Coronavirus spreads to more countries: All the latest updates


Coronavirus spreads to more countries: All the latest updates

The United Kingdom has confirmed its first two cases of the new coronavirus, a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global emergency.

At least 213 have died in China, as more countries announced plans to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.


Beijing said there are nearly 10,000 people confirmed to have the infection, which has spread from Wuhan’s Hubei province to every one of China’s 31 provinces.

Another 102,000 people were also reportedly under medical observation with possible symptoms of the respiratory ailment.

Updates for January 31 have concluded. For February 1st updates click here:

Friday, January 31

State Department organising more flights from Wuhan

The US State Department is working with US and Chinese agencies to organise additional flights for US citizens to return to the United States from Wuhan, a State Department official said.

The State Department official said “as space is available, seating will be offered to US citizens on a reimbursable basis, to leave from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport to the United States. All travelers will be screened for symptoms at the airport prior to departure”.

Iraq’s Basra airport to deny entry to travellers from China

Iraq’s Basra International Airport will deny entry to passengers of any nationality travelling to Iraq from China, the state news agency reported.

Cyprus treats first suspected case of coronavirus

Cyprus said it was treating its first suspected case of coronavirus after a man arrived from China showing signs of the illness.

A statement by the Mediterranean island’s Ministry of Health said: “A Chinese citizen residing in Cyprus who had visited China in the past few days presented symptoms similar to that of the coronavirus.”

Authorities in the European Union member state said all protocols were followed for dealing with coronavirus and the man was hospitalised in the capital Nicosia.

“The possibility of influenza A was ruled out after conducting the relevant examinations,” the ministry said.

The ministry said it would “further investigate” the incident over the following days while the patient is kept in hospital for treatment.

US announces 14-day quarantine on 195 virus evacuees

The US issued a rare federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan.

It came after one of the individuals tried to leave the California military base where the repatriated citizens landed on a chartered flight on Wednesday, and is the first directive of its kind in over 50 years.

“This legal order is part of an aggressive public health response, the goal of which is to prevent as much as possible community spread of this novel virus in the United States,” said Nancy Messonnier, a senior official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Our goal today, tomorrow and always continues to be the safety of the American public,” she added. “We would rather be remembered for overreacting than underreacting.”

El Salvador and Costa Rica take ‘prudent’ measures

El Salvador has announced blanket restrictions on people who have recently been in China.

Costa Rican officials said they will monitor transit points such as airports, but for now, will allow Chinese travellers to enter the country.

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador describes the move as “prudent”.

Two more employees of German car supplier get coronavirus

German car parts supplier Webasto said that two more of its employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, making a total of seven who have contracted it.

One of the employees is German in Germany, while the other is Chinese in Shanghai. Both are in hospital undergoing treatment, Webasto said.

China orders 200 million masks from Turkey

China has put in orders for a total of 200 million protective face masks from Turkish medical firms over the past 10 days.

Fatih Arpaci, a stakeholder in a medical firm based in Turkey’s western province, told Anadolu Agency that as a “surprising” turnout of events, Chinese firms ordered a total of 200 million face masks in one go.

“It is surprising to us as China is one of the biggest face mask producers in the world. Turkey produces a total of 150 million face masks in one year. But they wanted 200 million face masks,” he said.

“Demands keep coming not only from China, but also from other countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, France, Poland and Germany. We work 24 hours a day to meet this demand. We also work on Sundays,” Arpaci said.

Guatemala restricts entry from China

Guatemala’s government is imposing blanket travel restrictions on people who have recently been in China, President Alejandro Giammattei said.

Anybody who had been in China in the previous 15 days would be prevented from entering the South American country’s ports, airports and land crossings, Giammattei said.

“The purpose is to shield Guatemala from coronavirus,” Giammattei, a trained doctor, told reporters after visiting a public hospital.

Giammattei said that crews on ships arriving in Guatemalan ports that have been in China during the previous 15 days would not be allowed to enter. Any crew member that did enter would immediately be quarantined, he said.

