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Community coronavirus updates 2020 history  1  globally | Upload Society

Coronavirus Updates 2020 History (1) Globally

by: The Guardian, Worldometer
coronavirus updates 2020 history  1  globally | Upload

Public health experts worldwide are scrambling to understand, track, and contain the coronavirus COVID-19 - a new virus - that appeared in Wuhan, China, at the beginning of December 2019. The World Health Organization named the disease caused by the coronavirus COVID-19, which references the type of virus and the year it emerged. The WHO declared that the virus is a pandemic. Coronavirus updates 2020 history (1) globally summarizes the events from the 23rd of January until the 12th of February 2020. Only odd dates are published alternately.

Coronavirus Updates 2020 History (1) Globally

Public health experts worldwide are scrambling to understand, track, and contain a new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, at the beginning of December 2019. The World Health Organization named the disease caused by the coronavirus COVID-19, which references the type of virus and the year it emerged. The WHO declared that the virus is a pandemic.

WhatsOrb started keeping track of coronavirus developments globally on January 24, 2020. WhatsOrb published various articles on the coronavirus or COVID-19 like:

Updates, 11-02-2020:

  • Coronavirus 2019 now has been named: Covid-19.
  • China's death rate appears to slow as 39 new cases are found on a cruise ship.
  • New figures report 97 deaths up to midnight on Tuesday.
  • WHO chief warns threat is more significant than terrorism.

06:48

Indonesia has rejected claims that it is allowing Covid-19 to go undetected. Scientists have expressed widespread disbelief at how the country has managed to go without recording a single case despite its huge 260 million population and close ties to China.

06:26

  • Doctors and other medical staff are reaching exhaustion points as they work to treat huge numbers of infected people in difficult conditions without proper protection, according to a shocking story.
  • One doctor at a community clinic in Wuhan said he and at least 16 other colleagues were showing symptoms of Covid-19, including lung infections and coughing.
  • The MS Westerdam, carrying 2,257 passengers and crew, was turned away by Thailand yesterday because of concerns that some passengers may have coronavirus even though none have tested positive.

04:32

A Chinese marathon runner has completed a 50km run around his living room to relieve coronavirus lockdown's boredom, writes Naaman Zhou.

 

Updates, 07-02-2020:

07:12

  • China's economic growth forecast downgraded as infections pass 30,000
  • Dr. LiWenliang, 33, died in a hospital in #Wuhan. He was one of eight people who tried to warn about #coronavirus when it first emerged in Wuhan but was reprimanded by local police.
  • Australia publishes the first epidemiological report on coronavirus cases in the country.
  • US evacuation flights due to arrive home on Friday
  • North Korea reports the first case of the virus.
  • S&P slashes forecast for China's economic growth
  • Xi says China has taken 'most comprehensive containment measures.'
  • Impact on the Chinese economy is temporary – officials
  • Scott Morrison has urged all Australians to leave China as soon as possible
  • Infected people on the cruise ship Dimond Princess: 61

06:09

China’s National Supervisory Commission, which some on Twitter are calling the country such-feared disciplinary watchdog,' says it is sending a team to Wuhan to conduct a 'full investigation' into the handling of the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, the whistleblower who first raised concerns about the coronavirus in December. Chinese state media reported his death, retracted it, and then confirmed it.

05:12

latest figures for cases and deaths reported by health authorities around the world so far.

  • China: 636 deaths and 31,161 confirmed cases on the mainland. Also, Hong Kong has had one end and 22 points. Macao has had 10 issues.
  • Japan: 86 cases
  • Singapore: 30
  • Thailand: 25
  • South Korea: 24
  • Australia: 14
  • Germany:13
  • United States: 2
  • Taiwan: 16
  • Malaysia: 4
  • Vietnam: 2
  • France: 6
  • United Arab Emirates:5
  • Canada:6
  • India: 3
  • Philippines: 3 cases, including 1 death
  • Russia: 2
  • Italy: 2
  • Britain: 3
  • Belgium:1
  • Nepal: 1
  • Sri Lanka:1
  • Sweden:1
  • Spain: 1
  • Cambodia:1
  • Finland:1

Source WorldOmeter and The guardian

Recommended: Coronavirus: Symptoms Flu And Climate Change

Updates, 03-02-2020:

Another source of the Coronavirus: diarrhea:

  • While doctors have focused on respiratory samples from pneumonia cases to identify coronavirus patients, they might have ignored a less apparent source of the spread: diarrhea.
  • The novel coronavirus was detected in the first U.S. case's loose stool — a finding that hasn’t featured among matter reports from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. However, that doesn’t surprise scientists who have studied coronaviruses nor doctors familiar with the bug that caused SARS.
  • Diarrhea occurred in about 10 to 20 percent of patients afflicted with severe acute respiratory syndrome about 17 years ago. It was the source of an explosive SARS outbreak in the Amoy Gardens residential complex in Hong Kong.
  • SARS and Wuhan viruses bind to the same distinctly shaped protein receptors in the body that are expressed in the lungs and intestines, making these organs the primary targets for both viruses, said Fang Li, an associate professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences at the University of Minnesota
  • The discovery of the coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCoV, in the fecal material of the 35-year-old man treated at the Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in Washington is “interesting,” said Scott Lindquist, the state epidemiologist for infectious disease at Washington’s Department of Health.

10:30

  • Coronavirus: first death outside China recorded as total fatalities pass 300
  • A man from Wuhan has died in a Philippines hospital, says WHO, as Xi Jinping orders 1,400 more medical workers into Wuhan.
  • The outbreak of respiratory illness has killed 304 people in China since it was first detected in Wuhan's central city late last year. Across China, there were 2,590 new confirmed infections on Saturday, bringing the total to 14,380, China’s National Health Commission said on Sunday. A study published on Saturday by scientists from the University of Hong Kong found that the virus may have infected as many as 75,815 people in Wuhan.
  • Japan on Saturday confirmed an additional three cases among evacuees from Wuhan, including one, a man in his 40s, who initially tested negative, the health ministry said
  • The Philippines' fatality is a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan who died in a hospital in Manila. He appears to have been infected before he arrives in the Philippines.
  • Paranoia and frustration as China place itself under house arrest.
  • On Sunday, Indonesia also said it would temporarily stop flights to and from mainland China from Wednesday and bar visitors who have been in China for 14 days from entering or transiting.
  • Along with the suspension of flights and business operations, Stricter border controls have sparked fears of China's slowdown, the world’s second-biggest economy.
  • The US, Australia, Singapore, and Israel have banned foreign nationals from visiting if they have been in China over the previous 14 days and advised their own citizens not to travel there.
  • Mongolia, Russia, and Nepal closed their land borders, while Papua New Guinea has banned anyone from arriving from ports or airports across Asia. Other countries have imposed restrictions on people who have visited Hubei province in the past 14 days.
  • Vietnam declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus epidemic on Saturday and said it would halt all flights to and from China. The government said it would also stop issuing visas for foreign visitors who had been in China in the past two weeks.
  • On Sunday, New Zealand said it would bar entry to all foreign nationals arriving from mainland China. The ministry of foreign affairs and trade also raised its travel advice to New Zealanders for mainland China to “Do not travel,” the highest level.
  • More than 3,000 public hospital staff, including doctors and nurses, agreed to a week of phased strike action starting on Monday if the government failed to meet their demands. Staff representatives will meet officials from the city’s hospital authority on Sunday for talks.
  • China’s military said it would send 1,400 medical personnel to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The personnel will staff one of two new hospitals built in the past two weeks, scheduled to open on Monday.
  • The Russian military will start evacuating Russian citizens on Monday, domestic media reports said
  • In China itself, cities and villages become ghost towns, with about 50 million people in Hubei province alone under lockdown and many more living under self-imposed quarantine.
  • In Hubei, roads have been sealed off and public transport shut down, and the region extended its Lunar New Year holiday break to 13 February. However, people are leaving Hubei on foot over a bridge spanning the Yangtze River.
  • Coronavirus fears fuel racism and hostility, say British-Chinese.
  • Travel bans plunge China into deepening isolation over coronavirus.
  • We’re a bit unsettled’: York students on alert after coronavirus case.

Updates, 31-01-2020:

16:03

According to a report in the digital news publisher The Local, the coronavirus's first case has been confirmed in Sweden.

A patient at the Ryhov County Hospital in Jönköping, central-southern Sweden, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) confirmed to the website. The patient is a woman who landed in Sweden on 24 January after visiting the Wuhan area in China. At that point, she had no symptoms, said the agency. But she later developed a cough and contacted the health services in Jönköping. She is currently being kept in isolation at the clinic for infectious diseases and is not seriously ill.

15:56

According to global travel and data analytics expert Cerium, nearly 10,000 Chinese flights have now been suspended since the coronavirus outbreak.

15:47

The hospital in Newcastle, which is treating Britain’s first confirmed coronavirus cases, has urged other patients to attend their appointments as usual.

  • Two Chinese nationals were taken to the hospital from a hotel in York after displaying the virus's symptoms.
  • In a statement this afternoon, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said there was “no risk” to other patients and visitors while the pair are undergoing treatment.
  • It said: “Our hospital is one of five highly specialized infectious diseases units capable of dealing with this illness. “You should not be concerned - there is no risk to other patients and visitors.
  • “All of our services are operating as usual. If you have a hospital appointment, please attend this as planned.”
  • The two patients taken unwell are being treated in the Royal Victoria Infirmary’s High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID) unit, which has specialist areas where patients can be isolated to ensure infectious diseases are not spread further.
  • There are specific areas where staff can change in and out of protective clothing and equipment, while patient isolation rooms have tightly controlled airflow and filtering.
  • In severe infection cases for patients, treatment can include life support such as using a ventilator, dialysis to support the kidneys, and artificial hydration or nutrition.

15:31

Coach is now transferring the eighty-three British passengers who landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire earlier today to an accommodation block at Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral, where they will be quarantined for 14 days, monitored, and treated if any symptoms develop. The remaining 27 passengers, all non-UK nationals, will then be flown on to Spain.

 

 

 

13:59

  • Two people in Siberia have tested positive for the new coronavirus. The first confirmed cases of Russia's disease since the outbreak began in neighboring China last month, Andrew Roth, the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent, reports.
  • Two Chinese citizens who had fallen ill in Russia tested positive for the disease, the deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova said on Friday. The cases were discovered in opposite ends of Siberia, in the Transbaikal and Tyumen regions. Officials said the two people had been isolated, and there was “no chance” of the disease spreading in Russia.

13:35

  • The new coronavirus has been confirmed in a child in Germany, Bavaria's southern state said on Friday, bringing the total number of known cases in Germany to six.
  • The new case is a child of an employee at the same firm where four more individuals in the Munich area were infected, the state health ministry said in a statement. All affected people are in stable condition, the ministry said.

13:20

  • The Global Times, the English-language mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, has published a propaganda video depicting drones equipped with speakers urging people to wear masks and stay inside.
  • It is not clear the extent to which these drones have actually been rolled out across the country.

12:54

  • Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has resisted pressure to completely shut down the border with mainland China, saying it was not the answer to stem the spread of a virus, AP reports
  • Medical workers have threatened to strike if the government refuses to do so, and some restaurant owners have also echoed calls to bar all mainland visitors.
  • Lam said the number of mainland arrivals has shrunk since Hong Kong this week suspended ferry and high-speed trains to the mainland and shut six smaller border checkpoints.

12:51

Russia reports the first cases.

  • Russia has reported its first two cases of coronavirus. Russia’s deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova told reporters the infected people were Chinese citizens who had been isolated.
  • Golikova also said all direct flights to China from Russia would be halted from 9 pm GMT on Friday, except national airline Aeroflot.

12:03

According to a report by the Associated Press, more than 9,800 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed as of Friday evening in Beijing.

12:03

According to a report by the Associated Press, more than 9,800 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed as of Friday evening in Beijing.

China: 9,692 cases on the mainland. Also, Hong Kong has 12 points, and Macao has five. Most of the 213 deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December.

