Coronavirus outbreak: virus’s ability to spread 'getting stronger', says minister – updates

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As the death toll reaches 56, the Chinese government promises tougher crackdown to stop the spread. Follow all the latest developments here

11.18am GMT

The FT’s Tom Hancock says some people are flouting the lockdown in Wuhan.

Despite an official ban on private motor vehicles in Wuhan beginning today, there were quite a few cars on the roads this afternoon. I was able to travel around using a shared bike service, as this woman also did. Shuttle buses have been arranged for medical staff.

11.14am GMT

Another province of China, Hainan, has shut down all inter-province buses. It is the latest in a series of cities and provinces to take similar steps in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

10.57am GMT

Japan is reporting its fourth case of the new coronavirus.

The case was confirmed in a resident of Wuhan in his 40s who had arrived in Japan on 22 January on holidays, NHK said, citing the health ministry. The man was hospitalised in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, and tested positive for the virus, it said.

Japan reports fourth case of new strain of coronavirus 新型肺炎 日本国内で4人目の感染者 武漢から旅行で来日 | NHKニュース

10.51am GMT

Here is a full quote from the press conference today, from Ma Xiaowei, China’s health commission minister.

The transmissibility shows signs of increasing and the ‘walking source of infection’ [where patients have few signs of disease] has made it difficult to control and prevent the disease.

For this new coronavirus we have not identified the source of the infection and we are not clear about the risk of its mutation and how it spreads. Since this is a new coronavirus there might be some changes in the coming days and weeks, and the danger it poses to people of different ages is also changing.

10.24am GMT

The semi-autonomous region of Macau has imposed new restrictions on vistitors from mainland China, AFP’s Hong Kong correspondent reports.

Moreover, no one who has been to Hubei in the past 14 days will be allowed in any casino from Jan 27, Macau announced.
The government will investigate 1,113 Hubei residents in the city from 9am on Jan 27 and advise those in fine health to leave. Otherwise they’ll be quarantined.

Macau promised to announce number of Hubei visitors newly admitted in the city every day.
It calls on its residents in mainland China to return home and self-quarantine for 2wks.
All civil servants must fill out health declaration form when they arrive at work everyday.

10.10am GMT

Hubei province has suspended inter-province and inter-city buses intensifying the lockdown designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Chinese state media is reporting.

Shandong province and the cities of Beijing, Tianjin an Xi’an had earlier suspended inter-city and chartered buses from crossing their borders.

9.53am GMT

In Hong Kong, residents are protesting about the construction of a quarantine camp for people infected with the coronavirus. The reference in the first tweet to yellow and blue, alludes to the colours adopted by supporters of the city’s protest movement against Chinese interference and those who suppport the police, respectively.

Residents gathering to protest Hong Kong government announcement to use unoccupied public estate as quarantine area for those infected with Wuhan coronavirus. One commentator on livestream says, “this will unite yellow and blue.”

“50,000 residents within 500m. How can a quarantine camp be built here? Retarded government!” Fanling protesters put this on the road they are blocking.

9.37am GMT

The BBC’s China correspondent paints a vivid picture of life inside Hubei province in this video:

Here’s what we’ve seen inside Hubei Province where the #coronarovirus outbreak started. #China shots by ⁦

9.32am GMT

The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has said the country will evacuate any of its citizens in Wuhan who wish to return to Japan.

9.06am GMT

Beijing is postponing the reopening date of the city’s kindergartens, schools and universities, China National Radio is reporting (via Reuters).

9.00am GMT

The UK home secretary, Priti Patel, refused to confirm or deny reports that Britain is planning an airlift of its citizens from China.

She would only tell Sophy Ridge on Sunday, on Sky News: “We are looking at all options.”

8.52am GMT

Hong Kong has reported a sixth case, according to AFP’s correspondent in the city state.

The man worked in Baishazhou Market in Wuhan. He got a fever on Jan 20 and it retreated on Jan 21. After 2 days of rest, he bused from Wuhan to Xianning on Jan 23, and took express trains to Shenzhen then HK. He got fever again on Jan 24 and hospitalised on Jan 25.

8.47am GMT

A third case of coronavirus has been identified in the United States.

The latest case is in Orange County, Southern California. The Orange County Health Care Agency announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed a traveler from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak, tested positive for the virus. The patient is in isolation at a hospital and in good condition, a release from the agency said.

8.35am GMT

Taiwan has further tightened restrictions on visitors from China to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus, suspending entry for many apart from business travellers and a few other exceptions like people married to Taiwanese, Reuters reports.

Taiwan has already stopped Chinese tour groups from visiting, and has now banned all people from Hubei from coming to the island.

Most other Chinese citizens will not be allowed in for the time being, aside from people involved in fighting the virus or on humanitarian grounds, the island’s newly established Central Epidemic Command Centre said in a statement.

8.18am GMT

China’s national health minister Ma Xiaowei said the new coronavirus is also infectious during incubation, which is different from Sars.

