Virus-hit Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools

Marco Green
January 25, 2020

Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern, especially when there's little knowledge about the characteristics of the virus, how it spreads between people, how severe are the resulting infections and how to treat them.

Two of the three men arrived in Australia on January 6 and January 9. The date when the third man arrived is not yet confirmed, according to Fairfax.

The government says most of the cases have been in Hubei and most of the deaths involved people who already suffered pre-existing health conditions.

"We originally planned to go back to my wife's hometown and bought train tickets to depart this afternoon", said Li Mengbin, who was on a stroll by the moat of the closed Forbidden City.

France confirmed three cases Friday, the first in Europe, and the USA identified its second, a woman in Chicago who had returned from China. He arrived in Melbourne around 9 a.m. on January 19 after having spent two weeks in Wuhan.

The Chinese man aged in his 50s tested positive for the virus on Saturday after visiting a GP on Thursday and going to hospital on Friday.

That decision could well be reassessed in coming days as the situation evolves, said Anthony Fauci, the US National Institutes of Health's top infectious disease official, adding that it was "open to question" whether shutting down travel would have a major effect.

He had also taken precautions by phoning ahead to the GP and hospital before attending and wearing a mask. He also wore a mask.

Meanwhile, in Queensland a total of five people were being tested for the virus on Saturday. There is growing anger within Wuhan that authorities did not do enough in the initial days of the outbreak to determine the extent of the spread of the virus, with misdiagnosis due to limited testing kits, lack of staff and space for patients rampant.

Two Israelis who were hospitalized earlier for the same reasons have been cleared and released, according to the report.

Four people in South Australia were also being tested, reported AAP.

Assuming that timely and rigorous IPC measures are applied around imported cases detected in the EU/EEA, the likelihood of further sustained spread in community settings is considered low. "They have no capacity...[and] that is worrisome, when the virus develops faster than the capacity of the health system". People haven't had a chance to develop the natural immunity they'll need to protect themselves if they become infected.

The virus has killed at least 41 people and sickened more than 1,300.

In rare show of public dissent, a senior journalist at a Hubei provincial newspaper run by the ruling Communist Party on Friday called for a "immediate" change of leadership in Wuhan on the Twitter-like Weibo. Millions of people have headed home for the holidays amid travel restrictions in 13 cities in China's T province, the center of the outbreak.

Authorities in Victoria state have followed "strict protocols, including isolating the affected person", said Professor Brendan Murphy, Australia's chief medical officer.

On Saturday, Australia confirmed its first four cases - first in Melbourne, and then three more in Sydney. China is the largest source of foreign visitors to the country.

There are a dozen or so confirmed cases outside the country, with many more under monitoring. They include Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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