  • Thailand: 19
  • Japan: 14
  • Singapore: 13
    Taiwan: 9
  • Malaysia: 8
  • Australia: 7
  • South Korea: 11
  • France: 6
  • Vietnam: 5
  • United States: 6
    Germany: 5
  • Canada: 3
  • United Arab Emirates: 4
  • Italy: 2
  • England: 2
  • India: 1
  • Philippines: 1
  • Finland: 1
  • Nepal: 1
  • Cambodia: 1
  • Sri Lanka: 1

11:49

India’s first coronavirus patient has been moved to a hospital, where her condition is said to be improving, according to a report in the Indian news site NDTV. According to the broadcaster, more than 1,000 people in various parts of Kerala, on the south-west tip of India, are under observation for suspected cases of coronavirus, with 15 in isolation wards in various hospitals. Authorities were attempting to contact all the passengers who traveled on a flight from Kolkata to Cochin on 23 January. The infected patient had been on a day after she traveled from Beijing.

05:48

  • The Red Cross Society of Hubei has come under fire from Chinese netizens who say the charity is sending high-quality medical-grade N95 filtration masks to hospitals that are not at the epicenter of the outbreak nor fever clinics in the greatest need of covers, writes Michael Standaert.
  • According to the first statistics released by the Hubei Red Cross on Thursday, the group released only 3,000 of the N95 masks to Wuhan Union Hospital, one of the hospitals most impacted by the outbreak and patient surge.
  • Those stats showed out of 36,000 of the medical-grade masks, 16,000 went to Wuhan Ren’ai Hospital, and 16,000 to Wuhan Tianyou Hospital, both private hospitals, with the rest to the other that people are saying is in the most need.
  • Cover News has now reported that the Hubei Red Cross investigates why the masks were distributed to those two hospitals.

05:03

Earlier I reported on a picture published of a man lying dead in the street in Wuhan. 

05:01

South Korea plans up to four evacuation flights from Wuhan.

  • On South Korea’s evacuation of its citizens, 368 people were on the plane that arrived back at Gimpo airport near Seoul on Friday morning. It is planning up to three more flights.
  • Reuters reports that the government says none of the evacuees had any symptoms before departure. Still, one person could not board the plane due to fever after a final check at Wuhan airport, while 18 were sent to hospitals immediately upon arrival.

04:48

Fake news and conspiracy theories about the origin of the coronavirus have swiftly followed the outbreak around the world. From fake alerts over no-go suburbs to pro-Trump conspiracy theories, crackpot stories and dangerous advice have gone viral, reports the Guardian’s Josh Taylor.

04:23

According to the country's health minister, Trinidad has imposed 14-day restrictions on travelers from China because of the coronavirus.

04:20

Tonga asks Australia and New Zealand to quarantine evacuated Tongan citizens.

  • Tonga’s prime minister has asked for assistance from Australia and New Zealand to evacuate and quarantine Tongan citizens from China.
  • More than 50 Tongans, many of whom are teenagers, became trapped in China while traveling to the country as part of a China Aid sports program, reported Matangi Tonga.
  • The members and officials of four Tongan sports teams – swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, and boxing – were due to return to Tonga this week or next but had flights canceled.

04:18

Pakistani students stranded in Hubei from the Guardian’s Ben Doherty.

  • Pakistani students from Hubei Polytechnic University in Huangshi, In Hubei province, have pleaded with the Pakistan government to evacuate them. They say other international students from India, Indonesia, and Tajikistan, are set to leave in the coming days.

Updates, 27-01-2020:

  • The number of deaths from coronavirus has risen to 82, with confirmed infections climbing above 2,827 in China alone.
  • The southern province of Hainan has reported its first fatality. Some 95% of deaths and more than 50% of infections are in Hubei province.
  • Premier Li Keqiang has become the most senior figure to visit Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, China's second most powerful man. He met medical staff, called a supermarket, and the construction site of a new hospital.
  • Wuhan’s mayor, Zhou Xianwang, has admitted the authorities were too slow in releasing information about the virus. Appearing on state TV, he said: “We were not sufficiently in time, and we did not make good use of much helpful information.”
  • According to the Department for Health and Social Care, some 73 people have been tested negative for the UK virus. Health experts say they would be surprised if the virus does not spread to the UK.
  • The UK government is under pressure to evacuate Britons stranded in Wuhan's city and Hubei province. The Foreign Office said it was “working to make available an option” for British nationals to leave Hubei. Britons stranded in the Wuhan says the UK response has been pathetic.'
  • The lunar new year holiday in China has been extended until 2 February across China and 9 February in Shanghai. Chongqing municipality – one of China’s most significant – has banned inter-province bus travel for nearly 30 million residents.
  • Hong Kong has banned Hubei residents from entering. New coronavirus cases have been reported in Australia, South Korea, and Canada. Cambodia has reported its first case.
  • World Health Organization chiefs have held meetings in Beijing on Monday. The WHO’s director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, last week, urged China to ensure lockdown measures are kept “short.”

25th of January 2020

11:30

  • BREAKING Hubei residents and visitors who have been to Hubei in the past 14days WON'T be allowed in Macau UNLESS they can present a legitimate doctor's letter proving they don't have #nCov2019, effective from Jan 27
  • 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 9 am on Jan 27 and advise those in adequate health to leave. Otherwise, they'll be quarantined.

10:56 AM - Jan 26, 2020

Macau promised to announce the number of Hubei visitors newly admitted to 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 a health declaration form when they arrive at work every day.

10:10

  • Hubei province has suspended inter-province and inter-city buses, intensifying the lockdown designed to curb the coronavirus's spread; Chinese state media is reporting.
  • Shandong province and Beijing, Tianjin, and Xi’an had earlier suspended inter-city and chartered buses from crossing their borders.

09:53

  • In Hong Kong, residents protest about constructing a quarantine camp for people infected with the coronavirus. The reference in the first tweet to yellow and blue alludes to the colors adopted by supporters of the city’s protest movement against Chinese interference and those supporting the police.
  • Coronavirus outbreak: virus’s ability to spread 'getting stronger,' says minister – updates. As the death toll reaches 56, the Chinese government promises a more authoritarian crackdown to stop the spread.

08:55

'Virus’s ability to spread seems to be getting stronger' – minister. China bans wildlife trade. 7h ago revised the death toll now at 56

07:44

  • 'Virus’s ability to spread seems to be getting stronger' – minister.
  • At a press conference by the State Council Information Office of China, they confirmed that there had 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.

07:28

China bans wildlife trade.

The markets watchdog, agricultural ministry, and forestry bureau said in a joint statement that China had banned wildlife trade nationwide in markets, supermarkets, restaurants, and e-commerce platforms due to the coronavirus outbreak. Any places that breed wildlife should be isolated, and wildlife transportation should be banned, said the statement. The ban will take effect from Sunday.

07:23

In China, the US Embassy 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 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.

07:13

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 traveled to Wuhan on a high-speed train before returning to Hong Kong

06:55

Local state media is now reporting that Shantou's city 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

06:49

  • 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 region, state broadcaster CCTV reported, following the announcement of similar measures in the cities of Tianjin, Beijing, and the historic Xi’an
  • Coronavirus: China bans inter-city buses from Beijing as lockdown intensifies

05:56

  • 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 coronavirus spread.
  • 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.

05:47

  • 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.
  • UPDATE China expands drastic travel restrictions to contain a viral contagion that has killed 56 and infected nearly 2,000, as the US and France prepare to evacuate citizens from the quarantined city at the outbreak's epicenter 

Updates, 24-01-2020:

Number infected hits 1,400 worldwide. China has confirmed that it is dealing with a total of 1,372 cases of coronavirus nationally. So far, 39 have been discharged. The number of those affected internationally has surpassed 1,400, but the death toll remains at 41.

15:06

Starbucks has announced that it will close all Hubei province outlets for the week-long lunar new year holiday duration. It follows a similar announcement by McDonald’s, which will close branches in five cities in Hubei.

14:49

  • 31 people tested in Britain so far. Over 30 people have now been tested for coronavirus in the UK, the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England. As of Saturday afternoon, some 31 tests have now concluded, all of which were confirmed as negative for the virus
  • There are currently no confirmed cases in the UK or UK citizens abroad, and the public's risk is low. The government monitors the situation closely and will continue to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community,” it added. It promised to announce any cases in the UK if and when it is confirmed.

What To Do If You Think You Are At Risk

  • If you have visited Wuhan and develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing within 14 days of returning, government guidelines recommend people seek medical attention.
  • 'In the UK, please stay indoors and avoid contact with others where possible, call your GP or ring 111 informing them of your symptoms and your recent travel to the city.'

14:38

According to William Yang, most deaths from the virus have been those aged between 60 and 89, the East Asia correspondent for the German news outlet DW. According to the figures, no one under 30 has died from the virus yet.

14:04

  • Health alerts were raised to the highest level in 30 Chinese provinces. According to Global Times, in China, 30 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions have increased their public health alert to level 1, the highest level. This enables measures such as quarantine.
  • Sichuan province has announced a ban on group gatherings. Individuals are not allowed to organize meetings, and restaurants are being prevented from hosting them. Anyone who had prior reservations has been told to cancel
  • In Hubei province, where the virus originated, all 72 train stations have been closed down.
  • Workers in protective suits are checking the temperature of those entering Beijing’s central railway, and some railway services have been suspended in the eastern Yangtze River Delta region.

 

13:24

Chinese president warns of 'grave situation.' The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has held a special government meeting to address the virus's spread.

13:12

Here's an overview of the developments so far:

  • Forty-one people in China have died from coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, a Hubei province. This is up from 26 a day earlier.
  • At least 17 cities in Hubei have been locked down, and around 28 provinces have issued the highest emergency response ranking possible, which enables measures including quarantines.
  • There is virtually no travel being allowed into or out of Wuhan, and Beijing has suspended inter-province travel.
  • More than 1,280 cases have been confirmed worldwide, the vast majority in China and others predominantly across Asia. However, the virus reached Europe yesterday, with three confirmed cases in France, and has also been reported in Australia and the US. In total, 14 countries have been affected.
  • In the UK, 14 people were tested, and the results were negative. The government is trying to track down 2,000 people who arrived from Wuban in recent weeks.
  • The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says more cases in the EU are likely.
  • Hong Kong announced this morning that it would raise its response from ‘serious’ to ‘emergency,’ the highest ranking. School holidays will be extended for another two weeks, and a marathon has been canceled.
  • The World Health Organization has not declared a crisis but is monitoring the situation.
  • China is building two new hospitals to tackle the crisis, the first in 10 days and another in two weeks.

13:01

Beijing now has five confirmed coronavirus cases, but two of those had no connection with the province of Hubei. This appears to be the first time the virus has spread without directly linking Hubei, indicating that it is now being transmitted person-to-person within the capital.

12:54

The lockdown has now been expanded to another 16 cities, according to Associated Press. This brings 17 cities, including Wuhan, affecting 50 million people – more than New York, London, Paris, and Moscow combined. Yichang, Suizhou, and Jingzhou were the latest added to the list on Friday evening and Saturday. Several different figures are circulating, so I’ll update you as and when I can.

12:26

Beijing has suspended all inter-province buses to try to limit the spread of the virus. It is not yet known when the services will resume. China cut off trains, planes, and other links to Wuhan on Wednesday, and transport within the city has also been suspended.

11:48

  • The US chartering flight to evacuate citizens from Wuhan. The US is beginning an operation to evacuate its citizens and diplomats from Wuhan, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
  • There are around 1,000 US citizens in the city, and the embassy is in the process of contacting them to arrange seats on a plane back to the US. Plans are in place for the consulate to close temporarily, the newspaper said
  • According to the WSJ report, there are only 230 seats on the plane, and those on board will have to pay the costs entailed. US medical personnel will be on board to treat suspected cases of the coronavirus, and any unfilled seats may be offered to non-US citizens.
  • Washington was approved for the operation from China’s foreign ministry and other government agencies following negotiations in recent days, the WSJ said
  • It is not yet known where the plane will land.

 

09:02 

Two more potential causes of COVID-19 have been reported in Minnesota. In an alert issued by the Minnesota Department of Health to doctors and other health care providers, the state government requested that any patients with upper respiratory symptoms who may have recently traveled to Wuhan be reported to appropriate authorities. 

 

07:31

There are reports in 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 the Coronavirus. 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 a three-fold surge in service demand due to the epidemic

 

This from Agence France-Presse:

  • China has ordered nationwide measures to identify and immediately isolate suspected cases of a deadly virus on trains, airplanes, and buses, as the death toll and the number of patients have skyrocketed.
  • Inspection stations will be set up, and passengers with suspected pneumonia must be “immediately transported” to a medical center, the National Health Commission said in a statement.
  • The isolation of suspected cases must be followed by disinfection of the train, plane, or bus.

The statement said 'all departments of transportation' must 'strictly' introduce prevention and control measures, including screening measures in airports, railway stations, bus stations, and ports.

07:11

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.

 

07:04

Japan has reportedly confirmed its third case of the coronavirus.

06:57

Security personnel wearing hazardous material suits measure passengers' body temperatures at the subway station entrance in Beijing. Flight crew wearing masks arrive on a direct flight from China at Vancouver International Airport

06:55

One doctor is reportedly infected in Beijing.

 

06:31

  • Chinese news website Caixin has a snapshot of what reporting on Wuhan's outbreak during the Lunar new year is like. In the piece, Gao Yu describes rumors 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 severe problems. And most worryingly of all is the continuous spread of the virus...

Updates, 23-01-2020:

  • The number of people infected by a coronavirus in China has risen to 1248, with 47 having died. Wuhan, the Chinese center of the outbreak, has begun building a 1,000-bed hospital scheduled to be completed in just six days to treat the epidemic victims amid concerns about shortages of beds and equipment.
  • Wuhan has been eerily quiet despite the impending lunar new year after the city was effectively placed in quarantine.
  • Tests on 14 people in the UK have come back negative, but checks are being carried out on others. After the Cobra emergency committee met to discuss the UK's threat, the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, stressed that the public's risk is low. Public Health England echoed the assessment while saying it was likely cases would emerge in the UK.
  • The second confirmed case has been identified in the US, in the city of Chicago. In her 60s, the patient had returned from Wuhan on 13 January and was tested after exhibiting symptoms. She is said to be in stable condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she has had limited contact with others since returning to the US, but people she has contacted are being monitored.
  • There have been calls for a worldwide ban on wild animal markets by experts who says the sale of sometimes endangered species for human consumption is the cause of both the new coronavirus outbreak and other past epidemics. In Wuhan, the Huanan seafood market, which has been closed down as the infection source, had a wild animal section, where live and slaughtered species were on sale.

16:46

  • The Scottish government confirmed on Friday afternoon that results for two of the five patients in Scotland tested for coronavirus had come back negative. Emphasizing that the risk to the public remained low, Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, said: "Scotland is well prepared for these types of outbreaks – we have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues and the UK was one of the first countries in the world to develop a test for the new virus. I am being kept fully informed about the precautionary steps being taken, including timely updates on the patients who are currently being tested."

16:44

Three more cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong, according to AFP’s correspondent there.

16:25

  • Here are some details of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is saying about the second case of coronavirus identified in the United States
  • The patient returned to the US from Wuhan on 13 January 2020 and called a healthcare provider after experiencing symptoms a few days later. The patient was admitted to a hospital, where infection control measures were taken to reduce transmission risk to other individuals. The patient remains hospitalized in an isolation room in a stable condition and is doing well.
  • Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, healthcare professionals suspected 2019-now. A clinical specimen was collected and sent to CDC, where laboratory testing confirmed the infection. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) are investigating locations where this patient went after returning to Illinois and are identifying any close contacts who were possibly exposed.
  • The patient has limited close contacts, all of whom are currently well and monitored for symptoms. Since returning from China, the patient has had minimal movement outside the home. The CDC added that while it considered coronavirus 'a serious public health threat', the US public's immediate health risk was considered low.

16:09

  • The BMJ (British Medical Journal) has an article about the psychological effects of quarantining a city in response to the lockdown affecting more than 20 million people in China. It says: While history reminds us that outright panic is unlikely, fear seems more specific due to mass quarantine. Anxiety within Wuhan is to be expected even without quarantine. During disease outbreaks, community anxiety can rise following the first death, increased media reporting, and an escalating number of new cases. Mass quarantine is likely to raise that substantially for multiple reasons.
  • It says elevated anxiety may lead to a surge in patients referred to as the “worried well,” and that stigma may affect those on the inside of the cordon.
  • Previous incidents have seen residents of affected areas socially shunned, discriminated against in the workplace, and their property attacked. Unless active steps are taken to prevent this, a cordon's official imposition may aggravate such effects. Vigilante-imposed isolation can follow or even run ahead of official quarantine.

15:56

  • A crucial question for how the outbreak will unfold is how contagious the virus is. Scientists worldwide are trying to establish how many people, on average, each infected person will pass the virus on to, a number known as R0 in epidemiology. If this number is more than one, an epidemic will grow, and if less than one, it will fizzle out.
  • An analysis posted online on Friday by scientists from Lancaster University puts R0 for the new coronavirus at 3.8. It estimates that should the epidemic continue unabated, there could be 191,529 infections by 4 February.
  • The paper also suggests that travel restrictions from and to Wuhan city are unlikely to stop transmission across China. The analysis assumes that only 5% of Wuhan infections have been identified, implying a far larger pool of people whose symptoms have been mild and have not attended the hospital. So while more people may have been infected than initially thought, on the positive side, it would imply that the majority of infections do not cause severe symptoms.

15:54

Chinese state television’s traditional lunar new year extravaganza on Friday paid tribute to Wuhan's people and medical staff fighting the coronavirus crisis, urging them to victory in the battle to defeat the outbreak.

  • Traditionally, hundreds of millions of people gather around their televisions to watch the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, a more-than-four-hour showcase of skits, music, and dance that has been a TV staple since the first edition was broadcast in 1983
  • This year an extra segment was added at the last minute to what is normally a carefully planned show, slotted in early in the broadcast. The hosts offered their best wishes to medical staff on the frontlines and the people of Wuhan. “We will definitely be victorious!” the hosts announced in unison.
  • After a montage showing doctors and nurses in their hospitals donning protective gear and hard at work looking after their patients, the hosts read out further exhortations.
  • Bai Yansong, one of state television’s best-known anchors, told the gala the virus segment had been prepared very shortly before the actual show.
  • “Remember that we love you, not just today but every day in the future,” Bai said as the camera cut to an audience member with tears streaming down her face.
  • Bai’s colleague Kang Hui, who often reads the main evening news, said the whole nation was involved in the virus fight. “There is no predicament we cannot get over,” Kang said, stirring music against a backdrop of more scenes of medical workers in protective bodysuits.

15:46

  • Here is the full statement by the chief medical officer for England, Prof Chris Whitty. He said the UK public's risk remained low: COBR (Cobra) met today to discuss the situation in Wuhan, China, and elsewhere in Asia. I updated on the current situation, the preparedness of the NHS, and possible next steps.
  • I am working closely with the other UK chief medical officers. We all agree that the UK public's risk remains low, but there may well be cases in the UK at some stage. We have tried and tested measures in place to respond. The UK is well prepared for these types of incidents, with excellent readiness against infectious diseases.
  • We have global experts monitoring the clock's situation and have a strong track record of managing new infectious disease forms. The UK has access to some of the best infectious disease and public health experts in the world.
  • There are no confirmed cases in the UK to date. We have been carefully monitoring the situation in Wuhan, China, since the beginning of the outbreak and are now implementing our planned response.

A public health hub will be set up in Heathrow from today. This consists of clinicians and other public health officials, in addition to existing port health measures. The World Health Organization has rightly responded quickly, and China has introduced strong public health measures.

15:27

The person who tested positive in the US, the second person there to do so, is a woman in her 60s. She returned from Wuhan, China, on 13 January.

15:22

14 people in the UK test negative

In the UK, tests for coronavirus on 14 people UK have come back negative, but there are checks ongoing on other people, the chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, has said.

After a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee in Whitehall, he spoke after a health secretary meeting, Matt Hancock.

14:15

Britain’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has emerged after chairing a meeting of the British government'sCobra’ emergency committee, bringing together senior figures for various agencies to undertake crisis planning. “The clinical advice is that the risk to the public remains low,” he said, adding that the UK’s chief medical officer will be making a full statement later today.

14:12

Health officials have been preparing for an outbreak that could last for months, a senior World Health Organisation official in Beijing has told the New York Times. Thousands of people were eventually likely to be infected, said Dr. Gauden Galea, representative of the WHO in the Chinese capital. “My own office is gearing up for several months. We do not expect it to disappear in several days.”

13:51

Calls for stricter outlawing of the trafficking and consumption of wild game - which has been linked to the emergence of Coronavirus in Chinese cities - have been reverberating on Chinese social media.

An interesting piece from Jessica Colwell on What’s on Weibo, which reports on social media trends in China, says that the Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, linked to the outbreak, has been closed down. Still, criticism of such markets has been fierce.

She writes: The hashtag “Support the banning of wild game markets” (#支持禁绝野味市场#) was topping the list of trending topics for much of Thursday and was viewed 270 million times.

Another hashtag, “The source of the new coronavirus is wild animals” (#新型冠状病毒来源是野生动物#), topped the list on Wednesday and has been viewed 990 million times. Online commenters are lambasting the practice of eating illegal wild games such as civet cats, the cause of the 2003 SARS virus, and bats. The suspected cause of COVID-19 (snakes) has also been suggested as a possible source of the coronavirus outbreak).

13:37

Britain’s public health authorities have put out these slides as part of an information campaign about Public Health England(@PHE_uk). No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the UK, and the UK population's risk is low. If you have traveled to the affected area, make sure you know what to do if you experience symptoms.

13:34 

After returning from Wuhan, a British man who felt unwell struggled to get a doctor’s appointment until revealing he had been in China. Michael Hope, 45, ended up in quarantine for 28 hours, kept in a sealed room, and tested by medics in what he described as 'spaceman suits.' “I felt like ET, to be honest,” he said. “It was totally, totally surreal.”

On Tuesday, with his symptoms had worsened after four days to “a naughty chest – coughing to the point of vomiting,” he had no more significant concerns than his GP being busy: after he explained his condition, he was told there were no appointments available and to call back in the morning. The following day, when he managed to get a telephone consultation, he told his GP he had been unable to leave his home since he had been brought back from China – and events suddenly speeded up.

“I told them I had flu-like symptoms and that I had traveled back from Wuhan,” he said. “At first, the GP told me to come to the surgery and said we could both wear masks and I could stand outside the door – but then things quickly changed, and I was told to stay at home, not to leave, and I would be visited instead.” Read on.

13:22

We also hear from epidemiologist Dr. Rosalind Eggo about how scientists model the spread of novel viruses, often with very little information. COVID-19: UK Cobra committee meets as death toll rises to 26 – live news

13:02

More airports are beginning to screen passengers arriving from China, AP reports. Qatar, home to the long-haul carrier Qatar Airways, said it had installed thermal scanners at its central hub, Hamad international airport.

Kuwait announced similar measures late the night before at Kuwait international airport, joining the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which on Thursday announced screenings for all passengers arriving on direct flights from China, including at Dubai international airport, the world’s busiest. Kuwait’s state-run news agency said isolation rooms had also been opened at Kuwait's international airport for passengers suspected of having the virus.

Elsewhere in the region, Bahrain said it was taking unspecified steps over the virus. China has shut down Wuhan and other cities in the Hubei province, which is the center of the newly identified coronavirus outbreak.

  • A scattered number of cases have been confirmed in other countries. Still, there are fears that during the travel and festivities accompanying the lunar new year starting this weekend, the virus could spread more widely.
  • In Pakistan, the Civil Aviation Authority said all passengers coming from neighboring China would be screened for the virus. Any suspected of being infected would be kept in isolation at designated hospitals.
  • As many as 41 flights from China land at Pakistani airports every week.

12:49

Nepal has a case of coronavirus, Asian News International reports. Nepal Health Ministry: A student who had returned from Wuhan, China, has been found infected with #coronavirus.

Holding a press conference on Friday, Ministry for Health and Population confirmed it.

12:30

Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, plans to build a hospital to help treat the epidemic victims. The template is a hospital constructed hastily in Beijing in 2003 during the Sars outbreak. A Chinese city plans to build a coronavirus hospital in six days. Drone footage shows dozens of diggers working to create a new hospital in Wuhan to limit coronavirus spread. Authorities hope the structure will be made by February 3

12:06

The UK government’s Cobra emergency committee is holding its meeting now about the outbreak. Ministers from the Home Office, the Foreign Office, and the departments for transport, education, communities, and local government will also attend.

“There remain no confirmed cases, and we’re well prepared for any new diseases. All UK airports have medical experts on hand, and information has been provided to all passengers returning from China,” said a spokesman for the prime minister. He added that the Department for Education checked universities’ preparedness, given the likelihood of Chinese students traveling to or returning home to coincide with the new year holiday.

Asked whether China had provided the UK with all the information it needed on the outbreak, he said: “We remain in close contact with the World Health Organization and international partners, including China.” The prime minister, Boris Johnson, won’t be attending the Cobra meeting but is expected to host a reception at Downing Street in the next hour for the lunar new year.
Meanwhile, in Public Health England, we’re told that it is unlikely that there will be any updated figures on those being tested for the virus in the UK until at least 3 pm local time. We had been led to believe that updated models would be available at noon.

11:52

China will take stricter and more targeted measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Chinese state television has reported, citing a state council meeting on virus control on Friday.

“The spread of the virus has not been cut off … Local authorities should take more responsibility and have a stronger sense of urgency,” according to state media, Reuters reported.

11:29

The Chinese military has released a handbook on Pneumonia Prevention and Control of New Coronavirus Infection. Chinese media are encouraging people to forward to their circle of friends on social media. The 16-page document comes with cartoon figures of heroic Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) figures and includes guidance on hygiene and disease prevention.

10:29

The second confirmed case in Japan of the new Coronavirus transited from Hong Kong to Japan by plane, and Hong Kong’s health authority needs to track the flight and passengers now, according to Wong Ka-Hing, director of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection.

Xinqi Su, a Hong Kong-based AFP correspondent, reports that the patient took Cathay Dragon’s KA855 from Wuhan to Hong Kong on January 19 and then transited from Hong Kong to Japan on Cathay Pacific’s CX58. She quotes an emerging and zoonotic diseases expert, David Hui, saying that Hong Kong is now at a “serious response level” due to imported cases. Still, it won’t be upgraded to an “emergency” until local cases and continued outbreaks. He added that it was “unpractical” for all public members to keep a mask on all day. “If you are taking public transport or going to a mall with many people, I would advise you to wear a mask. You can take off the mask when you are in office,” Hui said.

10:19

Thailand has confirmed its fifth case of the new coronavirus, a senior public health official said.

“The patient is a 33-year-old woman from Wuhan on vacation,” Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Patucha told Reuters, adding that she was under quarantine at Rajavithi hospital and her condition was improving. The woman arrived in Bangkok on Jan. 21 with her daughter and visited a private hospital complaining of a fever, coughing, and muscle aches before being transferred to a government hospital on Jan. 23, Sathit said. Her daughter tested negative for the virus.

A Thai woman who contracted the virus after spending the New Year in Wuhan was admitted to Nakhon Pathom hospital, 60 km (40 miles) west of Bangkok, on Jan. 15 and discharged on Friday after lab tests cleared her of the virus, the Public Health Ministry said in a statement. Thailand currently has two patients under quarantine for the virus.

10:13

McDonald's says it is suspending business in five cities in China’s Hubei province, the virus outbreak center.

10:12

Two tourists visiting Finland from Wuhan in China are suspected of being infected with the coronavirus, according to YLE, Finland’s state broadcaster. The pair went to a health center in Ivalo, Northern Finland, to seek flu-like symptoms on Thursday night.

Markku Broas, an infectious diseases physician at Lapland central hospital, said samples were taken to Helsinki for analysis. Still, he thinks that it’s likely to be a case of the flu. “There’s no major cause for concern.”

10:09

The situation is a 'rapidly evolving' one that is being monitored closely. According to a new blog on Public Health England, the UK population's current risk is low, a state body.

It answers several questions which it says many people have. They include:

  • What is Wuhan's novel coronavirus, and should I be concerned? A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.
    Typical coronavirus symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the UK, and we currently consider the risk to the UK population below.

How Do We Decide The Risk Level?

Several factors are taken into account to determine the risk level, including the number of cases, the speed at which new cases are being identified, and other information about the virus, such as how easily it spreads from person to person.

Can we stop the virus from coming to the UK?

  • No system of checks can claim to offer absolute protection because of the incubation period of the virus. Some people might only show symptoms 14 days after exposure to an infected person. Our approach to enhanced monitoring helps us ensure that Wuhan's travelers get the right information about what to do if they become unwell.
  • Why are we not monitoring all flights from China? And, what about people who have transferred from other flights? Plans are in place to meet any direct flights from Wuhan as experts believe this is the virus's source. However, direct flights' enhanced monitoring will be kept under continuous review and expanded to other Chinese departure points if necessary.

09:56

According to local reports, Beijing’s city government urges people who return to the Chinese capital from areas affected by the Coronavirus outbreak to stay home for 14 days. Meanwhile, sections of China’s Great Wall near Beijing will be closed to visitors from Saturday.

09:46

According to Interfax news agency, flights to Moscow from the Chinese city of Wuhan have been suspended over fears about the coronavirus strain spread. Earlier this week, Russia’s Healthcare Ministry described the virus as a biological hazard, with Deputy Minister Sergei Krayevoy saying the virus was a “striking example” of the physical threats Russia faces.

09:34

  • The regular press briefing from the UN’s office in Geneva is just about to start, and the virus is expected to feature in questions.
  • There was some confusion in reports elsewhere about it. It’s not a WHO briefing.

09:21

  • A former government minister who oversaw the country’s response to the H1N1 flu virus in 2009 has said that containing panic around the coronavirus outbreak is as important as stemming the virus itself.
  • Gloria Guevara, who is now President/CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) based in London, said it could have a damaging and lasting economic impact on the global Travel & Tourism sector unless lessons are learned from previous viral epidemics.
  • Analysis of previous major viral epidemics by the WTTC found that the average recovery time for visitor numbers to a destination was 19 months. Still, the right response and management could recover in as little as 10 months.

08:05

  • It was confirmed last night that two people diagnosed with flu were being tested for the virus in Scotland, where three others are also being tested on a precautionary basis. At least three of the patients are believed to be Chinese nationals.
  • While there remain no confirmed Coronavirus cases in Scotland, the Scottish government has set up a daily Incident Management Team with Health Protection Scotland to continue monitoring the situation as it develops.

While the Scottish government would not confirm where the patients are being treated, the Courier newspaper reports that two are from the Tayside region, two from Glasgow, and one from Lothian. In Tayside, Dundee University has a joint education partnership with Wuhan University: five staff members had returned from a visit to Wuhan last week, but no health concerns have been raised. Aberdeen University said five of its staff members had also visited Wuhan during the outbreak. One of those – who have a non-teaching role - is working from home as a precautionary measure.

07:53

Coronavirus Worldwide: First Vaccines A Year Away 

  • That first version of a vaccine has already entered the laboratories at the global pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson. Still, it will be close to a year before vaccines are available publicly from drug companies. That’s according to Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson, and Richard Hatchett, Ceo of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is funding two of the projects and co-funding the third to develop vaccines.
  • Davos, Hatchett told the BBC’s Today Programme that CEPI hoped that the vaccines it had announced partnerships could enter into clinical trials in the Summer. It would be close to a year before they are available. However, headed, and this was a very ambitious timeline. He also said that that restrictions on air travel into countries such as the UK would not keep the virus out, and for now, the only means of responding were via public health interventions.
  • Companies were also looking at progressing the manufacture and release of protective equipment for hospital workers and others, said Stoffels, who added: “We know that this could become a massive global epidemic.” Both men said that the speed with which development on drugs to respond to global crises had dramatically improved in the wake of the Ebola crisis, which Stoffels described as a “wake-up call to the world.”

07:43

According to its health ministry, Singapore has confirmed two more cases of the new strain of coronavirus said on Friday, a day after identifying its first case of the infection originated from China. The ministry said it expected more imported cases because of high travel volume from China, Reuters reports. Singapore’s tally of confirmed cases is now three.

 

07:10

  • According to the Global Times, Yichang City, also in Hubei province, will impose transport restrictions.
  • In the UK, 14 people have been tested for suspected coronavirus. So far, five have been cleared, and nine are still waiting for test results.
  • Public Health England has not given a breakdown of where the people were tested, but Downing Street said four of the suspected cases in Scotland were believed to be Chinese nationals. Another patient is understood to have been tested at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

What We Know So Far!

  • The official death toll stands at 26 people, most of them in Hubei province in central China. Still, two people have died outside of that zone – one man just outside of Beijing, and the other in the northeastern region of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia.
  • At least 830 people in China have been confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus so far.
  • The Chinese government has locked down 11 million people in Wuhan, where the virus originated, and nine other cities in the Hubei province, causing chaos on the Lunar New Year's eve.
  • A new 1000-bed hospital is being built in Wuhan to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, and authorities expect it to be completed and run by Monday.
  • South Korea has confirmed a second case of the virus, a man in his 50s working in Wuhan earlier this month.
  • Japan has also confirmed a second case of the virus: a Wuhan resident in his 40s who arrived in Japan on 19 January.
  • The US has confirmed one case of the virus in Seattle, while authorities in Texas are investigating a second suspected case
  • 14 people in the UK have been tested for the virus; so far, five have been cleared.
  • Scottish authorities have tested at least six people with coronavirus symptoms.
  • In Australia, at least six people are being monitored for signs of the virus, while public health authorities warn the world is likely to see more cases confirmed in countries outside of China in the coming days.
  • The World Health Organisation’s emergency committee has concluded it’s “too early” to declare an international public health emergency but says the situation is still considered a crisis in China. “It has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one,” said WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

06:23

  • Shanghai Disney will be closed to help prevent the spread of the virus.

06:06

  • Cinemas will suspend their operations in Guangdong Province until the end of the holiday season due to the coronavirus outbreak.

06:00

  • Health officials in Hong Kong gave their daily press briefing about the coronavirus outbreak fully masked.

05:41

  • In Australia, researchers at the University of Queensland are racing to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.
According to AAP:
  • The Queensland team is one of three worldwide asked to plant their foot on the accelerator and use new technologies to get a vaccine onto the market fast. If they can replicate what they’ve done in labs with other viruses, including related influenza and ebola, it’s possible the world could have a shield against coronavirus within six months. The team is one of three handpicked by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to fast-track the vaccine.
  • The University of Queensland team is confident they’ll get there with recently patented DNA-based molecular clamp technology. It involves using the DNA sequence of the coronavirus – released by China after the outbreak – to produce a protein that’s the same as the one on the surface of the actual virus. That protein will be the essence of the vaccine, capable of generating immune system responses that protect people.
  • “By injecting that, we can get an optimal immune response in people that affords protection,” explains Dr. Keith Chappell from the university’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences. A total of 10 cities in China’s central Hubei province have suspended some public transportation over the coronavirus outbreak, the Hubei Daily reported on Friday. Buses in Chibi, Xiantao, Zhejiang, Qianjiang, Xianning, Huangshi, and Enshi have suspended services.
  • In Zhejiang city, all public venues have been shut down except hospitals, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, gas stations, and drug stores, it said. Indoor entertainment venues in Enshi city have also been shut down. Provincial capital Wuhan city, the epicenter of the outbreak, and Huanggang city have been locked down while Ezhou city has shut its train stations.