He said authorities’ knowledge of the new virus was limited and they are unclear on the risks posed by mutations of the virus.

8.02am GMT

I will now be handing over to my colleague Haroon Siddique in London who will be covering the latest updates on the outbreak

7.44am GMT

At a press conference by the State Council Information Office of China, they confirmed that there have been 2,057 cases of coronavirus globally. China’s national health minister Ma Xiaowei said that it is possible the pathogen causing the virus came from a wild animal, and that 1,600 medical professionals were being dispatched to Wuhan to help handle the rising number of cases.

Ma admitted that the virus’s ability to spread seemed to be getting stronger and that they were not clear about the risks of the virus mutating. The incubation period is between 1 and 14 days, he said, and said it was likely the number of cases would continue to rise.

7.28am GMT

The markets watchdog, agricultural ministry, and forestry bureau said in a joint statement that China has banned wildlife trade nationwide in markets, supermarkets, restaurants, and e-commerce platforms due to the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reports.

Any places that breed wildlife should be isolated, and the transportation of wildlife should be banned, said the statement. The ban will take effect from Sunday.

7.23am GMT

The US Embassy in China has confirmed it is making arrangements to relocate people working at the US Consulate General in Wuhan. There is a flight due to fly from Wuhan to San Francisco on Tuesday but the embassy warned that not all US citizens would be able to board.

“If there is insufficient ability to transport everyone who expresses interest, priority will be given to individuals at greater risk from coronavirus,” the embassy said in a statement on their website.

7.13am GMT

Hong Kong now has a sixth confirmed case of coronavirus. According to reports, the patient, who was admitted to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai district of Hong Kong, had recently travelled to Wuhan on a high speed train before returning to Hong Kong

7.06am GMT

Some more pictures from the news wire.

6.55am GMT

Local state media is now reporting that the city of Shantou will now not be banning cars, ships and people from entering the city tomorrow but will instead strengthen disease controls such as disinfection efforts. This contradicts earlier statements by the local government, which have now been removed from Shantou city’s website

6.49am GMT

In a bid to contain the spread of the virus, China has banned long distance buses between several major cities, including Beijing.

The eastern Shandong province, with a population of 100 million people, will suspend long-distance buses entering the province, state broadcaster CCTV reported, following the announcement of similar measures in the cities of Tianjin, Beijing and the historic Xi’an.

Related: China bans long-distance buses from entering three cities to contain coronavirus spread

5.56am GMT

Authorities have confirmed that China’s coastal city of Shantou in Guangdong province, over 500 miles away from Wuhan, will be the next city to be put on lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus.

People, cars and ships will all be banned from entering Shantou from first thing Monday, and this afternoon all buses, taxis and ferries were suspended in the city. There are now 15 partially or fully locked down cities but Shantou is the first outside Hubei province to be placed under restrictions.

5.47am GMT

This footage from AFP captures how Wuhan, a city of 11 million, has become a ghost town as the new restrictions on vehicles are imposed and people have confined themselves to their homes

VIDEO; The normally bustling streets of Wuhan are deserted as new restrictions go into effect banning most cars from the streets of the metropolis of 11 million

5.14am GMT

We have a interesting insight into how the outbreak first affected people in Wuhan as a local woman tells us how she contracted the virus after eating near the now infamous market in the city.

Related: Coronavirus: from one food market to global panic

5.03am GMT

This liveblog is now moving from Australia (where it’s Australia Day, somewhat controversially) to India, where it’s Republic Day.

My colleague in New Delhi, Hannah Ellis-Petersen, is taking over. You can correspond with her by the usual channels.

4.42am GMT

The state-run People’s Daily newspaper says China has started to develop a vaccine for 2019-nCoV, the novel coronavirus that has so far claimed 56 lives across the country and infected another 2000.

The paper also reports the Chinese government has sent 450 military medical staff, including many with experience dealing with the Sars and Ebola outbreaks, to the epicentre of the pandemic in Wuhan.

China has started to develop vaccine for the novel #coronavirus after successfully isolating the first strain of the virus, said Xu Wenbo from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday.

Drug screenings for the virus are also underway.

4.16am GMT

More from Australia (where your current correspondent is):

Australia’s foreign affairs minister Marise Payne has said the Australian government is working with Chinese authorities to “consider possible assistance with travel for Australians from areas that are affected by Chinese travel restrictions”.

4.06am GMT

Australia’s chief medical officer has warned it is likely there will be more cases of the coronavirus in the country, following confirmation of four cases.

Professor Brendan Murphy said he would be sending out a message to GPs across the country on how to handle patients who present with symptoms of the deadly illness.

3.57am GMT

More details on countries trying to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan city and from Hubei province. The US government is flying its personnel out, directly to San Francisco, with a limited capacity for other Americans most at risk from coronavirus.

From AP:

The US consulate in the epidemic-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan will evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight Tuesday.