Pasteur Institute eyes coronavirus vaccine in 2021

France’s Pasteur Institute Foundation said it had set up a taskforce aimed at developing a vaccine against the coronavirus in 20 months.

Christophe D’Enfert, a scientific director with the Pasteur Institute, told reporters in Paris the vaccine could be made available in 20 months if “all goes well”.

“At the end of August, we could enter clinical trials and, provided all goes well, obtain a vaccine candidate within 20 months.”

Pakistan offers to send field hospital to China

Pakistan has offered to send a field hospital to China as well as a group of doctors to help with a new virus outbreak.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Qureshi made the offer in a phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

On his part, Wang assured Qureshi that the Pakistani students in China were being treated “like our own”, according to the Pakistani foreign ministry’s statement.

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Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Tightens Controls as Death Toll Passes 250

Here’s what you need to know:

U.S. temporarily bars foreigners who’ve recently been to China.

The Trump administration is imposing temporary travel restrictions that bar entry into the United States by any foreign national who has traveled to China in the past 14 days, officials said on Friday.

The restrictions, a reaction to the coronavirus that has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization, will be put into place at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The United States on Friday also declared the coronavirus, which has sickened nearly 12,000 people and has spread to the United States and 21 other countries, a public heath emergency.

Friday’s action exempts immediate family members of American citizens and permanent residents.

In addition, officials said, any United States citizen returning home who has been in the Hubei province of China within the past 14 days — believed to be the virus’s incubation period — will be quarantined for up to 14 days. Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, is in Hubei.

Those who have been to other parts of China within the past 14 days will be subject to “proactive entry screening” and up to 14 days of monitoring and self-quarantine.

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Cases of Wuhan coronavirus continue to rise rapidly as US bans travel from China.

ong Kong (CNN)The number of confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus is nearing 12,000, as the epidemic continues to spread worldwide, sparking travel bans and outbreaks of ugly anti-Chinese xenophobia.

According to Chinese health authorities, the number of confirmed cases grew by 2,102 on Friday, bringing the total to 11,791 nationwide. An additional 45 people died in Hubei — the province at the epicenter of the outbreak — and one person died in the megacity of Chongqing on Friday, as the number of fatalities reached 259.
The pronounced increase in cases and deaths show the virus is not slowing, even after over a week of much of Hubei being under partial quarantine and an extended Lunar New Year holiday. With most of China due to return to work on Monday, the concern will be how far the virus will now spread, and whether the country’s economy can bear the type of further quarantines and travel restrictions that may be necessary to rein it in.
Worldwide the total number of cases now stands at 11,940, with 149 confirmed cases outside of China, including seven in the United States, two in the United Kingdom, four in Canada, nine in Australia and 13 in Singapore.
Washington announced Friday that it will impose a 14-day travel ban on all visitors from China, regardless of their nationality. US citizens arriving from Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital, will have to undergo 14-days mandatory quarantine on arrival, while those traveling any other part of China will face screening and monitoring.
The mandatory quarantine is the first time the US has issued such an order in 50 years. The move came as the seventh case of the virus was confirmed in the US, an adult male in California who recently traveled to Wuhan.
China criticized the move, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying it went against World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations not to impose travel bans.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed. Many countries have offered China support in various means,” she said. “In sharp contrast, certain US officials’ words and actions are neither factual nor appropriate.”
It may be part of a growing trend, however. The US ban comes after Singapore banned all visitors from mainland China, saying anyone who had been in the country in the past 14 days will not be able to visit or transit through the city state. Taiwan has also suspended visa applications for Chinese nationals, and banned entry to any from Hubei province.
Other countries have seen a wave of ugly xenophobia and racism directed at Chinese travelers and those of Chinese heritage. In a statement last week, health authorities in Toronto warned concerns about the virus and misinformation were creating “unnecessary stigma against members of our community.”

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