinese territory of Hong Kong after one was earlier confirmed in Macao. Most were people from Wuhan or had recently travelled there.A total of 17 people have died, all of them in and around Wuhan. Among the victims, the average age was 73, with the oldest aged 89 and the youngest 48.The significant increase in illnesses reported just this week come as millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year, one of the world's largest annual migrations of people.The coronavirus family includes the common cold as well as viruses that cause more serious illnesses, such as the SARS outbreak that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-2003 and killed about 800 people, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, which developed from camels.
The first cases in the Wuhan outbreak were connected to people who worked at or visited a seafood market, which has since been closed for an investigation. The head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control said the outbreak may have resulted from human exposure to wild animals at first but the virus also may be mutating. Mutations can make it deadlier or more contagious among people."We are still in the process of learning more about this disease," Gao Fu, the CCDC head and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at a Wednesday news conference.Also Wednesday, the World Health Organization put off deciding whether to declare the outbreak a global health emergency and has another meeting set for Thursday."We need more information," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.WHO defines a global emergency as an "extraordinary event" that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a co-ordinated international response.When asked about Wuhan's public transport shutdown, WHO chief Tedros said authorities were likely acting to prevent transmission and mass gatherings."We cannot say they have done something unusual," he said.Some countries have stepped up screening measures for travellers from China, especially those arriving from Wuhan. North Korea has banned foreign tourists, a step it also took during the SARS outbreak and in recent years due to Ebola.China has been credited for responding rapidly to this outbreak, in stark contrast to how it withheld information for months on SARS, allowing the virus to spread worldwide.One veteran of the SARS outbreak said that while there are some similarities in the new virus - namely its origins in China and the link to animals - the current outbreak appears much milder.Dr. David Heymann, who headed WHO's global response to SARS in 2003, said the new virus appears dangerous for older people with other health conditions, but doesn't seem nearly as infectious as SARS."It looks like it doesn't transmit through the air very easily and probably transmits through close contact," he said. "That was not the case with SARS."
The new virus that has killed 17 people in China is mutating and could spread further, health officials have warned, as Britain announced measures to monitor flights arriving from the country.Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News a "separate area" is being set up at Heathrow, as airports around the world step up screening of travellers arriving from affected regions at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.Public Health England (PHE) has revised the coronavirus risk from "very low" to "low".As a result, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has put in force a series of measures to guard against the outbreak. These include:A beefed-up PHE port health team will meet each direct flight from affected areas.An audio message is to be broadcast to passengers on incoming aircraft to encourage them to report any illnessCaptains will be authorised to warn airports of any ill passengers on board flights while the aircraft is in transit. A response (nil or otherwise) will be requested no later than 60 minutes before the actual arrival time.An isolated area of London Heathrow Terminal 4 is to be designated to receive aircraft which have reported any ill passengersLeaflets are to be handed to passengers telling them what to do in the event that they are/become unwell
And facilities at Terminal 4 are to be reviewed should the current situation escalate.Mr Shapps said: "There have been some announcements this morning about flights that come direct from the affected region to Heathrow with some additional measures there."Obviously we want to stay ahead of the issue so we are keeping a very close eye on it."Initially this is to ensure that when flights come in directly into Heathrow there is a separate area for people to arrive in."
A Heathrow spokesperson said: "The welfare of our passengers and colleagues is always our main priority and we are working with the government to support the implementation of enhanced monitoring measures as a precaution."We would like to reassure passengers that the government assesses the risk of a traveller contracting coronavirus to be low. We would encourage anyone with individual questions or concerns to refer to guidance from Public Health England and the Foreign Office."The action comes as China state media reports the number of coronavirus cases in Hubei province has risen to 444, with 17 people now confirmed dead.Overall 473 cases of coronavirus were confirmed by Chinese authorities, as millions of people prepare to travel domestically and abroad for the country's lunar new year celebrations starting this week.Another 2,197 cases of close contact with patients have been recorded and there is evidence of "respiratory transmission" of the virus, national health commission vice-minister Li Bin told reporters, in the body's first major news briefing on the outbreak.Fifteen medical personnel are among those infected in the country, with symptoms including fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.There is no vaccine for the new viral infection, which can cause pneumonia and can be passed from person to person.Though the origin of the virus has yet to be identified, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the primary source is probably an animal.The virus originated in the central city of Wuhan in Hubei province at the end of last year and has since spread to Beijing and Shanghai.Cases have also been found in the US, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. All of these involve people who had recently been in Wuhan.Hong Kong - and the autonomous region of Macau - each recorded their first case of coronavirus on Wednesday.