A notice Sunday from the embassy in Beijing said there would be limited capacity to transport US citizens on the flight that will proceed directly to San Francisco.

3.30am GMT

China’s travel restrictions to restrict the spread of coronavirus appear to be widening further. At least 13 cities, covering 36 million people, are already living under lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Now reports are emerging that the city of Shantou in Guangdong Province, population 5.3 million, will be put on lockdown.

3.21am GMT

China’s second-largest city Shanghai, now has 40 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Seven new cases of #coronavirus have been confirmed in Shanghai, bringing the total number to 40.

Another 95 suspected cases are under medical observation.

Of the 40:
– One dead, aged 88
– One in critical condition
– 37 in stable condition
– One cured

3.18am GMT

Asian stock markets have so far taken a bit of a hit from concerns about the coronavirus.

There were some steep losses on Chinese and Hong Kong markets especially, but nothing to upset the global equilibrium so far.

Stock market and past pandemics:

3.06am GMT

Hong Kong has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The city has reported five confirmed cases of coronavirus: all of those patients have direct links to Wuhan. Health authorities say there are a further 122 patients being treated as potentially having the disease.

The city’s chief executive Carrie Lam said her government had cancelled Lunar New Year’s celebrations, and that it would close primary and secondary schools for two further weeks beyond the new year holiday. Schools will reopen 17 February.

2.43am GMT

France and a major car manufacturer said Saturday that they are moving to get citizens out of a locked-down Chinese city where a deadly outbreak of a new virus originated and has spread worldwide.

French automaker PSA Group says it will evacuate its employees and their families from Wuhan in central China, quarantine them in another major Chinese city and then bring them back to France.

2.31am GMT

AFP have filed a few pictures from Wuhan, which has been in lockdown for several days.

2.12am GMT

Chinese president Xi Jinping says his country faces a “grave situation” in tackling the escalating coronavirus crisis. He has called for a greater centralisation of containment efforts, and increasing government control.

“Life is of paramount importance. When an epidemic breaks out, a command is issued. It is our responsibility to prevent and control it,” Xi told a meeting of the standing committee of the political bureau of the Chinese Communist party, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

2.04am GMT

The World Health Organization has not altered its alert level for 2019-nCoV

WHO’s risk assessment of the new #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation has not changed:
very high in #China
high at the regional level
moderate at the global level

WHO’s situation report 25 January 2020

1.23am GMT

From the BBC’s Stephen McDonell, who is in Hubei province: (Australian readers will remember Stephen from his long service with the ABC…)

Just passed a screening point in Henan close to the border with Hubei and had my temperature checked. #coronavirus #China

Just entered Hubei Province where the #coronarvirus outbreak started. virtually nobody on the streets here. At the checkpoint the police said we can go in but they won’t let us back out. It looks like the entire province of Hubei, population 30 million, to be locked down.#China

The streets are empty in the small towns of Hubei Province where the #coronavirus outbreak started. #China

1.16am GMT

From the BBC’s Stephen McDonnell: deserted streets in Hubei province

The streets are empty in the small towns of Hubei Province where the #coronavirus outbreak started. #China

1.13am GMT

Sunday has brought an increase in the proportion of deaths outside of Hubei province, the epicentre of the pandemic. State media is reporting that Shanghai has recorded its first death, as well as Henan province.

Tianjin city has announced it will shut all inter-provincial shuttle buses from 27 January (Monday) to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

1.11am GMT

State media in China is now reporting the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak is 56. All of the known deaths from the virus have occurred within China.

Nearly 2,000 cases have been confirmed, and there are another 2,600 suspected cases.

#CoronaOutbreak in China:
– 1,985 confirmed cases, including 10 in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan
– 56 deaths
– 49 cured
– 2,684 suspected cases

1.05am GMT

To Canada next where health officials in Toronto have added a slight qualification to their initial statements saying that they had a confirmed case of novel coronavirus. They say the case is “presumptive” which means they’re waiting for definitive lab tests after initial tests at a provincial lab showed it was the virus.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre had said on Saturday night local time that it was caring for a man is his 50s who had recently flown from Wuhan to Guangzhou and then on to Toronto on 23 January. “He really wasn’t in Toronto very long. He wasn’t feeling well. I think he was at home and the people that live with him are in self isolation,” said Dr Barbara Yafe, Ontario’s associated chief medical officer.

12.53am GMT

More on the latest figures on victims in China. The toll stood at 41 on Saturday but 13 fatalities have been added overnight to make 54 deaths so far. The Hubei health ministry says seven of the latest deaths were from that province with the remainder elsewhere in China, marking a rise in the proportion of deaths outside the epicentre region.

There were also another 323 people infected, taking the nationwide total to more than 1,600. Only 46 of the new confirmed cases were in Hubei, the ministry said.

12.45am GMT

Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in China and around the world. These are the main developments today:

Continue reading…
Source: china
Link : Coronavirus outbreak: virus’s ability to spread ‘getting stronger’, says minister – updates



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