More than 1,280 infected and 18 cities in lockdown as officials try to stem spread of virus which has reached Europe, the US and Australia. Follow the latest news
Symptoms may not show until a week after infection
Symptoms of coronavirus may not manifest until up to a week after contracting the virus, Dr Adam Kucharski, a professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told Sky News. Most symptoms begin to appear between 3 and 6 days after infection.
Global Times are reporting that 26 Chinese provinces have now declared a level 1 emergency – the highest level – allowing them to introduce measures including quarantines.
The issue is unfolding very quickly, so it’s worth noting that figures around the number of areas with travel restrictions and severity alerts are varied, ranging from 22 to 28.
Coronavirus has flu-like symptoms, which can develop into severe respiratory problems.
The current outbreak is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus, not previously found in humans. The virus can be transmitted between humans and animals, making it harder to contain.
Hu Yinghai, the deputy director general of the civil affairs department in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, appealed this morning for masks and protective suits.
“We are steadily pushing forward the disease control and prevention … But right now we are facing an extremely severe public health crisis,” he told a news briefing.
Virus most dangerous for older people
Coronavirus is more likely to affect older or middle-aged people, especially those who have had diseases before, according to Dr Nathalie MacDermott, a clinical research fellow in infectious diseases at Imperial College London.
Wuhan, where the virus originated, is to ban all cars from the downtown area. Only vehicles with a transport pass, or those being used by people working for government services, will be allowed to travel.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has issued a statement following the news that the virus has reached Europe, with three confirmed cases in France.
It said the development was “not unexpected” but “the fact that these cases were identified, proves that detection and confirmation of this novel virus is working in France, showing a high level of preparedness to prevent and control possible infections”.
Last night, authorities in England set up a public health hub at Heathrow airport, in terminal four.
The hub is staffed by teams of seven clinicians working on rotation, who will support those flying in from China who feel unwell.
Chinese state media are reporting that a second hospital, with a capacity of 1,300 beds, will be built to tackle the virus.
Construction has begun and is scheduled to be completed in around two weeks.
Tourism across China has been affected by the virus.
Shanghai’s Disneyland resort will be closed from Saturday, and the popular destination of Sanya city has shut down all tourist sites to limit the possible spread.
Here’s a brief update on the cases worldwide so far:
Thailand and Hong Kong each have five reported cases, Australia has four, and France, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan have three each.
Australia now has four confirmed cases of the virus, one in Melbourne and three in New South Wales. All four people had recently visited China.
The three men in New South Wales, aged 43, 45, and 53, had arrived directly from Wuhan, where the virus first emerged.
China’s ministry of finance and its National Health Commission are allocating a special fund for treatment and prevention of the virus. They’re also offering subsidies for medical staff tackling the illness.
Eighteen cities in China have suspended public transport.
Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has said the response level has been raised from “serious” to “emergency”, the highest level.
A marathon has been cancelled, and new year celebrations scaled back. Primary and secondary school students will be given an extra two weeks holiday to avoid the virus spreading in schools.
This is Molly, taking over the blog in London. I’ll be reporting on developments in the virus and its spread as they unfold today.
The Hubei health commission is giving a press conference. A provincial official has said the situation is very severe and medical supplies are tight. He called for more medical supplies, such as masks and protective suits, from both domestic and overseas providers. These are some of the other main points from the briefing:
The People’s Daily has released a photograph of Liang Wudong, the doctor who died in Wuhan from the virus.
Doctor Liang Wudong at the ENT department of Hubei Xinhua Hospital who had been at the front line fighting against #nCoV2019 in Wuhan, died from the virus on Sat at the age of 62. #RIP pic.twitter.com/kahysasuIB
Here’s a what we know so far about the spreading coronavirus.
The race is on to build a new hospital in Wuhan to treat patients infected with the virus. Here is a timelapse of the work so far:
There are reports on the Global Times that a second doctor has died. It says Jiang Jijun died from exhaustion from treating patients.
