France ponders repatriating citizens from Wuhan amid virus

James Marshall
February 3, 2020

The death toll in the deadly new coronavirus in China rose to 56 on Sunday with confirmed cases of viral affliction reaching 2,008, including 23 from overseas, Chinese health authorities said.

Separately, the province of Henan reported one death from coronavirus infection.

A second person in Los Angeles County, who also had traveled to Wuhan, has been confirmed with coronavirus, the Los Angeles Times reported.

China has locked down the hard-hit province of Hubei in the country's centre and the capital Wuhan in an unprecedented operation affecting tens of millions of people to slow the spread of a respiratory illness that President Xi Jinping said posed a "grave" threat.

On the basis of the two designated hospitals and 61 fever clinics, the megacity made a decision to transform the 24 local hospitals in batches to provide thousands of beds for patients.

"The Department of State is making arrangements to relocate its personnel stationed at the U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan to the United States", the agency's statement said.

The case was confirmed through testing mid-afternoon on Saturday. Small numbers of cases have been found in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the U.S., Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, France and Australia.

Health officials in Ontario confirmed Saturday afternoon that a man in his 50s, who had travelled to Wuhan, was taken to Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital and is now in stable condition in a negative-pressure room.

Meanwhile, a Chinese expert on infectious diseases tells state broadcaster CCTV that human-to-human transmission is "affirmative", raising fears of a major outbreak of as millions travel for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Beijing has chose to delay the start of classes after the Lunar New Year holiday ends, the official Beijing Daily reported on its website. Wuhan is the ground zero for a new deadly strain of coronavirus - with about 1,000 Americans living in the city.

"At this stage we are contacting everybody in accordance with the national guidelines and treating them as if they are confirmed", Dr Chant said.

Hong Kong Disneyland and the city's Ocean Park theme park were closed on Sunday.

In the heart of the outbreak where 11 million residents are already on lockdown, Wuhan banned most vehicle use, including private cars, in downtown areas starting Sunday.

Final findings are yet to be announced, but Chinese health officials believe the virus came from wildlife sold illegally at a market in Wuhan. At least 450 military doctors, including physicians who have experience in fighting the SARS and Ebola epidemics, have also been reportedly sent to Wuhan.

The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia.

Measures have been ordered nationwide to detect and isolate people carrying the virus on planes, trains and buses.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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