The Chinese government has been providing daily updates on the number of cases in a bid to head off public panic, with officials linking the outbreak to Wuhan's seafood market.It has also stepped up efforts to control the outbreak by tightening containment measures in hospitals, and discouraging public gatherings in Hubei province.People across the country are being urged to avoid densely populated areas in general, the health commission said.China has also stepped up its co-operation with the WHO, which is holding an emergency meeting to determine whether the outbreak of the new coronavirus constitutes a global health emergency.The Chinese Communist Party's central political and legal commission said in a post on its WeChat social media account that officials found to have covered up infections would be a "sinner for eternity before the party and the people".The post was subsequently deleted.Fears of a pandemic similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that started in China and killed nearly 800 people between 2002 and 2003 have rocked global markets, with aviation and luxury goods stocks hit particularly hard and the Chinese yuan tumbling.Adam Kamradt-Scott, an infectious diseases expert at the centre for international security studies at the University of Sydney, said China has "come a long way" since the SARS outbreak.He said: "I'm not sure that we could expect more of them at this stage in the outbreak, particularly when they are understandably focused on responding to the outbreak and trying to contain it ahead of the Chinese lunar new year celebrations."Companies across China - including Huawei and Apple-supplier Foxconn - are handing out masks and warning staff to avoid travelling to Wuhan.Travel booking platforms such as Trip.com have said users can cancel travel plans to Wuhan for free, while Shanghai's Disneyland said it will waive rescheduling fees for entry and hotel bookings within six months of the purchase date.Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, one of the airlines most affected by the SARS outbreak, said it will allow passengers to change or cancel flights to Wuhan without charge through to 15 February.It said it would also allow flight attendants to wear a surgical mask while operating mainland China flights due to concerns over the new virus.Taiwan joined Australia in warning citizens to avoid travel to Wuhan, while North Korea has banned foreign tourists to guard against the spread of the virus.Singapore is among the countries that have started screening all passengers arriving on flights from China.
The number of cases of a new virus has risen to 440 in China and the death toll to 9, Chinese health authorities said Wednesday.Deputy Director of the National Health Commission Li Bin told reporters that the figures were current as of midnight Tuesday. All the deaths had been in Hubei province, home to Wuhan city where the first illnesses from coronavirus were reported in late December.Li said that marked an increase of 149 confirmed cases. He said Japan and South Korea had confirmed one case each and Thailand three. The U.S. and Taiwan also confirmed one case each on Tuesday.Concerned about a global outbreak similar to SARS, another coronavirus that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-2003, numerous nations have adopted screening measures for travelers from China, especially those arriving from Wuhan.The worries have been heightened by the coming of the Lunar New Year holiday rush, when millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad.Officials said it was too early to compare the new virus with SARS or MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome, in terms of how lethal it might be. They attributed the spike in new cases to improvements in detection and monitoring."We are still in the process of learning more about this disease." Gao Fu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control said at the same news conference.Gao said officials are working on the assumption that the outbreak resulted from human exposure to wild animals that were being traded in illegally at a market in Wuhan and that the virus is mutating.Health officials confirmed earlier this week that the disease can be spread between humans after finding two cases of people in southern Guangdong province who had not been to Wuhan. It's not clear how contagious it is, but that possibility could allow it to spread more widely.The Lunar New Year is a time when many Chinese return to their hometowns to visit family. Li, the health commission official, said that measures were being taken to monitor and detect infected people from Wuhan, and that people should avoid going to the city and people from the city should stay put for now.
Officials in China are racing to contain the spread of a new virus that has left at least six people dead and sickened almost 300, after it was confirmed the infection can spread between humans.Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, announced a series of new measures Tuesday, including the cancellation of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.Tour agencies have been banned from taking groups out of Wuhan and the number of thermal monitors and screening areas in public spaces will be increased. Traffic police will also conduct spot checks on private vehicles coming in and out of the city to look for live poultry or wild animals, after the virus was linked to a seafood and live animal market, according to a report by state media outlet the People's Daily, citing Wuhan's Municipal Health Commission.The new measures come after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered "resolute efforts to curb the spread" of the virus Monday.There are now fears, however, that efforts to contain it are coming too late, hampered by a slow-moving Chinese bureaucracy which failed to put sufficient measures in place in time.Though infections were first detected in Wuhan in mid December, infrared temperature screening areas were not installed in the city's airports and stations until January 14, according to state media.On Tuesday, China's National Health Commission announced that it had received 291 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, with 77 new cases reported on January 20.According to the National Health Commission, patients have been identified as having the virus in Hubei province - where Wuhan is located (270 cases); Beijing (five cases); Guangdong province (14 cases); and Shanghai (two cases). Suspected cases have also been reported in Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi and Shandong provinces.The death toll rose to six Tuesday evening, after the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission confirmed that a 66-year-old male and a 48-year-old female died on January 20.