Another doctor lost in the fight against #nCoV2019 – Jiang Jijun, a 51yo veteran infectious disease doctor, died of sudden heart arrest on his way to the fever clinic on Jan 23. His colleague said he was exhausted by a two to three-fold surge in service demand due to the epidemic pic.twitter.com/XwWc5IYPlC
We’ve updated our explainer on where the virus has spread to:
Related: Where has coronavirus spread?
This from Agence France-Presse:
China has ordered nationwide measures to identify and immediately isolate suspected cases of a deadly virus on trains, aeroplanes and buses, as the death toll and number of patients has skyrocketed.
A statement from Japan’s health ministry said the new patient was a woman in her 30s who arrived in the country on 18 January with no symptoms. She developed a cough and fever on the 21st. The statement said she had not visited the seafood market in Wuhan.
To bring our numbers up to date – 56 million people are now subject to restrictions on their movement as authorities expanded travel bans in central Hubei province, now affecting 18 cities.
Japan has reportedly confirmed its third case of the coronavirus.
Japan confirms third case of new coronavirus, a woman from Wuhan visiting Japan on vacation. https://t.co/YuDVBJopEh
One doctor is reportedly infected in Beijing.
More signs that new year’s celebrations are off and many people are staying away from public places:
Chinese New Year Day is a time to wear your new clothes, go out, dine, shop, see and be seen.
This is what it looks like in Tianjin’s shopping district today, in front of Tianjin’s best mall. And what it looks like in that mall. pic.twitter.com/hsx8TnXqJ3
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison has released an update on the virus:
Update on Coronavirus ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Ol8DRQtVQJ
Chinese news website Caixin has a snapshot of what reporting on the outbreak in Wuhan during Lunar new year is like. In the piece Gao Yu describes rumours flying around the hospitals, including that patients were attacking doctors.
None of these things were true.
Overall, the city still operates in an orderly fashion. But shortages of medical devices and the fact that most local medical staff are incredibly overloaded are indeed severe problems. And most worryingly of all is the continuous spread of the virus…
Back in our hotel, we found protective gear waiting for us kindly donated by people we don’t even know, sent from around the country.
The three of us are the only customers of this hotel. They keep operating just for us, and put a small gift of fruit in our room – it’s the new year after all.”
The scene in Wuhan:
One obvious but important point about this viral outbreak: Wuhan is a big, modern city. The scale is breathtaking. This modern-day epidemic did not break out in a neglected backwater or a slum settlement. pic.twitter.com/wniJ3tTtcs
The Global Times reports that 22 provinces, home to 1.1 billion people, have declared a level 1 public health emergency.
#WuhanCoronavirus 22 provinces and municipalities, covering more than 1.1 billion people, have raised a major emergency public health alert to the highest level. Northeast China’s Heilongjiang and Central China’s Henan are the latest to raise the level. pic.twitter.com/AvhRtr7qux
The Times of India reports that 12 people who have returned to India from China and Hong Kong have been quarantined as a precaution. Three, including a Briton, are in Mumbai, and nine in Kerala.
South Korea’s Yonhap news reports that North Korea has stepped up its efforts to prevent the virus entering the country. A flight from Beijing to Pyongyang has been cancelled, travel to China has been restricted and the North’s cabinet Minju Choson called on people to take extra care of personal hygiene, it said.
The alarming spread of coronavirus is on the front pages of many Saturday papers around the world:
Tomorrow’s @nytimes tonight: Democrats press case of obstruction by Trump; Recording is said to show Trump ousted envoy; Fear for party: Big tent splits beyond fixing. #nytimes pic.twitter.com/ZRxsSOugUP
Here is our full report by Michael Standaert in Sichuan on the death of a doctor who was treating patients in Wuhan:
Lunar new year celebrations have been subdued as a result of the widespread lockdowns. With many restaurants, markets and parks closed, public gatherings banned and public transport suspended, many people have chosen to stay home.
Wang Feng, a 40-year-old resident of Wuhan, told Reuters:
Images of the start of construction of a 1,000-bed hospital to handle cases of coronavirus in Wuhan show a hive of activity. The facility is due to be completed by 3 February. China undertook a similar project after the Sars outbreak.
The government mouthpiece that is the People’s Daily clearly endorses Donald Trump’s message that China is working hard to contain the virus and “it will all work out well”.
