China battles coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

Henrietta Strickland
January 24, 2020

City authorities are attempting to construct a specialized treatment facility for all known coronavirus patients to stop the virus from spreading further.

But the BBC's Stephen McDonell, in Beijing, says that many hundreds of thousands of residents have already left Wuhan to celebrate the Lunar New Year elsewhere and, with an incubation period of around five days, they may have unwillingly passed on the virus without even knowing it. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in multiple countries, including Thailand, Japan, Brazil, and the US.

It was the low number of confirmed cases overseas - now 11 - that was one of the reasons the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declined to designate the virus an "international emergency".

Any number greater than one means the virus has the potential to spread in the population, but this is lower than the figure for Sars. China also put at least 13 cities on lockdown as of Friday.

"3M is committed to supporting the public health and governmental response to the coronavirus while maintaining supply to existing customers", the statement said. At least 10 countries outside China have reported 26 cases.

The number of cases of patients infected has risen to 830, while the death toll from the virus has reached 26, the National Health Commission announced.

Huangshi city in Hubei province announced that transport routes and a ferry terminal was shut down starting at 0200 GMT on Friday.

The virus - a "novel coronavirus" dubbed 2019-nCoV, belongs to the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

On Thursday, Singapore confirmed its first case of the coronavirus strain, which originated in China, and said another case has preliminarily tested positive.

The CDC said, despite the Chinese travel bans, it will use enhanced surveillance in five United States airports that have heavy air travel to and from China: Los Angeles International, Chicago O'Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, JFK in New York City, and San Francisco International.

"MOH (Ministry of Health) has now activated plans to counter the spread of the virus, which so far does not appear to be as deadly as SARS was".

"The concentration of resources and efforts need to be focused on the tremendous work that our state and local partners are doing to rapidly identify cases and contacts and assure that the American health is protected", Cetron said.

Developments in the fast-evolving outbreak prompted USA officials to step up travel restrictions to Wuhan, which is the epicenter of an outbreak that is nearing 900 cases. To date there is no indication anyone who was in contact with the man in Washington has become ill, Messonnier said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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