Wuhan Bans Cars While Hong Kong Closes Schools as Coronavirus Spreads

Henrietta Strickland
January 25, 2020

Tests in the United Kingdom on 31 people for the new strain of coronavirus have come back negative, the government has said.

The outbreak began in the city in central China and has spread nationwide and overseas, fueled by millions of people traveling during the country's biggest holiday.

"However, it remains unclear if the disease will keep to its current low fatality rate and low incidence of person-to-person spread or whether the virus will adapt, as has been seen before".

On Saturday, when they should have been celebrating, citizens of Wuhan stood in line at a pharmacy to buy masks from employees in full-body protective suits and surgical gloves. Almost all of those who died were in the Wuhan region, but officials have confirmed two deaths elsewhere.

A novel strain of the coronavirus has been confirmed in at least eight countries, including the United States, and officials are warning that more cases will likely be discovered.

France has had three people test positive - the disease's first appearance in Europe.

Inbound and outbound flights and high speed rail trips between Hong Kong and Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, would be halted, and schools, now on Lunar New Year holidays, would remain shut until 17 February.

The country reported a confirmed case of the new coronavirus that causes pneumonia-like sickness Monday and another Friday, and said it has checked 32 other people for the new coronavirus so far with all testing negative.

One victim, Xia Qianqing, 36, told how she went to hospital in early January after feeling sick but was told her condition was not serious enough.

It has infected around 1,300 people in China and spread to nearly a dozen other territories, including France and the United States.

All three had recently travelled to China and had now been placed in isolation.

Health authorities in the city of Hechi in Guangxi province said that a two-year-old girl from Wuhan had been diagnosed with the illness after arriving in the city.

Media captionWhat's life like in quarantined Wuhan?

The Department of Health (DoH) confirmed it was trying to find "as many passengers as we can" who came to Britain from Wuhan, China, in the past two weeks to check on their wellbeing.

Australia announced its first case Saturday, a Chinese man in his 50s who last week returned from China.

Malaysia confirmed its first three cases on Saturday. All are Chinese nationals on holiday from Wuhan who arrived in the country from Singapore two days earlier.

They are all relatives of a man who was found to be infected in Singapore.

Nepal said a 32-year-old man arriving from Wuhan had the deadly disease.

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.

In its daily update on Saturday, the Department of Health added: "The government is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and worldwide community". On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it had confirmed a second infection, in IL. Instead, state and local public-health officials have individually contacted 50 people believed to have been in close contact with the man during that time, reaching out daily to ask if they are experiencing any symptoms such as a fever or respiratory issues.

It has been confirmed that five people are being tested for the virus in Scotland.

The medics, who arrived on military aircraft late Friday, include doctors with experience combating SARS or Ebola and will be dispatched to hospitals that are reportedly short on beds due to a crush of infected patients and anxious locals.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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