【特朗普發推特向中國致敬：努力遏制疫情 問題將會得到解決】剛剛，美國總統特朗普發推特表示，中國正在盡力遏制新型冠狀病毒，美國非常欣賞他們的努力和透明性。問題將會得到解決，“我要特別代表美國人民感謝習主席”。 pic.twitter.com/0ryaDhn5eV
CGTN, China’s official state broadcaster, now says more than 1,200 medical staff are being sent to Wuhan.
Three of the six groups have begun their work in the virus-hit area.
Reuters is reporting that Starbucks is closing all of its outlets in Hubei province during the week-long Lunar new year holiday.
Here is our latest news wrap by Ben Doherty on the situation in Australia, where a man in his 50s in Melbourne has become the first confirmed case of novel coronavirus, with two further “probable infections” being treated in New South Wales.
Here’s a summary of what we know so far about the spreading coronavirus.
I’m getting a bit more information on the new case of the virus diagnosed in Malaysia, taking the total in that country to three.
The health minister, Dzulkefly Ahmad, said the three individuals infected were Chinese nationals and related to the 66-year-old man that was confirmed by Singapore health authorities to have tested positive for the virus.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in China and internationally
A total of 41 people have now died from the coronavirus, according to official Chinese figures. It’s not clear whether the 62-year-old doctor in Wuhan, who died while treating the outbreak, is included in that figure.
Malaysia has just reported its third case of coronavirus. Australia reported its first case on Saturday. I’ll bring you a rundown of where cases are internationally shortly.
China’s Global Times, state media’s tabloid outlet, has tweeted images of empty streets in Wuhan, including the city’s busiest commercial street.
Race against time! A new specialized hospital for #WuhanCoronavirus patients in Wuhan, Hubei Province began construction on Jan 23 night. 1,000 beds will be set and the hospital is to be put into use on February 3. pic.twitter.com/CufvD2h9tw
Chinese state media is reporting medical staff from around China are flying to Wuhan to help combat the outbreak of coronavirus.
CGTN said a medical team of 135 experts from Guangdong province were among them the medics flying out.
Chinese state media has posted an update on the number of cases of coronavirus. It’s missing the Australian case diagnosed on Saturday.
#LATEST on #WuhanPneumonia:
– 1,287 case confirmed in China, including 237 in critical conditions
-41 death in China, including 39 in Hubei Province
– 1st case confirmed in Nepal
– 2 cases confirmed in France
– 2 cases in US
-2 cases in Vietnam
– 3 cases in Singapore pic.twitter.com/pafjAWAhxL
The Reuters news agency is reporting that China’s financial hub, Shanghai, has shut down all cinemas during the Lunar New Year holidays, which last until 30 January. They are quoting Liberation Daily online channel. I’ll bring you more on this when i have it.
China has stepped up its repsonse to the crisis by sending 450 military medical personnel to Wuhan, state media has said, according to Agence France-Presse.
The medics, who arrived by aircraft late on Friday, have experience in flighting Sars and Ebola, the statement said. They will be dispatched to hospitals with large numbers of infected patients, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
A total of 450 professional #PLA medical staff from Shanghai, Chongqing, and Xi’an arrived at #Wuhan at 23:44 on Friday to deal with the #pneumonia caused by the novel #coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/81lWceIV4k
There are a great many social media posts about the coronavirus, including of footage said to be shot in hospitals in Wuhan which have been grappling with a flood of patients and a lack of supplies. Some of the videos show frantic people in masks lined up for examinations, and some report complaints that family members had been turned away at hospitals that were at capacity.
The videos are hard to verify but we do know that authorities in Wuhan and elsewhere put out calls for medicine, disinfection equipment, masks, goggles, gowns and other protective gear. It’s also pretty clear that people in the city are taking whatever precautions they can to avoid infection.
Just while I’m still looking at CGTN, the network is reporting that the first coronavirus patient in China’s Zhejiang province as been cured.
The Chinese state broadcaster CGTN has also been showing footage of the race to build a new hospital to accomodate the growing number of cases of coronavirus. You can see footage of the build on their tweet below.