04:51

  • “It has been splashed all over the front pages of newspapers around the world for days,” writes Guardian contributor Michael Standaert in Sichuan. “But the outbreak of coronavirus, which has left at least 25 dead and infected more than 800, has been largely missing from China’s major state-run media.”
  • Friday’s front page of the People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist party’s flagship newspaper, displayed only warm wishes for lunar new year’s eve from the president, Xi Jinping, as he attended a spring festival gala at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
  • News of the coronavirus outbreak has also been buried during prime time CCTV news over the past two evenings, featuring as the fifth or sixth item on the daily 7 pm bulletin.

04:40

  • Chinese officials have confirmed another person has died from novel coronavirus, the second person to do so outside the province of Hubei, the epicenter of the virus, bringing the official death toll to 26
  • The death was in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia and is 2,000 km (1,200 miles) from Wuhan, the local government said. 24 deaths have occurred in Hubei.

Cover photo by Philip Courter. Passengers during the evacuated flight back to the United States to get their temperatures checked. The flight had passengers from the Diamond Princess, both sick and not sick.

Source Worldometer and the Guardian

Before you go!

Recommended: Travel The World: Keeping The Environment Healthy

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Public health experts worldwide are scrambling to understand, track, and contain the coronavirus COVID-19 - a new virus - that appeared in Wuhan, China, at the beginning of December 2019. The World Health Organization named the disease caused by the coronavirus COVID-19, which references the type of virus and the year it emerged. The WHO declared that the virus is a pandemic. Coronavirus updates 2020 history (1) globally summarizes the events from the 23rd of January until the 12th of February 2020.  Only odd dates are published alternately. Coronavirus Updates 2020 History (1) Globally Public health experts worldwide are scrambling to understand, track, and contain a new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, at the beginning of December 2019. The World Health Organization named the disease caused by the coronavirus COVID-19, which references the type of virus and the year it emerged. The WHO declared that the virus is a pandemic. WhatsOrb started keeping track of coronavirus developments globally on January 24, 2020. WhatsOrb published various articles on the coronavirus or COVID-19 like: Updates, 11-02-2020: Coronavirus 2019 now has been named: Covid-19. China's death rate appears to slow as 39 new cases are found on a cruise ship. New figures report 97 deaths up to midnight on Tuesday. WHO chief warns threat is more significant than terrorism. 06:48 Indonesia has rejected claims that it is allowing Covid-19 to go undetected. Scientists have expressed widespread disbelief at how the country has managed to go without recording a single case despite its huge 260 million population and close ties to China. 06:26 Doctors and other medical staff are reaching exhaustion points as they work to treat huge numbers of infected people in difficult conditions without proper protection, according to a shocking story. One doctor at a community clinic in Wuhan said he and at least 16 other colleagues were showing symptoms of Covid-19, including lung infections and coughing. The MS Westerdam, carrying 2,257 passengers and crew, was turned away by Thailand yesterday because of concerns that some passengers may have coronavirus even though none have tested positive. 04:32 A Chinese marathon runner has completed a 50km run around his living room to relieve coronavirus lockdown's boredom, writes Naaman Zhou.   Updates, 07-02-2020: 07:12 China's economic growth forecast downgraded as infections pass 30,000 Dr. LiWenliang, 33, died in a hospital in #Wuhan. He was one of eight people who tried to warn about #coronavirus when it first emerged in Wuhan but was reprimanded by local police. Australia publishes the first epidemiological report on coronavirus cases in the country. US evacuation flights due to arrive home on Friday North Korea reports the first case of the virus. S&P slashes forecast for China's economic growth Xi says China has taken 'most comprehensive containment measures.' Impact on the Chinese economy is temporary – officials Scott Morrison has urged all Australians to leave China as soon as possible Infected people on the cruise ship Dimond Princess: 61 06:09 China’s National Supervisory Commission, which some on Twitter are calling the country such-feared disciplinary watchdog,' says it is sending a team to Wuhan to conduct a 'full investigation' into the handling of the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, the whistleblower who first raised concerns about the coronavirus in December. Chinese state media reported his death, retracted it, and then confirmed it. 05:12 latest figures for cases and deaths reported by health authorities around the world so far. China: 636 deaths and 31,161 confirmed cases on the mainland. Also, Hong Kong has had one end and 22 points. Macao has had 10 issues. Japan: 86 cases Singapore: 30 Thailand: 25 South Korea: 24 Australia: 14 Germany:13 United States: 2 Taiwan: 16 Malaysia: 4 Vietnam: 2 France: 6 United Arab Emirates:5 Canada:6 India: 3 Philippines: 3 cases, including 1 death Russia: 2 Italy: 2 Britain: 3 Belgium:1 Nepal: 1 Sri Lanka:1 Sweden:1 Spain: 1 Cambodia:1 Finland:1 Source WorldOmeter and The guardian Recommended:  Coronavirus: Symptoms Flu And Climate Change Updates, 03-02-2020: Another source of the Coronavirus: diarrhea: While doctors have focused on respiratory samples from pneumonia cases to identify coronavirus patients, they might have ignored a less apparent source of the spread: diarrhea. The novel coronavirus was detected in the first U.S. case's loose stool — a finding that hasn’t featured among matter reports from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. However, that doesn’t surprise scientists who have studied coronaviruses nor doctors familiar with the bug that caused SARS. Diarrhea occurred in about 10 to 20 percent of patients afflicted with severe acute respiratory syndrome about 17 years ago. It was the source of an explosive SARS outbreak in the Amoy Gardens residential complex in Hong Kong. SARS and Wuhan viruses bind to the same distinctly shaped protein receptors in the body that are expressed in the lungs and intestines, making these organs the primary targets for both viruses, said Fang Li, an associate professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences at the University of Minnesota The discovery of the coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCoV, in the fecal material of the 35-year-old man treated at the Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in Washington is “interesting,” said Scott Lindquist, the state epidemiologist for infectious disease at Washington’s Department of Health. 10:30 Coronavirus: first death outside China recorded as total fatalities pass 300 A man from Wuhan has died in a Philippines hospital, says WHO, as Xi Jinping orders 1,400 more medical workers into Wuhan. The outbreak of respiratory illness has killed 304 people in China since it was first detected in Wuhan's central city late last year. Across China, there were 2,590 new confirmed infections on Saturday, bringing the total to 14,380, China’s National Health Commission said on Sunday. A study published on Saturday by scientists from the University of Hong Kong found that the virus may have infected as many as 75,815 people in Wuhan. Japan on Saturday confirmed an additional three cases among evacuees from Wuhan, including one, a man in his 40s, who initially tested negative, the health ministry said The Philippines' fatality is a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan who died in a hospital in Manila. He appears to have been infected before he arrives in the Philippines. Paranoia and frustration as China place itself under house arrest. On Sunday, Indonesia also said it would temporarily stop flights to and from mainland China from Wednesday and bar visitors who have been in China for 14 days from entering or transiting. Along with the suspension of flights and business operations, Stricter border controls have sparked fears of China's slowdown, the world’s second-biggest economy. The US, Australia, Singapore, and Israel have banned foreign nationals from visiting if they have been in China over the previous 14 days and advised their own citizens not to travel there. Mongolia, Russia, and Nepal closed their land borders, while Papua New Guinea has banned anyone from arriving from ports or airports across Asia. Other countries have imposed restrictions on people who have visited Hubei province in the past 14 days. Vietnam declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus epidemic on Saturday and said it would halt all flights to and from China. The government said it would also stop issuing visas for foreign visitors who had been in China in the past two weeks. On Sunday, New Zealand said it would bar entry to all foreign nationals arriving from mainland China. The ministry of foreign affairs and trade also raised its travel advice to New Zealanders for mainland China to “Do not travel,” the highest level. More than 3,000 public hospital staff, including doctors and nurses, agreed to a week of phased strike action starting on Monday if the government failed to meet their demands. Staff representatives will meet officials from the city’s hospital authority on Sunday for talks. China’s military said it would send 1,400 medical personnel to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The personnel will staff one of two new hospitals built in the past two weeks, scheduled to open on Monday. The Russian military will start evacuating Russian citizens on Monday, domestic media reports said In China itself, cities and villages become ghost towns, with about 50 million people in Hubei province alone under lockdown and many more living under self-imposed quarantine. In Hubei, roads have been sealed off and public transport shut down, and the region extended its Lunar New Year holiday break to 13 February. However, people are leaving Hubei on foot over a bridge spanning the Yangtze River. Coronavirus fears fuel racism and hostility, say British-Chinese. Travel bans plunge China into deepening isolation over coronavirus. We’re a bit unsettled’: York students on alert after coronavirus case. Updates, 31-01-2020: 16:03 According to a report in the digital news publisher The Local, the coronavirus's first case has been confirmed in Sweden. A patient at the Ryhov County Hospital in Jönköping, central-southern Sweden, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) confirmed to the website. The patient is a woman who landed in Sweden on 24 January after visiting the Wuhan area in China. At that point, she had no symptoms, said the agency. But she later developed a cough and contacted the health services in Jönköping. She is currently being kept in isolation at the clinic for infectious diseases and is not seriously ill. 15:56 According to global travel and data analytics expert Cerium, nearly 10,000 Chinese flights have now been suspended since the coronavirus outbreak. 15:47 The hospital in Newcastle, which is treating Britain’s first confirmed coronavirus cases, has urged other patients to attend their appointments as usual. Two Chinese nationals were taken to the hospital from a hotel in York after displaying the virus's symptoms. In a statement this afternoon, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said there was “no risk” to other patients and visitors while the pair are undergoing treatment. It said: “Our hospital is one of five highly specialized infectious diseases units capable of dealing with this illness. “You should not be concerned - there is no risk to other patients and visitors. “All of our services are operating as usual. If you have a hospital appointment, please attend this as planned.” The two patients taken unwell are being treated in the Royal Victoria Infirmary’s High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID) unit, which has specialist areas where patients can be isolated to ensure infectious diseases are not spread further. There are specific areas where staff can change in and out of protective clothing and equipment, while patient isolation rooms have tightly controlled airflow and filtering. In severe infection cases for patients, treatment can include life support such as using a ventilator, dialysis to support the kidneys, and artificial hydration or nutrition. 15:31 Coach is now transferring the eighty-three British passengers who landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire earlier today to an accommodation block at Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral, where they will be quarantined for 14 days, monitored, and treated if any symptoms develop. The remaining 27 passengers, all non-UK nationals, will then be flown on to Spain.       13:59 Two people in Siberia have tested positive for the new coronavirus. The first confirmed cases of Russia's disease since the outbreak began in neighboring China last month, Andrew Roth, the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent, reports. Two Chinese citizens who had fallen ill in Russia tested positive for the disease, the deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova said on Friday. The cases were discovered in opposite ends of Siberia, in the Transbaikal and Tyumen regions. Officials said the two people had been isolated, and there was “no chance” of the disease spreading in Russia. 13:35 The new coronavirus has been confirmed in a child in Germany, Bavaria's southern state said on Friday, bringing the total number of known cases in Germany to six. The new case is a child of an employee at the same firm where four more individuals in the Munich area were infected, the state health ministry said in a statement. All affected people are in stable condition, the ministry said. 13:20 The Global Times, the English-language mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, has published a propaganda video depicting drones equipped with speakers urging people to wear masks and stay inside. It is not clear the extent to which these drones have actually been rolled out across the country. 12:54 Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has resisted pressure to completely shut down the border with mainland China, saying it was not the answer to stem the spread of a virus, AP reports Medical workers have threatened to strike if the government refuses to do so, and some restaurant owners have also echoed calls to bar all mainland visitors. Lam said the number of mainland arrivals has shrunk since Hong Kong this week suspended ferry and high-speed trains to the mainland and shut six smaller border checkpoints. 12:51 Russia reports the first cases. Russia has reported its first two cases of coronavirus. Russia’s deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova told reporters the infected people were Chinese citizens who had been isolated. Golikova also said all direct flights to China from Russia would be halted from 9 pm GMT on Friday, except national airline Aeroflot. 12:03 According to a report by the Associated Press, more than 9,800 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed as of Friday evening in Beijing. 12:03 According to a report by the Associated Press, more than 9,800 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed as of Friday evening in Beijing. China: 9,692 cases on the mainland. Also, Hong Kong has 12 points, and Macao has five. Most of the 213 deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December. Thailand: 19 Japan: 14 Singapore: 13 Taiwan: 9 Malaysia: 8 Australia: 7 South Korea: 11 France: 6 Vietnam: 5 United States: 6 Germany: 5 Canada: 3 United Arab Emirates: 4 Italy: 2 England: 2 India: 1 Philippines: 1 Finland: 1 Nepal: 1 Cambodia: 1 Sri Lanka: 1 11:49 India’s first coronavirus patient has been moved to a hospital, where her condition is said to be improving, according to a report in the Indian news site NDTV. According to the broadcaster, more than 1,000 people in various parts of Kerala, on the south-west tip of India, are under observation for suspected cases of coronavirus, with 15 in isolation wards in various hospitals. Authorities were attempting to contact all the passengers who traveled on a flight from Kolkata to Cochin on 23 January. The infected patient had been on a day after she traveled from Beijing. 05:48 The Red Cross Society of Hubei has come under fire from Chinese netizens who say the charity is sending high-quality medical-grade N95 filtration masks to hospitals that are not at the epicenter of the outbreak nor fever clinics in the greatest need of covers, writes Michael Standaert. According to the first statistics released by the Hubei Red Cross on Thursday, the group released only 3,000 of the N95 masks to Wuhan Union Hospital, one of the hospitals most impacted by the outbreak and patient surge. Those stats showed out of 36,000 of the medical-grade masks, 16,000 went to Wuhan Ren’ai Hospital, and 16,000 to Wuhan Tianyou Hospital, both private hospitals, with the rest to the other that people are saying is in the most need. Cover News has now reported that the Hubei Red Cross investigates why the masks were distributed to those two hospitals. 05:03 Earlier I reported on a picture published of a man lying dead in the street in Wuhan.  05:01 South Korea plans up to four evacuation flights from Wuhan. On South Korea’s evacuation of its citizens, 368 people were on the plane that arrived back at Gimpo airport near Seoul on Friday morning. It is planning up to three more flights. Reuters reports that the government says none of the evacuees had any symptoms before departure. Still, one person could not board the plane due to fever after a final check at Wuhan airport, while 18 were sent to hospitals immediately upon arrival. 04:48 Fake news and conspiracy theories about the origin of the coronavirus have swiftly followed the outbreak around the world. From fake alerts over no-go suburbs to pro-Trump conspiracy theories, crackpot stories and dangerous advice have gone viral, reports the Guardian’s Josh Taylor. 04:23 According to the country's health minister, Trinidad has imposed 14-day restrictions on travelers from China because of the coronavirus. 04:20 Tonga asks Australia and New Zealand to quarantine evacuated Tongan citizens. Tonga’s prime minister has asked for assistance from Australia and New Zealand to evacuate and quarantine Tongan citizens from China. More than 50 Tongans, many of whom are teenagers, became trapped in China while traveling to the country as part of a China Aid sports program, reported Matangi Tonga. The members and officials of four Tongan sports teams – swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, and boxing – were due to return to Tonga this week or next but had flights canceled. 04:18 Pakistani students stranded in Hubei from the Guardian’s Ben Doherty. Pakistani students from Hubei Polytechnic University in Huangshi, In Hubei province, have pleaded with the Pakistan government to evacuate them. They say other international students from India, Indonesia, and Tajikistan, are set to leave in the coming days. Updates, 27-01-2020: The number of deaths from coronavirus has risen to 82, with confirmed infections climbing above 2,827 in China alone. The southern province of Hainan has reported its first fatality. Some 95% of deaths and more than 50% of infections are in Hubei province. Premier Li Keqiang has become the most senior figure to visit Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, China's second most powerful man. He met medical staff, called a supermarket, and the construction site of a new hospital. Wuhan’s mayor, Zhou Xianwang, has admitted the authorities were too slow in releasing information about the virus. Appearing on state TV, he said: “We were not sufficiently in time, and we did not make good use of much helpful information.” According to the Department for Health and Social Care, some 73 people have been tested negative for the UK virus. Health experts say they would be surprised if the virus does not spread to the UK. The UK government is under pressure to evacuate Britons stranded in Wuhan's city and Hubei province. The Foreign Office said it was “working to make available an option” for British nationals to leave Hubei. Britons stranded in the Wuhan says the UK response has been pathetic.' The lunar new year holiday in China has been extended until 2 February across China and 9 February in Shanghai. Chongqing municipality – one of China’s most significant – has banned inter-province bus travel for nearly 30 million residents. Hong Kong has banned Hubei residents from entering. New coronavirus cases have been reported in Australia, South Korea, and Canada. Cambodia has reported its first case. World Health Organization chiefs have held meetings in Beijing on Monday. The WHO’s director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, last week, urged China to ensure lockdown measures are kept “short.” 25th of January 2020 11:30 BREAKING Hubei residents and visitors who have been to Hubei in the past 14days WON'T be allowed in Macau UNLESS they can present a legitimate doctor's letter proving they don't have #nCov2019, effective from Jan 27 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 9 am on Jan 27 and advise those in adequate health to leave. Otherwise, they'll be quarantined. 10:56 AM - Jan 26, 2020 Macau promised to announce the number of Hubei visitors newly admitted to 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 a health declaration form when they arrive at work every day. 10:10 Hubei province has suspended inter-province and inter-city buses, intensifying the lockdown designed to curb the coronavirus's spread; Chinese state media is reporting. Shandong province and Beijing, Tianjin, and Xi’an had earlier suspended inter-city and chartered buses from crossing their borders. 09:53 In Hong Kong, residents protest about constructing a quarantine camp for people infected with the coronavirus. The reference in the first tweet to yellow and blue alludes to the colors adopted by supporters of the city’s protest movement against Chinese interference and those supporting the police. Coronavirus outbreak: virus’s ability to spread 'getting stronger,' says minister – updates. As the death toll reaches 56, the Chinese government promises a more authoritarian crackdown to stop the spread. 08:55 'Virus’s ability to spread seems to be getting stronger' – minister. China bans wildlife trade.  7h ago revised the death toll now at 56 07:44 'Virus’s ability to spread seems to be getting stronger' – minister. At a press conference by the State Council Information Office of China, they confirmed that there had 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. 07:28 China bans wildlife trade. The markets watchdog, agricultural ministry, and forestry bureau said in a joint statement that China had banned wildlife trade nationwide in markets, supermarkets, restaurants, and e-commerce platforms due to the coronavirus outbreak. Any places that breed wildlife should be isolated, and wildlife transportation should be banned, said the statement. The ban will take effect from Sunday. 07:23 In China, the US Embassy 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 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. 07:13 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 traveled to Wuhan on a high-speed train before returning to Hong Kong 06:55 Local state media is now reporting that Shantou's city 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 06:49 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 region, state broadcaster CCTV reported, following the announcement of similar measures in the cities of Tianjin, Beijing, and the historic Xi’an Coronavirus: China bans inter-city buses from Beijing as lockdown intensifies 05:56 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 coronavirus spread. 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. 05:47 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. UPDATE China expands drastic travel restrictions to contain a viral contagion that has killed 56 and infected nearly 2,000, as the US and France prepare to evacuate citizens from the quarantined city at the outbreak's epicenter  Updates, 24-01-2020: Number infected hits 1,400 worldwide. China has confirmed that it is dealing with a total of 1,372 cases of coronavirus nationally. So far, 39 have been discharged. The number of those affected internationally has surpassed 1,400, but the death toll remains at 41. 15:06 Starbucks has announced that it will close all Hubei province outlets for the week-long lunar new year holiday duration. It follows a similar announcement by McDonald’s, which will close branches in five cities in Hubei. 14:49 31 people tested in Britain so far. Over 30 people have now been tested for coronavirus in the UK, the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England. As of Saturday afternoon, some 31 tests have now concluded, all of which were confirmed as negative for the virus There are currently no confirmed cases in the UK or UK citizens abroad, and the public's risk is low. The government monitors the situation closely and will continue to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community,” it added. It promised to announce any cases in the UK if and when it is confirmed. What To Do If You Think You Are At Risk If you have visited Wuhan and develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing within 14 days of returning, government guidelines recommend people seek medical attention. 'In the UK, please stay indoors and avoid contact with others where possible, call your GP or ring 111 informing them of your symptoms and your recent travel to the city.' 14:38 According to William Yang, most deaths from the virus have been those aged between 60 and 89, the East Asia correspondent for the German news outlet DW. According to the figures, no one under 30 has died from the virus yet. 14:04 Health alerts were raised to the highest level in 30 Chinese provinces. According to Global Times, in China, 30 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions have increased their public health alert to level 1, the highest level. This enables measures such as quarantine. Sichuan province has announced a ban on group gatherings. Individuals are not allowed to organize meetings, and restaurants are being prevented from hosting them. Anyone who had prior reservations has been told to cancel In Hubei province, where the virus originated, all 72 train stations have been closed down. Workers in protective suits are checking the temperature of those entering Beijing’s central railway, and some railway services have been suspended in the eastern Yangtze River Delta region.   13:24 Chinese president warns of 'grave situation.' The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has held a special government meeting to address the virus's spread. 13:12 Here's an overview of the developments so far: Forty-one people in China have died from coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, a Hubei province. This is up from 26 a day earlier. At least 17 cities in Hubei have been locked down, and around 28 provinces have issued the highest emergency response ranking possible, which enables measures including quarantines. There is virtually no travel being allowed into or out of Wuhan, and Beijing has suspended inter-province travel. More than 1,280 cases have been confirmed worldwide, the vast majority in China and others predominantly across Asia. However, the virus reached Europe yesterday, with three confirmed cases in France, and has also been reported in Australia and the US. In total, 14 countries have been affected. In the UK, 14 people were tested, and the results were negative. The government is trying to track down 2,000 people who arrived from Wuban in recent weeks. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says more cases in the EU are likely. Hong Kong announced this morning that it would raise its response from ‘serious’ to ‘emergency,’ the highest ranking. School holidays will be extended for another two weeks, and a marathon has been canceled. The World Health Organization has not declared a crisis but is monitoring the situation. China is building two new hospitals to tackle the crisis, the first in 10 days and another in two weeks. 13:01 Beijing now has five confirmed coronavirus cases, but two of those had no connection with the province of Hubei. This appears to be the first time the virus has spread without directly linking Hubei, indicating that it is now being transmitted person-to-person within the capital. 12:54 The lockdown has now been expanded to another 16 cities, according to Associated Press. This brings 17 cities, including Wuhan, affecting 50 million people – more than New York, London, Paris, and Moscow combined. Yichang, Suizhou, and Jingzhou were the latest added to the list on Friday evening and Saturday. Several different figures are circulating, so I’ll update you as and when I can. 12:26 Beijing has suspended all inter-province buses to try to limit the spread of the virus. It is not yet known when the services will resume. China cut off trains, planes, and other links to Wuhan on Wednesday, and transport within the city has also been suspended. 11:48 The US chartering flight to evacuate citizens from Wuhan. The US is beginning an operation to evacuate its citizens and diplomats from Wuhan, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). There are around 1,000 US citizens in the city, and the embassy is in the process of contacting them to arrange seats on a plane back to the US. Plans are in place for the consulate to close temporarily, the newspaper said According to the WSJ report, there are only 230 seats on the plane, and those on board will have to pay the costs entailed. US medical personnel will be on board to treat suspected cases of the coronavirus, and any unfilled seats may be offered to non-US citizens. Washington was approved for the operation from China’s foreign ministry and other government agencies following negotiations in recent days, the WSJ said It is not yet known where the plane will land.   09:02  Two more potential causes of COVID-19 have been reported in Minnesota. In an alert issued by the Minnesota Department of Health to doctors and other health care providers, the state government requested that any patients with upper respiratory symptoms who may have recently traveled to Wuhan be reported to appropriate authorities.    07:31 There are reports in 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 the Coronavirus. 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 a three-fold surge in service demand due to the epidemic   This from Agence France-Presse: China has ordered nationwide measures to identify and immediately isolate suspected cases of a deadly virus on trains, airplanes, and buses, as the death toll and the number of patients have skyrocketed. Inspection stations will be set up, and passengers with suspected pneumonia must be “immediately transported” to a medical center, the National Health Commission said in a statement. The isolation of suspected cases must be followed by disinfection of the train, plane, or bus. The statement said 'all departments of transportation' must 'strictly' introduce prevention and control measures, including screening measures in airports, railway stations, bus stations, and ports. 07:11 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.   