It added that 60 new cases were confirmed by the end of Monday in Wuhan city, where a 15-year-old is the youngest to be infected.In the coming days, hundreds of millions of Chinese are expected to begin traveling across the country and overseas as the annual Lunar New Year break gets fully underway, compounding concerns of a further spike in cases.Beyond China, the outbreak has so far spread as far as Thailand, Japan and South Korea. The patient in South Korea told officials there she had developed a fever and muscle pains on Saturday and was prescribed cold medicine by a doctor in Wuhan, before being sent on her way.Despite initial reports that the virus was unlikely to spread between humans, Chinese health authorities have now said there is "definitely human-to-human transmission." One patient is believed to have infected as many as 14 medical staff in one hospital, suggesting the disease can be spread far more easily than previously thought.The specter of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 in a pandemic that ripped through Asia in 2002 and 2003, has loomed large over discussion of the current virus.During the SARS outbreak, Chinese authorities initially downplayed the dangers and censored coverage, preventing people from realizing the severity of the virus and taking action in time to stop its spread.Zhong Nanshan, an expert with China's National Health Commission who is investigating the Wuhan virus, told state media Monday that while it is not as serious as SARS, the number of people with the disease was "climbing" and suggested that the "death rate at the moment is not so representative."A study by researchers in the UK estimated that the number of infections in Wuhan is still grossly underestimated, with the real number closer to 1,700, based on the spread of the virus to other cities and countries in a relatively short period of time.Even before cases were detected in South Korea, Japan and Thailand, the efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus were international. Wuhan alone has connections to dozens of overseas destinations, and Beijing and Shanghai have hundreds more.Airports across Asia have stepped up temperature screening of incoming passengers, as have several hubs in the US with connections to Wuhan, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.With all indications that the virus has a relatively slow incubation time, however, these efforts may be insufficient to stop its spread."You cannot absolutely prevent entry into the country of a disease like this. The incubation period is probably a week," Australia's chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said Tuesday. "It's about identifying those with a high risk and making sure people with a high risk know about it and know how to get medical attention."He said that while there was no cause for immediate alarm, the true number of cases was likely far higher than currently reported and urged people to be vigilant about potential symptoms.Australian authorities on Tuesday quarantined a man in Brisbane who had returned from Wuhan with possible symptoms of the coronavirus. He will remain in isolation until his symptoms have resolved, Queensland Health authorities said.In the US, the National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine for the new virus, though it will take at least a few months until the first phase of clinical trials get underway and more than a year until a vaccine might be available.Scientists in Texas, New York and China are also at work on a vaccine, according to Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston."The lesson we've learned is coronavirus infections are serious and one of the newest and biggest global health threats," Hotez told CNN.On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced it would convene an emergency meeting on Wednesday to determine whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of "international concern" and what recommendations should be made to help manage its spread.
An outbreak of a new coronavirus has spread to more Chinese cities, including the capital Beijing and Shanghai, authorities said on Monday, and a fourth case has been reported beyond China's borders.
China's National Health Commission confirmed that the virus, which causes a type of pneumonia, can pass from person-to-person, the official Xinhua News Agency said.President Xi Jinping said curbing the outbreak and saving lives was a top priority as the number of patients more than tripled and a third person died.Adding to the difficulties of containing it, hundreds of millions of Chinese will be traveling domestically and abroad during the Lunar New Year holiday that starts this week.Authorities around the globe, including in the United States and many Asian countries, have stepped up screening of travelers from Wuhan, the central city where the virus was first discovered."Wuhan is a major hub and with travel being a huge part of the fast approaching Chinese New Year, the concern level must remain high. There is more to come from this outbreak," said Jeremy Farrar, a specialist in infectious disease epidemics and director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity.Authorities confirmed a total of 217 new cases of the virus in China as of 6 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) on Monday, state television reported, 198 of which were in Wuhan.Five new cases were confirmed in Beijing and 14 more in Guangdong province, the report said. Another statement confirmed a new case in Shanghai, bringing the number of known cases worldwide to 222."People's lives and health should be given top priority and the spread of the outbreak should be resolutely curbed," President Xi was quoted as saying by state television.The virus belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China.Its symptoms include fever and difficulty in breathing, which are similar to many other respiratory diseases and pose complications for screening efforts.Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory expert and head of the health commission team investigating the outbreak, confirmed that two cases of infection in Guangdong province were due to human-to-human transmission, Xinhua said. Some medical staff have been infected, it added, but gave no number.South Korea on Monday confirmed its first case, a 35-year-old Chinese national who had traveled from Wuhan, the fourth patient reported outside China.