The hospital is designed to have an area of 25,000 square meters with 1,000 beds and will be put into use by February 3 pic.twitter.com/ePQoxJnM0y
The official twitter feed of China Global Television Network (CGTN), formerly known as CCTV, said: “Liang Wudong, a doctor at Hubei Xinhua Hospital who had been at the front line of the #CoronavirusOutbreak battle in Wuhan, dies from the virus at age 62.”
There are reports emerging that a doctor treating patients in Wuhan has died from coronavirus. Chinese state media has named the doctor as 62-year-old Liang Wudong. I’ll bring you more details as soon as I have them.
The Chinese ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, has said Beijing is co-operating with the World Health Organization over the outbreak of the virus. The WHO declared the new coronavirus an “emergency in China” this week but has stopped short of declaring it of international concern.
In Hubei province, where the outbreak is believed to have begun, health authorities said on Saturday there were 658 patients affected by the virus in medical care, 57 of whom were critically ill.
As promised, here’s some more of what the Australian PM, Scott Morrison said about the country’s first diagnosed case of coronavirus.
Morrison said a confirmed diagnoses in the country had been anticipated.
Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, has just given a press conference about the confirmed case of coronavirus in Melbourne, Australia’s first confirmed. I’ll bring you the details of what he said shortly, but the overall message was for Australian’s to “go about their normal business”.
In China’s Haikou city, the capital of the southern island province of Hainan, will start a 14-day centralised medical observation for tourists from the central Hubei province, the local government in Haikou has announced.
Tourists from Hubei, especially from Wuhan city, are not allowed to leave the hotel where the medical observation will be held during the 14-day period, it said.
Earlier the chief medical office in Australian state of New south Wales, Dr Kerry Chant, said the suspected patients in the country were in isolation and did not pose a risk of transmitting the virus.
“We’re encouraging people who have come back from Wuhan, or who have been in contact with confirmed cases in China or in other countries, to please seek care if you develop any symptoms of fever, sore throat, pneumonia, a cough or respiratory symptoms of any sort,” she said.
Australia’s chief medical officer said about another 12 people were being tested in Australia today for the virus.
The man diagnosed with the virus is in his 50s and sought medical advice after he fell ill once he was in Melbourne. Murphy said he wore a face mask to the hospital where he reported his symptoms.
Australia’s chief medical officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, is giving a news conference, after a case of coronavirus was confirmed in Melbourne.
He says there is “no evidence this virus is being transmitted in Australia”.
In the United Kingdom, the 14 people who were tested for coronavirus did not in fact have it. But UK health officials have teamed up with Border Force agents and airlines to try to track down around 2,000 people who have recently flown into the UK from Wuhan. China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, says the government in Beijing is determined to curb the spread of the virus. Health officials have teamed up with Border Force agents and airlines to try to track down around 2,000 people who have recently flown into the UK from Wuhan, the Chinese province at the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Chinese government is very much determined to curb this virus. President Xi has already ordered resolute measures to get it under control. We are also working with international community — WHO and other foreign governments. We can put it under control. Sky News video pic.twitter.com/bJ7Kjb4jma
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, Chinese authorities in Wuhan are rushing to build a new 1,000-bed hospital in the city to deal with the rising influx of patients.
To speed construction, the hospital is being built with prefabricated buildings around a holiday complex originally intended for local workers, set in gardens by a lake on the outskirts of the city.
Officials in the Australia say the 50-year-old man arrived in Australia on Sunday. He entered Australia on China Southern Airlines flight number CZ321 and had spent the intervening time with family in Melbourne.
The man developed symptoms of pneumonia and presented to a GP on Thursday. He was then put into isolation.
A man in Australia has the coronavirus, officials have said.
The man arrived in Melbourne from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou about a week ago, authorities said.
Health officials in New South Wales said on Saturday morning that five people were being tested for the coronavirus.
Two other people have been discharged after returning negative results on Friday. Another two people in Queensland are also being assessed for the virus.
Welcome to our live coverage of the Sars-like coronavirus outbreak. To start is off, these are the main developments in the last few hours: