China coronavirus: Stricter measures start Lunar New Year

Darnell Taylor
January 25, 2020

But the teenager was tested for the deadly infection and has since been discharged.

Queensland authorities say they are still waiting on results from a possible case as of late Saturday, AAP reported.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Chinese authorities had restricted travel in at least five Hubei cities and Australians going there may not be able to leave until restrictions are lifted.

There are fears the transmission could accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, which began today, although many have cancelled their plans, with airlines and railways in China providing free refunds.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus an "emergency in China" but stopped short of declaring it of global concern.

Wuhan, a city of 11 million, is in virtual lockdown.

The city of Wuhan is effectively on lockdown, with heavy restrictions on travel in and out, and public transport options from buses to planes cancelled.

"Well at this point we think, we are learning more about this virus every day", said Louisa Castrodale, Epidemiologist with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, "There's a lot of interest in [it]".

Hubei province, where authorities are rushing to build a 1,000 bed hospital in six days to treat patients, announced on Saturday that there were 658 patients affected by the virus in treatment, 57 of whom were critically ill.

The new coronavirus, first reported in China on December 31, was originally believed to have been passed onto humans by animals but is now known to be transmissible person to person, although victims may be contracting the virus by coming in contact with saliva and other bodily fluids rather than through airborne factors.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday it had 63 patients under investigation, with two confirmed cases.

Europe's first three cases were confirmed in France on Friday, with two patients being hospitalised in Paris and the other in the south-western city of Bordeaux.

Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won't happen in Canada: authorities
Tedros hailed China for taking "measures it believes appropriate to contain the spread of coronavirus in Wuhan and other cities". Meanwhile, more than 23 million people are affected by the shutdown as Chinese authorities have moved to lock down more cities.

Wuhan will assign 6,000 taxis to different neighbourhoods, under the management of local resident committees, to help people get around if they need to, the state-owned English-language China Daily newspaper said.

The patient had returned to France two days ago from a trip to China which included a stop in Wuhan.

"He's been put in an insulated room so as to avoid any contact with the outside world. He's fine", Ms Buzyn said.

United States: On Tuesday US health officials announced the country's first case, a man in his 30s living near Seattle.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the new coronavirus poses a low risk to the general public. She also said she had sought the assistance from China's State Council to ensure mask supplies were adequate.

Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers from China.

Friday morning, a Chicago woman became the second confirmed US patient diagnosed with the unsafe new virus from China.

For that reason, health officials are urging recent travellers to China to monitor themselves for symptoms and call their health-care provider if they develop a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms linked to 2019-nCoV. A spokesman for the province said numerous coronavirus symptoms are similar to those of seasonal influenza, but patients will be tested out of an abundance of caution.

The transportation bans have been expanded to 16 cities, with three more added Saturday, holding a population of more than 50 million people hostage to the disease.

The WHO said on Thursday it was a "bit too early" to designate the outbreak a public health emergency of worldwide concern, which would require countries to step up their response.

China: nearly 1,300 people have been infected across China, the bulk of them in and around Wuhan. The newly-identified virus is very similar to the SARS virus.

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