07:04 Japan has reportedly confirmed its third case of the coronavirus. 06:57 Security personnel wearing hazardous material suits measure passengers' body temperatures at the subway station entrance in Beijing. Flight crew wearing masks arrive on a direct flight from China at Vancouver International Airport 06:55 One doctor is reportedly infected in Beijing.   06:31 Chinese news website Caixin has a snapshot of what reporting on Wuhan's outbreak during the Lunar new year is like. In the piece, Gao Yu describes rumors 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 severe problems. And most worryingly of all is the continuous spread of the virus... Updates, 23-01-2020: The number of people infected by a coronavirus in China has risen to 1248, with 47 having died. Wuhan, the Chinese center of the outbreak, has begun building a 1,000-bed hospital scheduled to be completed in just six days to treat the epidemic victims amid concerns about shortages of beds and equipment. Wuhan has been eerily quiet despite the impending lunar new year after the city was effectively placed in quarantine. Tests on 14 people in the UK have come back negative, but checks are being carried out on others. After the Cobra emergency committee met to discuss the UK's threat, the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, stressed that the public's risk is low. Public Health England echoed the assessment while saying it was likely cases would emerge in the UK. The second confirmed case has been identified in the US, in the city of Chicago. In her 60s, the patient had returned from Wuhan on 13 January and was tested after exhibiting symptoms. She is said to be in stable condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she has had limited contact with others since returning to the US, but people she has contacted are being monitored. There have been calls for a worldwide ban on wild animal markets by experts who says the sale of sometimes endangered species for human consumption is the cause of both the new coronavirus outbreak and other past epidemics. In Wuhan, the Huanan seafood market, which has been closed down as the infection source, had a wild animal section, where live and slaughtered species were on sale. 16:46 The Scottish government confirmed on Friday afternoon that results for two of the five patients in Scotland tested for coronavirus had come back negative. Emphasizing that the risk to the public remained low, Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, said: "Scotland is well prepared for these types of outbreaks – we have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues and the UK was one of the first countries in the world to develop a test for the new virus. I am being kept fully informed about the precautionary steps being taken, including timely updates on the patients who are currently being tested." 16:44 Three more cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong, according to AFP’s correspondent there. 16:25 Here are some details of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is saying about the second case of coronavirus identified in the United States The patient returned to the US from Wuhan on 13 January 2020 and called a healthcare provider after experiencing symptoms a few days later. The patient was admitted to a hospital, where infection control measures were taken to reduce transmission risk to other individuals. The patient remains hospitalized in an isolation room in a stable condition and is doing well. Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, healthcare professionals suspected 2019-now. A clinical specimen was collected and sent to CDC, where laboratory testing confirmed the infection. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) are investigating locations where this patient went after returning to Illinois and are identifying any close contacts who were possibly exposed. The patient has limited close contacts, all of whom are currently well and monitored for symptoms. Since returning from China, the patient has had minimal movement outside the home. The CDC added that while it considered coronavirus 'a serious public health threat', the US public's immediate health risk was considered low. 16:09 The BMJ (British Medical Journal) has an article about the psychological effects of quarantining a city in response to the lockdown affecting more than 20 million people in China. It says: While history reminds us that outright panic is unlikely, fear seems more specific due to mass quarantine. Anxiety within Wuhan is to be expected even without quarantine. During disease outbreaks, community anxiety can rise following the first death, increased media reporting, and an escalating number of new cases. Mass quarantine is likely to raise that substantially for multiple reasons. It says elevated anxiety may lead to a surge in patients referred to as the “worried well,” and that stigma may affect those on the inside of the cordon. Previous incidents have seen residents of affected areas socially shunned, discriminated against in the workplace, and their property attacked. Unless active steps are taken to prevent this, a cordon's official imposition may aggravate such effects. Vigilante-imposed isolation can follow or even run ahead of official quarantine. 15:56 A crucial question for how the outbreak will unfold is how contagious the virus is. Scientists worldwide are trying to establish how many people, on average, each infected person will pass the virus on to, a number known as R0 in epidemiology. If this number is more than one, an epidemic will grow, and if less than one, it will fizzle out. An analysis posted online on Friday by scientists from Lancaster University puts R0 for the new coronavirus at 3.8. It estimates that should the epidemic continue unabated, there could be 191,529 infections by 4 February. The paper also suggests that travel restrictions from and to Wuhan city are unlikely to stop transmission across China. The analysis assumes that only 5% of Wuhan infections have been identified, implying a far larger pool of people whose symptoms have been mild and have not attended the hospital. So while more people may have been infected than initially thought, on the positive side, it would imply that the majority of infections do not cause severe symptoms. 15:54 Chinese state television’s traditional lunar new year extravaganza on Friday paid tribute to Wuhan's people and medical staff fighting the coronavirus crisis, urging them to victory in the battle to defeat the outbreak. Traditionally, hundreds of millions of people gather around their televisions to watch the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, a more-than-four-hour showcase of skits, music, and dance that has been a TV staple since the first edition was broadcast in 1983 This year an extra segment was added at the last minute to what is normally a carefully planned show, slotted in early in the broadcast. The hosts offered their best wishes to medical staff on the frontlines and the people of Wuhan. “We will definitely be victorious!” the hosts announced in unison. After a montage showing doctors and nurses in their hospitals donning protective gear and hard at work looking after their patients, the hosts read out further exhortations. Bai Yansong, one of state television’s best-known anchors, told the gala the virus segment had been prepared very shortly before the actual show. “Remember that we love you, not just today but every day in the future,” Bai said as the camera cut to an audience member with tears streaming down her face. Bai’s colleague Kang Hui, who often reads the main evening news, said the whole nation was involved in the virus fight. “There is no predicament we cannot get over,” Kang said, stirring music against a backdrop of more scenes of medical workers in protective bodysuits. 15:46 Here is the full statement by the chief medical officer for England, Prof Chris Whitty. He said the UK public's risk remained low: COBR (Cobra) met today to discuss the situation in Wuhan, China, and elsewhere in Asia. I updated on the current situation, the preparedness of the NHS, and possible next steps. I am working closely with the other UK chief medical officers. We all agree that the UK public's risk remains low, but there may well be cases in the UK at some stage. We have tried and tested measures in place to respond. The UK is well prepared for these types of incidents, with excellent readiness against infectious diseases. We have global experts monitoring the clock's situation and have a strong track record of managing new infectious disease forms. The UK has access to some of the best infectious disease and public health experts in the world. There are no confirmed cases in the UK to date. We have been carefully monitoring the situation in Wuhan, China, since the beginning of the outbreak and are now implementing our planned response. A public health hub will be set up in Heathrow from today. This consists of clinicians and other public health officials, in addition to existing port health measures. The World Health Organization has rightly responded quickly, and China has introduced strong public health measures. 15:27 The person who tested positive in the US, the second person there to do so, is a woman in her 60s. She returned from Wuhan, China, on 13 January. 15:22 14 people in the UK test negative In the UK, tests for coronavirus on 14 people UK have come back negative, but there are checks ongoing on other people, the chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, has said. After a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee in Whitehall, he spoke after a health secretary meeting, Matt Hancock. 14:15 Britain’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has emerged after chairing a meeting of the British government'sCobra’ emergency committee, bringing together senior figures for various agencies to undertake crisis planning. “The clinical advice is that the risk to the public remains low,” he said, adding that the UK’s chief medical officer will be making a full statement later today. 14:12 Health officials have been preparing for an outbreak that could last for months, a senior World Health Organisation official in Beijing has told the New York Times. Thousands of people were eventually likely to be infected, said Dr. Gauden Galea, representative of the WHO in the Chinese capital. “My own office is gearing up for several months. We do not expect it to disappear in several days.” 13:51 Calls for stricter outlawing of the trafficking and consumption of wild game - which has been linked to the emergence of Coronavirus in Chinese cities - have been reverberating on Chinese social media. An interesting piece from Jessica Colwell on What’s on Weibo, which reports on social media trends in China, says that the Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, linked to the outbreak, has been closed down. Still, criticism of such markets has been fierce. She writes: The hashtag “Support the banning of wild game markets” (#支持禁绝野味市场#) was topping the list of trending topics for much of Thursday and was viewed 270 million times. Another hashtag, “The source of the new coronavirus is wild animals” (#新型冠状病毒来源是野生动物#), topped the list on Wednesday and has been viewed 990 million times. Online commenters are lambasting the practice of eating illegal wild games such as civet cats, the cause of the 2003 SARS virus, and bats. The suspected cause of COVID-19 (snakes) has also been suggested as a possible source of the coronavirus outbreak). 13:37 Britain’s public health authorities have put out these slides as part of an information campaign about Public Health England(@PHE_uk). No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the UK, and the UK population's risk is low. If you have traveled to the affected area, make sure you know what to do if you experience symptoms. 13:34  After returning from Wuhan, a British man who felt unwell struggled to get a doctor’s appointment until revealing he had been in China. Michael Hope, 45, ended up in quarantine for 28 hours, kept in a sealed room, and tested by medics in what he described as 'spaceman suits.' “I felt like ET, to be honest,” he said. “It was totally, totally surreal.” On Tuesday, with his symptoms had worsened after four days to “a naughty chest – coughing to the point of vomiting,” he had no more significant concerns than his GP being busy: after he explained his condition, he was told there were no appointments available and to call back in the morning. The following day, when he managed to get a telephone consultation, he told his GP he had been unable to leave his home since he had been brought back from China – and events suddenly speeded up. “I told them I had flu-like symptoms and that I had traveled back from Wuhan,” he said. “At first, the GP told me to come to the surgery and said we could both wear masks and I could stand outside the door – but then things quickly changed, and I was told to stay at home, not to leave, and I would be visited instead.” Read on. 13:22 We also hear from epidemiologist Dr. Rosalind Eggo about how scientists model the spread of novel viruses, often with very little information. COVID-19: UK Cobra committee meets as death toll rises to 26 – live news 13:02 More airports are beginning to screen passengers arriving from China, AP reports. Qatar, home to the long-haul carrier Qatar Airways, said it had installed thermal scanners at its central hub, Hamad international airport. Kuwait announced similar measures late the night before at Kuwait international airport, joining the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which on Thursday announced screenings for all passengers arriving on direct flights from China, including at Dubai international airport, the world’s busiest. Kuwait’s state-run news agency said isolation rooms had also been opened at Kuwait's international airport for passengers suspected of having the virus. Elsewhere in the region, Bahrain said it was taking unspecified steps over the virus. China has shut down Wuhan and other cities in the Hubei province, which is the center of the newly identified coronavirus outbreak. A scattered number of cases have been confirmed in other countries. Still, there are fears that during the travel and festivities accompanying the lunar new year starting this weekend, the virus could spread more widely. In Pakistan, the Civil Aviation Authority said all passengers coming from neighboring China would be screened for the virus. Any suspected of being infected would be kept in isolation at designated hospitals. As many as 41 flights from China land at Pakistani airports every week. 12:49 Nepal has a case of coronavirus, Asian News International reports. Nepal Health Ministry: A student who had returned from Wuhan, China, has been found infected with #coronavirus. Holding a press conference on Friday, Ministry for Health and Population confirmed it. 12:30 Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, plans to build a hospital to help treat the epidemic victims. The template is a hospital constructed hastily in Beijing in 2003 during the Sars outbreak. A Chinese city plans to build a coronavirus hospital in six days. Drone footage shows dozens of diggers working to create a new hospital in Wuhan to limit coronavirus spread. Authorities hope the structure will be made by February 3 12:06 The UK government’s Cobra emergency committee is holding its meeting now about the outbreak. Ministers from the Home Office, the Foreign Office, and the departments for transport, education, communities, and local government will also attend. “There remain no confirmed cases, and we’re well prepared for any new diseases. All UK airports have medical experts on hand, and information has been provided to all passengers returning from China,” said a spokesman for the prime minister. He added that the Department for Education checked universities’ preparedness, given the likelihood of Chinese students traveling to or returning home to coincide with the new year holiday. Asked whether China had provided the UK with all the information it needed on the outbreak, he said: “We remain in close contact with the World Health Organization and international partners, including China.” The prime minister, Boris Johnson, won’t be attending the Cobra meeting but is expected to host a reception at Downing Street in the next hour for the lunar new year. Meanwhile, in Public Health England, we’re told that it is unlikely that there will be any updated figures on those being tested for the virus in the UK until at least 3 pm local time. We had been led to believe that updated models would be available at noon. 11:52 China will take stricter and more targeted measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Chinese state television has reported, citing a state council meeting on virus control on Friday. “The spread of the virus has not been cut off … Local authorities should take more responsibility and have a stronger sense of urgency,” according to state media, Reuters reported. 