Wednesday, 22 January 2020

China confirms 17 deaths as coronavirus spreads to multiple countries .

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Chinese authorities have urged people to stop travelling in and out of Wuhan, the city at the centre of a new virus outbreak that has killed 17 people.
Those living in the city of 8.9 million people have also been told to avoid crowds and minimise public gatherings.
The new virus has spread from Wuhan to several Chinese provinces, as well as the US, Thailand and South Korea.
There are 440 confirmed cases, with the origin a seafood market that "conducted illegal transactions of wild animals".
Late on Wednesday the Chinese authorities confirmed the number of dead had almost doubled - from nine - in the space of a day. All fatalities so far have been in Hubei, the province around Wuhan.
Officials in Hong Kong also reported the territory's first two cases.
Meanwhile, in Geneva, the World Health Organization's emergency committee is meeting to assess the global risks posed by the virus and decide if it should be declared an international public health emergency - as happened with swine flu and Ebola.
Such a declaration, if made, could see advice issued on travel or trade restrictions.

Chinese authorities admitted the country was now at the "most critical stage" of prevention and control.
"Basically, do not go to Wuhan. And those in Wuhan please do not leave the city," said National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin in one of the first public briefings since the beginning of the outbreak.
Map: Confirmed cases in China and around the world
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Earlier this week, China confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place.
The virus, known also as 2019-nCoV, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. The Sars virus that killed nearly 800 people globally in the early 2000s was also a coronavirus.
Signs of infection with the new virus include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
The first US case was confirmed on Tuesday. President Donald Trump said the situation was "totally under control" and that he trusted the information being provided by Chinese authorities.


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