Last week, two cases were reported in Thailand and one in Japan. All three involved people from Wuhan or who recently visited the city.
A report by London Imperial College's MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis estimated that by Jan. 12 there were 1,723 cases in Wuhan City with onset of related symptoms. Chinese health authorities have not commented directly on the report.
"This outbreak is extremely concerning. Uncertainty and gaps remain, but it is now clear that there is person to person transmission," Farrar said.The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday "an animal source" appeared most likely to be the primary source of the outbreak and that some "limited human-to-human transmission" occurred between close contacts.The Geneva-based U.N. agency later convened an emergency committee for Wednesday to assess whether the outbreak constitutes an international health emergency and what measures should be taken to manage it.So far, the WHO has not recommended trade or travel restrictions, but a panel of independent experts could do so or make other recommendations to limit spread.China's state council reiterated the government will step up prevention efforts and find the source of infection and transmission channels as soon as possible, state television said on Monday.Shares in pharmaceutical firms and mask makers in China surged Monday because of the outbreak."Who knows how many people who have been to Wuhan may be unaware that they have already been infected?," said one commentator on Chinese social media platform WeiboThe state-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial the government needs to disclose all information and not repeat the mistakes made with SARS. Chinese officials covered up the SARS outbreak for weeks before a growing death toll and rumors forced it to reveal the epidemic."Concealment would be a serious blow to the government's credibility and might trigger greater social panic," the editorial said.
China's National Health Commission confirmed on Monday that a new virus causing an outbreak of pneumonia in the country has been passed from person-to-person and has infected some medical staff, China's official Xinhua news agency said.Xinhua reported that Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory expert and head of the health commission team investigating the outbreak, confirmed that two cases of infection in China's Guangdong Province as due to human-to-human transmission.
China on Monday reported 139 new cases of pneumonia over the weekend, caused by the outbreak of a new coronavirus strain that medical experts are still struggling to understand.Authorities also said that the outbreak is spreading to more cities, Reuters reports.The Daxing health commission in the capital Beijing said it had confirmed two cases of coronavirus, while the southern Guangdong province's health commission confirmed one case in Shenzhen.The new cases, the first inside China outside the central city of Wuhan where the virus was first reported, come as the country gears up for the Lunar New Year holidays later this week, when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel domestically and abroad, Reuters noted.The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement that 136 new cases of coronavirus had been discovered in the city on Saturday and Sunday.As of late Sunday, 198 cases in total had been reported in Wuhan, including three deaths.Some 170 people were still being treated in the hospital, while 25 had been cured, it said. The statement gave no further details of the latest death toll.Outside China, two cases have been reported in Thailand and one in Japan, all involving people from Wuhan or who recently visited the city.
Beijing said on Sunday that it will increase efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Health authorities around the world are also working to prevent its spread.The new virus belongs to the same family of coronaviruses that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China.
Seventeen more people in central China have been diagnosed with a new form of viral pneumonia that has killed two patients and placed other countries on alert as millions of Chinese travel for Lunar New Year holidays.In total, 62 cases of the novel coronavirus have been identified in the city of Wuhan, where the virus appears to have originated. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported the new cases in a statement Sunday.Nineteen of those individuals have been discharged from the hospital, while two men in their 60s - one with severe preexisting conditions - have died from the illness. Eight are in critical condition.At least a half-dozen countries in Asia and three U.S. airports have started screening incoming airline passengers from central China.The list includes Thailand and Japan, which have together reported three cases of the disease in people who had come from Wuhan.In the most recently diagnosed group, ages ranged between 30 and 79, Wuhan's health commission said. Their initial symptoms were fever and cough.The health commission's statement did not say whether these patients had visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been suspended after many infected individuals reported having either worked at or visited the venue.Health authorities have maintained that there is no evidence that the virus transmits easily between humans.The Chinese government is keen to avoid a repeat of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, another coronavirus that started in southern China in late 2002 and spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people.
Four more cases have been identified in a viral pneumonia outbreak in a central Chinese city that has killed two people and prompted the United States and others to take precautionary measures.The latest cases brings to 45 the number of people who have contracted the illness, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said Saturday. Five are in serious condition.The cause of the pneumonia has been traced to a new type of coronavirus.Health authorities are keen to avoid a repeat of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which started in southern China in late 2002 and spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people.The U.S. announced Friday it would begin screening passengers at three major airports arriving on flights from Wuhan.At least a half-dozen countries in Asia also have started screening incoming airline passengers from central China. The list includes Thailand and Japan, which both have reported cases of the disease in people who had come from Wuhan. Travel is unusually heavy right now as people take trips to and from China to celebrate the Lunar New Year.