11:29 The Chinese military has released a handbook on Pneumonia Prevention and Control of New Coronavirus Infection. Chinese media are encouraging people to forward to their circle of friends on social media. The 16-page document comes with cartoon figures of heroic Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) figures and includes guidance on hygiene and disease prevention. 10:29 The second confirmed case in Japan of the new Coronavirus transited from Hong Kong to Japan by plane, and Hong Kong’s health authority needs to track the flight and passengers now, according to Wong Ka-Hing, director of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection. Xinqi Su, a Hong Kong-based AFP correspondent, reports that the patient took Cathay Dragon’s KA855 from Wuhan to Hong Kong on January 19 and then transited from Hong Kong to Japan on Cathay Pacific’s CX58. She quotes an emerging and zoonotic diseases expert, David Hui, saying that Hong Kong is now at a “serious response level” due to imported cases. Still, it won’t be upgraded to an “emergency” until local cases and continued outbreaks. He added that it was “unpractical” for all public members to keep a mask on all day. “If you are taking public transport or going to a mall with many people, I would advise you to wear a mask. You can take off the mask when you are in office,” Hui said. 10:19 Thailand has confirmed its fifth case of the new coronavirus, a senior public health official said. “The patient is a 33-year-old woman from Wuhan on vacation,” Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Patucha told Reuters, adding that she was under quarantine at Rajavithi hospital and her condition was improving. The woman arrived in Bangkok on Jan. 21 with her daughter and visited a private hospital complaining of a fever, coughing, and muscle aches before being transferred to a government hospital on Jan. 23, Sathit said. Her daughter tested negative for the virus. A Thai woman who contracted the virus after spending the New Year in Wuhan was admitted to Nakhon Pathom hospital, 60 km (40 miles) west of Bangkok, on Jan. 15 and discharged on Friday after lab tests cleared her of the virus, the Public Health Ministry said in a statement. Thailand currently has two patients under quarantine for the virus. 10:13 McDonald's says it is suspending business in five cities in China’s Hubei province, the virus outbreak center. 10:12 Two tourists visiting Finland from Wuhan in China are suspected of being infected with the coronavirus, according to YLE, Finland’s state broadcaster. The pair went to a health center in Ivalo, Northern Finland, to seek flu-like symptoms on Thursday night. Markku Broas, an infectious diseases physician at Lapland central hospital, said samples were taken to Helsinki for analysis. Still, he thinks that it’s likely to be a case of the flu. “There’s no major cause for concern.” 10:09 The situation is a 'rapidly evolving' one that is being monitored closely. According to a new blog on Public Health England, the UK population's current risk is low, a state body. It answers several questions which it says many people have. They include: What is Wuhan's novel coronavirus, and should I be concerned? A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical coronavirus symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the UK, and we currently consider the risk to the UK population below. How Do We Decide The Risk Level? Several factors are taken into account to determine the risk level, including the number of cases, the speed at which new cases are being identified, and other information about the virus, such as how easily it spreads from person to person. Can we stop the virus from coming to the UK? No system of checks can claim to offer absolute protection because of the incubation period of the virus. Some people might only show symptoms 14 days after exposure to an infected person. Our approach to enhanced monitoring helps us ensure that Wuhan's travelers get the right information about what to do if they become unwell. Why are we not monitoring all flights from China? And, what about people who have transferred from other flights? Plans are in place to meet any direct flights from Wuhan as experts believe this is the virus's source. However, direct flights' enhanced monitoring will be kept under continuous review and expanded to other Chinese departure points if necessary. 09:56 According to local reports, Beijing’s city government urges people who return to the Chinese capital from areas affected by the Coronavirus outbreak to stay home for 14 days. Meanwhile, sections of China’s Great Wall near Beijing will be closed to visitors from Saturday. 09:46 According to Interfax news agency, flights to Moscow from the Chinese city of Wuhan have been suspended over fears about the coronavirus strain spread. Earlier this week, Russia’s Healthcare Ministry described the virus as a biological hazard, with Deputy Minister Sergei Krayevoy saying the virus was a “striking example” of the physical threats Russia faces. 09:34 The regular press briefing from the UN’s office in Geneva is just about to start, and the virus is expected to feature in questions. There was some confusion in reports elsewhere about it. It’s not a WHO briefing. 09:21 A former government minister who oversaw the country’s response to the H1N1 flu virus in 2009 has said that containing panic around the coronavirus outbreak is as important as stemming the virus itself. Gloria Guevara, who is now President/CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) based in London, said it could have a damaging and lasting economic impact on the global Travel & Tourism sector unless lessons are learned from previous viral epidemics. Analysis of previous major viral epidemics by the WTTC found that the average recovery time for visitor numbers to a destination was 19 months. Still, the right response and management could recover in as little as 10 months. 08:05 It was confirmed last night that two people diagnosed with flu were being tested for the virus in Scotland, where three others are also being tested on a precautionary basis. At least three of the patients are believed to be Chinese nationals. While there remain no confirmed Coronavirus cases in Scotland, the Scottish government has set up a daily Incident Management Team with Health Protection Scotland to continue monitoring the situation as it develops. While the Scottish government would not confirm where the patients are being treated, the Courier newspaper reports that two are from the Tayside region, two from Glasgow, and one from Lothian. In Tayside, Dundee University has a joint education partnership with Wuhan University: five staff members had returned from a visit to Wuhan last week, but no health concerns have been raised. Aberdeen University said five of its staff members had also visited Wuhan during the outbreak. One of those – who have a non-teaching role - is working from home as a precautionary measure. 07:53 Coronavirus Worldwide: First Vaccines A Year Away  That first version of a vaccine has already entered the laboratories at the global pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson. Still, it will be close to a year before vaccines are available publicly from drug companies. That’s according to Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson, and Richard Hatchett, Ceo of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is funding two of the projects and co-funding the third to develop vaccines. Davos, Hatchett told the BBC’s Today Programme that CEPI hoped that the vaccines it had announced partnerships could enter into clinical trials in the Summer. It would be close to a year before they are available. However, headed, and this was a very ambitious timeline. He also said that that restrictions on air travel into countries such as the UK would not keep the virus out, and for now, the only means of responding were via public health interventions. Companies were also looking at progressing the manufacture and release of protective equipment for hospital workers and others, said Stoffels, who added: “We know that this could become a massive global epidemic.” Both men said that the speed with which development on drugs to respond to global crises had dramatically improved in the wake of the Ebola crisis, which Stoffels described as a “wake-up call to the world.” 07:43 According to its health ministry, Singapore has confirmed two more cases of the new strain of coronavirus said on Friday, a day after identifying its first case of the infection originated from China. The ministry said it expected more imported cases because of high travel volume from China, Reuters reports. Singapore’s tally of confirmed cases is now three.   07:10 According to the Global Times, Yichang City, also in Hubei province, will impose transport restrictions. In the UK, 14 people have been tested for suspected coronavirus. So far, five have been cleared, and nine are still waiting for test results. Public Health England has not given a breakdown of where the people were tested, but Downing Street said four of the suspected cases in Scotland were believed to be Chinese nationals. Another patient is understood to have been tested at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital. What We Know So Far! The official death toll stands at 26 people, most of them in Hubei province in central China. Still, two people have died outside of that zone – one man just outside of Beijing, and the other in the northeastern region of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia. At least 830 people in China have been confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus so far. The Chinese government has locked down 11 million people in Wuhan, where the virus originated, and nine other cities in the Hubei province, causing chaos on the Lunar New Year's eve. A new 1000-bed hospital is being built in Wuhan to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, and authorities expect it to be completed and run by Monday. South Korea has confirmed a second case of the virus, a man in his 50s working in Wuhan earlier this month. Japan has also confirmed a second case of the virus: a Wuhan resident in his 40s who arrived in Japan on 19 January. The US has confirmed one case of the virus in Seattle, while authorities in Texas are investigating a second suspected case 14 people in the UK have been tested for the virus; so far, five have been cleared. Scottish authorities have tested at least six people with coronavirus symptoms. In Australia, at least six people are being monitored for signs of the virus, while public health authorities warn the world is likely to see more cases confirmed in countries outside of China in the coming days. The World Health Organisation’s emergency committee has concluded it’s “too early” to declare an international public health emergency but says the situation is still considered a crisis in China. “It has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one,” said WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 06:23 Shanghai Disney will be closed to help prevent the spread of the virus. 06:06 Cinemas will suspend their operations in Guangdong Province until the end of the holiday season due to the coronavirus outbreak. 06:00 Health officials in Hong Kong gave their daily press briefing about the coronavirus outbreak fully masked. 05:41 In Australia, researchers at the University of Queensland are racing to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. According to AAP: The Queensland team is one of three worldwide asked to plant their foot on the accelerator and use new technologies to get a vaccine onto the market fast. If they can replicate what they’ve done in labs with other viruses, including related influenza and ebola, it’s possible the world could have a shield against coronavirus within six months. The team is one of three handpicked by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to fast-track the vaccine. The University of Queensland team is confident they’ll get there with recently patented DNA-based molecular clamp technology. It involves using the DNA sequence of the coronavirus – released by China after the outbreak – to produce a protein that’s the same as the one on the surface of the actual virus. That protein will be the essence of the vaccine, capable of generating immune system responses that protect people. “By injecting that, we can get an optimal immune response in people that affords protection,” explains Dr. Keith Chappell from the university’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences. A total of 10 cities in China’s central Hubei province have suspended some public transportation over the coronavirus outbreak, the Hubei Daily reported on Friday. Buses in Chibi, Xiantao, Zhejiang, Qianjiang, Xianning, Huangshi, and Enshi have suspended services. In Zhejiang city, all public venues have been shut down except hospitals, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, gas stations, and drug stores, it said. Indoor entertainment venues in Enshi city have also been shut down. Provincial capital Wuhan city, the epicenter of the outbreak, and Huanggang city have been locked down while Ezhou city has shut its train stations. 04:51 “It has been splashed all over the front pages of newspapers around the world for days,” writes Guardian contributor Michael Standaert in Sichuan. “But the outbreak of coronavirus, which has left at least 25 dead and infected more than 800, has been largely missing from China’s major state-run media.” Friday’s front page of the People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist party’s flagship newspaper, displayed only warm wishes for lunar new year’s eve from the president, Xi Jinping, as he attended a spring festival gala at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. News of the coronavirus outbreak has also been buried during prime time CCTV news over the past two evenings, featuring as the fifth or sixth item on the daily 7 pm bulletin. 04:40 Chinese officials have confirmed another person has died from novel coronavirus, the second person to do so outside the province of Hubei, the epicenter of the virus, bringing the official death toll to 26 The death was in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia and is 2,000 km (1,200 miles) from Wuhan, the local government said. 24 deaths have occurred in Hubei. Cover photo by  Philip Courter.  Passengers during the evacuated flight back to the United States to get their temperatures checked. The flight had passengers from the Diamond Princess, both sick and not sick. Source Worldometer and the Guardian Before you go! Recommended:  Travel The World: Keeping The Environment Healthy Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. 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